How to Access Free Birth & Marriage Records

By Hannington Dia

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Birth and marriage records serve a number of uses. Besides marking our dates of birth and marriage, employers often look through birth certificates when performing background checks on potential employees to assess their legal status. The Social Security Administration requires women who wish to change their name, to provide copies of their marriage records. Both records are also useful for performing genealogy searches to find your ancestry. The Internet has made it easy to access these records for free through public record databases.

Step 1

Fill out a form requesting your marriage records at the Office of the Clerk Recorder in the county where your marriage took place. These offices are responsible for registering and maintaining information on all births, deaths and marriages that occur in the county. Tell the clerk you only wish to view the record and not to acquire a copy, as physical copies will cost you a small fee. As these records are public, you will be allowed to view them for free.

Step 2

Head to the church where your marriage took place. Oftentimes, churches maintain records for occasions such as baptisms and marriages that occurred there. Ask if you could receive or view a copy of your marriage records.

Step 3

Visit the hospital where you were born to request a free copy of your birth certificate. Hospitals generally keep these records on file. Ask the hospital management to issue you the certificate.

Visit the Vital Statistics office in the state or general area where you were born, to receive a copy of your birth certificate. Send a written request if you would rather not travel to the office. Make sure to include the date of your request, your full name in caps, gender, place of birth, mother's maiden name and father's name in your letter.