New York Marriage Records



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How to Find Marriage Records in New York

Marriage Records in New York

Marriage records contain information about the married couple. This information includes the names of the two individuals, the date of the marriage, and the place of marriage. Some marriage records will also include the names of the mothers and fathers of the couple. Additionally, some records contain the names of the witnesses to the marriage. Some governmental marriage records contain the maiden names of the mothers as well as the place of residence of the married couple.

A marriage record should not be confused with a marriage license, a marriage announcement, or a marriage index. The marriage license is the legal document that was issued to the couple that was married. The marriage announcement is the public listing of the wedding, in most cases, in a published newspaper.

A marriage index is simply a list of the marriages within a specific location. Typically, such an index includes the names of the bride and groom, the date of the marriage, the name of the county in which the marriage occurred, and either the file number of the license or the volume and page name for a register listing as well as the location of the marriage record.

In New York, marriage records must be obtained from the State Department of Health Office, except for those issued in New York City. To obtain a certified copy of a marriage record issued in New York City, you must contact the New York City Marriage Bureau.

For a successful search for the marriage records that you are trying to locate, follow these steps:
1. Print or type each name and address clearly to avoid confusion. This includes the full name of both the husband and the wife. The maiden name should be included for the wife. Include nicknames and alternate spellings that may have been used, but list them as such.
2. Keep your request brief and to the point.
3. Limit your request to one marriage record.
4. Include the full address of the individuals at the time of the marriage, including street, city or town, and state. If you know the county in which the marriage took place, include that as well.
5. Include the date that the marriage occurred. If you do not know the date, include a time frame for the search. Generally, it is best to specify a short span of years for an unknown year search. You can always expand the number of years that you search, and a shorter span will lead to a shorter search. You can expect to pay an additional fee for searches such as this that require more effort.
6. Include contact information where you can be reached in the event that more information is required. Include a telephone number, fax number, or an e-mail address.
7. Include your relationship to the individuals listed in your search request.
8. Include the reason for your request.
9. Print your name clearly and sign your request. Some states may also require additional identifying information on you as well. Therefore, you may want to include your driverís license number.
10. Include a SASE, or self addressed stamped envelope with your request for a speedier delivery.
11. Include the date that you mail your request with your correspondence.

To obtain a copy of a marriage record provide as much accurate information as you have available on the subject of the search, sufficient contact information for yourself, and the required fee. Providing the necessary information will speed the process up considerably.

Use the following address to obtain certified copies of marriage records in the state of New York, with the exception of New York City. A $30 fee payable to the New York State Department of Health is charged for the retrieval of marriage records.

New York State Dept of Health
Vital Records Section
Certification Unit
P. O. Box 2602
Albany, NY 12220-2602

If you are requesting a priority handling, the fee charged is $45 payable to the New York State Department of Health and you will need to send your request to the following address:

New York State Dept of Health
Vital Records Section
Certification Unit
800 North Pearl Street
Menands, NY 12204

For copies of marriage records from New York City, it is necessary to obtain an official request form by calling the following number: 212-669-8090. You are required to provide valid identification and the required $15 fee that covers the cost of searching one year.

Send your request to the following address:

Office of the City Clerk
Municipal Building
1 Centre Street
Room 252 South
New York, New York 10007

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