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Search Florida Marriage Records Online

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The following is for informational purposes only

Guide to Florida Marriage Records

Guide to Florida Marriage Records

Florida is one of the top three wedding destinations in the country. Following the end of lockdown, venues across the state had over a million ceremonies booked for the year. However, as a native citizen, you don't have to worry about any potential lines when requesting your marriage records.

Many couples need copies of their marriage certificates for legal reasons, while some just want copies on hand for future reference preemptively. Whether you need them now or want to avoid lines in the future, here are some of the essential steps to getting copies of your Florida marriage records.

What Are Florida Marriage Records

A Florida marriage record, frequently called a marriage certificate, guarantees the legitimacy of your marriage. It's the primary form of proof used in the US, and couples that don't have a record in the county database or Florida Department of Health cannot proceed with tasks like name changes and adjusting social security.

Note: Marriages abroad are recognized without a US marriage certificate. Couples may have to fill out state-specific verification that is found by contacting the Florida office of the Attorney General.

The marriage record application (called a marriage license application at this point) is extensive. It requires each person's social security number, origin of birth, and personal identifiers. However, the marriage record includes almost none of this information.

What Are Florida Marriage Records

Details of Florida marriage records typically include:

  • First and last names of spouses
  • Date of the ceremony
  • The county that licensed the wedding
  • Witness signatures

Where are Florida Marriage Records Stored?

Marriage records after June 6, 1927, to the present day, are kept by both the Bureau of Vital Statistics and the Circuit Court of the filing county. Any marriage before those dates is only accessible through Florida's State Archives.

However, you cannot access these files from Vital Statistics immediately after your wedding day. There's a minimum 60-day processing time before they're uploaded into the database. While this can be annoying for some couples, think of it as more time to adjust to married life. However, there are ways around this waiting period for people who need their records immediately.

Marriage License vs. Marriage Record

While hunting down your marriage record, you'll likely see it simultaneously called a marriage license. A marriage license is a document showing no factors, such as family ties or age requirements, are preventing a couple from being married.

The terms are used interchangeably because your marriage license becomes the record when it's returned to the county after the ceremony. When you request it, the government facility adds a raised seal to certify that it's from their offices.

Florida Marriage Statistics

Florida Marriage Statistics

With so many tourist weddings, Florida must maintain clear marriage statistics for its citizens. If the pools get mixed, it could lead to state programs being tweaked for couples living in another state.

Learning about the average Florida marriage, successful or not, helps people understand whether they're prepared to tie the knot. Remember that these numbers represent the average Florida marriage and cannot encompass a personal situation.

Some of the most relevant marriage statistics for Florida include:

  • Marriage Rates: Florida ranks fourteenth in the country with a marriage rate of 6.8 per 1000 people. Despite seeing an increase in the marriage rate starting in 2020, the overall numbers have dropped drastically over the past 30 years.
  • Average Marriage Length: The average length of first marriages in Florida is 8 years. Some speculate that marriages only last this long because the cutoff for a "short-term marriage" in Florida is 7 years, which heavily restricts alimony options.
  • Divorce Rates: Sadly, alongside its high marriage rates, Florida has an even higher divorce rate. At 3.4 divorces per 1000 people, over half of all unions in this state fail. However, this dismal number drops to an encouraging 13 percent when looking only at first marriages.
  • Remarriage Rates: Florida doesn't place a waiting period 3on remarriage after a divorce. Both men and women in Florida have remarriage rates close to 30 percent, 5 percent higher than the national average. Other surveys have shown that over 20 percent of Florida marriages include one partner with a previous partner.

How to Find Florida Marriage Records

How to Find Florida Marriage Records

The exact process of locating a Florida marriage record will vary between counties. It may even change depending on how many courthouses exist in that county. We recommend visiting the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics in Jacksonville for the most reliable and consistent experience.

However, additional options include third-party certificate services and going to the county clerk's office. Regardless of which option you decide on, you must bring the following information:

  • The county that issued the marriage license
  • Spouses' names before marriage
  • Ceremony date including month, day, and year
  • Government-valid photo ID

Online

Like many US states, Florida offers online certificate ordering through VitalChek. This third-party service makes requests on the applicant's behalf and dramatically streamlines the process.

However, VitalChek doesn't have direct access to Florida's vital records or the county court's databases. This means they must wait for the respective office to process the request, so VitalChek won't necessarily speed up the process.

Since you're using an intermediary service, VitalChek is pricier than personally ordering your marriage record. The first copy costs $22, quadruple the price of going yourself. There's also an additional $4 certification fee; without this, you're receiving an unofficial copy.

Offline

In-person orders can go through the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics or the County Clerk of the Circuit Court that filed the license. The ordering processes are nearly identical, the only difference being who to address payment to and send the letter.

