What is the Difference Between a Marriage Certificate and a Marriage License?

Marriage Licenses And Marriage Certificates

Differences Between Marriage Licenses And Marriage Certificates

The difference between a marriage license and a marriage certificate is mainly that a marriage license gives you the permission you require to allow you to get married. This permission is provided in a paper form which then permits you to make arrangements for the marriage ceremony.

Once you have gone through the formal marriage ceremony, an application for a marriage certificate may be filed which is the proof that you are married. It can stay with you throughout your life and provides a useful way of identifying you and your marriage partner when official legal identification is required for formal purposes like applying to migrate to another country.

Requirements for Obtaining a Marriage License

Most states in the U.S. require that both parties are aged 18 years or older. Anyone younger needs to get permission to get a marriage license from either a parent or a judge. The commonest situation for needing consent is for pregnancy. In this case, the judge may require evidence that the couple is able to support themselves financially before being granted a marriage license. If someone wants to marry another person when already married this can only happen after a divorce has taken place.

To be issued with a marriage license the couple involved must show they have the mental capacity to enter a marriage contract. If either of the couples is unable to understand what to be married means because of a mental illness, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or any other issues that appear to have an effect on judgment, then this person will have shown that he or she lacks the mental capacity to give consent to getting married.

Requirements for a Marriage Ceremony to Take Place

The key marriage ceremony requirements are that the ceremony has to take place with two witnesses present and by an officiant who is qualified by the state to take on this role such as a priest, rabbi, or judge. Civil ceremonies are performed by county clerks or judges and government officials.

The Formal Process for Obtaining a Marriage License vs a Marriage Certificate

● The couple obtains a marriage license.
● The wedding ceremony is arranged.
● The person who performs the marriage ceremony files for a marriage certificate after the marriage has been formalised.
● The request for the marriage certificate is filed at the office responsible for issuing marriage certificates within a few days.
There are a number of offices responsible for issuing marriage certificates which may be the office of the county clerk, the recorder or the registrar. Which one is used for each individual case will depend on where the married couple resides.
● The marriage certificate, which is actually a certified copy, will be sent to the newly married couple in a matter of a few days following the marriage ceremony.
● The marriage certificate is typically signed by both partners and the person responsible for officiating the marriage as well as one or two witnesses.
● A marriage certificate once in the hands of the newly married couple takes on the status as a legal document.
● The marriage certificate will need to be translated into German if it is going to be used as a legal document for its owners to use when migrating to Germany. It can only act in its legal capacity if it, first of all, has been translated into German and secondly it has been signed and certified by a professional German translator who will vouch in writing that the translation is a true and accurate representation of the words written on the marriage certificate.

Many countries refuse to accept legal documents such as marriage certificates until they have been accurately translated into the country’s language where the marriage certificate is needed for the purpose of proving the identity of its owners.

This means a professional German translator once the translation has been completed will need to guarantee the accuracy of the translation by providing a signed certificate that states that the translation accurately represents the information provided on the marriage certificate.

In summary, the difference between a marriage certificate and a marriage license is merely that a marriage certificate has a legal role to play while a marriage license doesn’t.

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