It may seem odd to gather knowledge about a subject’s marriage and divorce history; a person’s private life should stay just that, but if you want to get honest to God answers, spouses are not short on information and the capacity to discuss it.
The Government knows how to keep records
One thing that is standard, a place one could get started… the Governments long list of to do’s. If you decide to get married, there are a few steps that you have to take before tying the knot. Firstly, you must procure a marriage license. Obtaining a marriage record in Minnesota is fairly easy, albeit a little expensive, provided that neither party has a criminal record and both, if divorced or widowed, have the correct papers in order before applying.
These records, as well as potential information in the local newspaper will give away the first clues
Fun facts about Minnesota
- They have been officially issuing vital records since 1870, and it is the duty of each county to keep records of its residents.
- In 1907 the State took over birth and death records; however individual counties remained in charge of marriage records.
- A marriage record will usually contain
- Information about the names of the two getting married,.
- The date and place of the marriage
- Occasionally the names of the parents of those getting married,
- Sometimes the witnesses to the marriage.
When a marriage record is kept by the state it might also include the residence of the couple and the maiden names of the couple’s mothers. Big clues number two.
If you want to know more about getting a marriage license in specific counties in Minnesota, here is a good website that you can search by county and find out exactly what you need to do to get your license (http://www.usmarriagelaws.com/search/united_states/minnesota/index.shtml).
So where exactly do I look?
If someone wanted to apply for a marriage license, the two must apply at the County Registrar. Both of them have to show a driver’s license and fill out a specific form in order to be granted a license. In several counties both the bride and groom must be present to apply, but in some it is only necessary for either the bride or the groom to be present. There is usually a fee of $100 which must be paid at the time of application—so if there’s money exchanging hands there will have to be records!
Then, if your license is approved, it will be mailed to them after a five day waiting period, and must be signed at the wedding ceremony by official presiding over the ceremony, as well as by two other witnesses. The document exists and gives a very linear timeline.
There are some exceptions that apply in special cases.
- If either the bride or the groom has previously been committed of a criminal felony, the waiting period to receive the marriage license is 30 days instead of five.
- If either of the applicants is under the age of 18, they will in all likelihood require a parent to be present.
- If either of the applicants is a widow or a widower, they must be able to provide the death date of their deceased spouse, however usually there is no extra paperwork required.
- Lastly, if either or both of the applicants are divorced, they must provide a divorce decree and be able to state the date, county, and state where they were granted the divorce.
Usually there are no delays in receiving the marriage license after the time of application, unless the method of payment is not accepted (the check bounces) or either of the applicants, whether widowed or divorced, does not have the correct paperwork.; these are things to get into if this is an applicant that will be in charge with several high priority tasks at once.
So what else might the state require? Blood test…? Although this would be difficult to get a hold of to begin with, the state of Minnesota DOES NOT require blood tests to receive such a license or certificate. No luck there if you need a DNA sample!
So, finally… where can you go (the location) to get this info? If you need another copy of the marriage license, you can usually get it from the county in which it was issued and the same with divorce records.
The best way to go about this process is to contact your local Country Registrar’s office and ask about ordering your marriage records. There is usually a fee required before the copy will be granted. Marriage records can also sometimes be found in online databases, but these are not official copies and can’t be used in legal proceedings. However, if you simply want to find out if a new hire or client other has recently married, and hoped to use that as a personal resource… this can be very useful, easy, and fun!
Here is a great website from the Minnesota Official Marriage System website (http://www.mncounty.com/Modules/Certificates/Marriage/Default.aspx) that has a large database that allows you to search by county and is free and easy to use.
Categories: State News and Tips