If you live in or near Jacksonville, your best bet is to visit the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics in person at:

  • 1217 N Pearl Street, Jacksonville, Florida 32202

Applicants can go through the entire process in one day rather than waiting 2 to 3 months for their paperwork. There's also the tiny bonus of not paying the shipping and handling fee.

Download and print out form DH261 Application for Marriage Certificate. It requests some basic personal information but nothing too extensive. You will have to state your relationship to the named spouses. You should bring an official document proving your interest if you're not a direct relation.

The first certificate will cost $5, with any additional copies costing $4 each. Acceptable payment options include money orders, checks, and Visa/Mastercard. Cash is ONLY acceptable for in-person visits, and dishonored checks will incite a $15 penalty.

To keep costs down, you should be sure about what year the marriage took place. If Vital Statistics doesn't locate the record in the year you provided, it charges another $2 for every year they must search up to a maximum of $50.

The Bureau of Vital Statistics also accepts mail-in orders. This process uses the same form (DH261). It must include all supplementary documents, such as proof of relationship with spouses and a photocopy of a valid government photo ID—mail requests to Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics, PO Box 210, Jacksonville, FL 32231.

What Is NOT Included in Marriage Records and Potential Errors and Omissions

Applicants need cause or connection to order a certified marriage record, but anyone can easily access the unofficial versions. Luckily, Florida marriage records do not contain dangerous information that a criminal could use to commit fraud or steal your identity.

The information is restricted to names, a wedding date, and the marrying county. This information is likely found on the average person's social media pages. So, it's not what's included on the marriage record you should worry about, but how it's filled out.

Typos on the marriage record will cause multiple problems. The biggest is that they're harder to find. If the clerk searches for your name in their database, but it's misspelled on record, it won't pop up. Spouses must set up an appointment with the county court to amend their marriage records, as this task isn't possible through Vital Statistics.

District Court Directory

Anyone outside Jacksonville will have difficulty getting to the Bureau of Vital Statistics in person. Fear not; the process is nearly identical to that of visiting your local circuit court clerk. We've taken the initiative to list out the

Now that you know how to locate a marriage record, you still need to know who to call. Many offices welcome walk-ins, but it's often more comfortable to contact the office beforehand to set up an appointment or confirm the record's existence.

We've compiled a list of the top ten most populous Florida counties alongside the contact information for the district recorders or the court offices.

CountyClerk of the CourtPhone Number
Miami Dade CountyJuan Fernandez-Barquin(305) 275-1155
Broward CountyBrenda D. Forman(954) 931-6565
Palm Beach CountyJoseph Abruzzo(561) 355-6511
Hillsborough CountyCindy Stuart(813) 276-8100
Orange CountyTiffany Moore Russell(407) 836-2000
Duval CountyJody Phillips(904) 255-2000
Pinellas CountyKen Burke(727) 464-3341
Lee CountyKevin C. Karnes(239) 533-5000
Polk CountyStacy M. Butterfield(863) 534-4000
Brevard CountyRachel M. Sadoff(321) 637-5413

FAQ on Marriage Records in Florida

How long will it take to get a copy of my marriage record in Florida?

Visiting either the Bureau of Vital Statistics or your local Clerk of Courts will put your marriage record in your hands within the day. The only exception is if you're requesting an amendment to the information.

Applicants ordering over mail or phone must wait for their order to move up the queue. The average processing time for this is 3-5 business days. This estimate doesn't consider the shipping time to and from the office. Realistically, you should expect a return anywhere from 1-2 weeks with these methods.

VitalChek offers 'Overnight' Rush orders. Remember that this DOES NOT speed up the processing times; only the shipping speed. So, you'll still be waiting at least 10 business days.

Who can request marriage records in Florida?

Florida marriage records are public records. Anyone can access the information through online indexes and databases, so long as they know the correct search information. However, certified copies are only available to the following groups:

  • Named spouses
  • Direct family (siblings, children, parents, etc.)
  • Court ordered release
  • Attorneys with a letter of representation

Can I request an online or digital copy of a marriage record?

Yes, you can order online through VitalChek for a higher fee. Also, some counties, like Hillsborough County, have unique online ordering forms. However, marriage records are not sent as digital documents and must go through the mail or be handed to you in person. Physical marriage records allow Florida offices to add a raised seal that certifies the copy.

How much does a marriage record cost?

The Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics charges on the lower end for certified records. The initial copy is only $5, and they do not charge a "Certification Fee" like some other states. However, there are a few instances where you may experience extra fees, including:

Additional fees occur for the following reasons:

  • Dishonored check - $15 penalty
  • Extra copies - $4 each copy
  • Additional year search fee - $2 each year

Separate Florida counties have minor differences in the cost of their marriage records but typically do not exceed $10. For example, Duval County only charges $1 per page, while Miami-Dade records cost $9.

Ordering through VitalChek may have your records arrive a few days in advance, but you can expect to pay triple the price for that perk. Most VitalChek marriage records will cost between $30 to $50 if you want a RUSH order.