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Arizona Marriage Records

A marriage record is an official document containing information about voluntary marriages in a state. It also serves as proof of marriage between a couple. You can find the following information in a marriage record. 

  • Names of the spouses
  • Date of the marriage 
  • Location of the marriage 
  • Registration number
  • The officiating person (the individual responsible for officiating the marriage ceremony, such as a clerk or religious leader)
  • Witnesses

Unlike other states in the United States, where marriage records are kept with a central state body, Arizona's records are maintained at the county level. Appointed Clerks of the Superior Courts hold marriage records as far back as 1950. However, if you are looking for a marriage record before this period, you may find older documents with the Arizona State Archives (depending on the county).

What Types of Marriage Records are available in Arizona

Different types of marriage records are available in Arizona, including marriage certificates and marriage licenses. However, these two aren't the same. Marriage certificates prove that two people are married, while a marriage license is a document issued by a county clerk permitting a couple to get married. 

Marriage Certificate:

A marriage certificate is the official document that proves a marriage took place. They are issued by the state of Arizona to newly-wed couples and are kept with the County Clerk. The state will only award a marriage certificate after the marriage ceremony occurs and the officiant has mailed the marriage license back to the Clerk. A marriage certificate contains the following details:

  • Full names of the spouses
  • State/county where the marriage was finalized
  • Date of marriage
  • Names and signatures of witnesses
  • Name of officiant of the ceremony

Marriage certificates are publicly available and can be requested by interested persons at the County Clerk’s office. However, only authorized persons may receive certified copies of a marriage certificate. These persons include:

  • Persons whose names appear on the document.
  • Immediate family members.
  • Authorized persons such as attorneys and law enforcement.

Marriage License:

Couples looking to get married must get a marriage license from any of the 15 counties in Arizona, according to the Statutes of Arizona State. The license needs to be acquired before the marriage ceremony since the purpose of the license is to grant the couple permission to go ahead with the marriage ceremony. 

Note: In Arizona, marriage licenses are only valid for a year. Also, they can only be issued by the Clerk of the Superior Courts and to persons over 18. However, Section 25-102 of Arizona Revised Statutes exempts individuals below the legal age but not below the minimum age of 16. Such individuals will need to meet the following requirements:

  • They must have received consent from at least one parent or legal guardian
  • Their partner should not be at least three years older than they are.
  • If they possess an emancipation order
  • If a Judge of the Superior Court has given them a court

Are Arizona Marriage Records Public?

Yes, Arizona marriage records are publicly available as they are considered part of the Arizona Public Records. However, only authorized persons or individuals who have a personal interest in the records may access certified copies. Authorized individuals include:

  • Immediate family members
  • Legal representatives 
  • Authorized individuals 
  • A spouse (must be older than 18) whose name is on the record. 

Note: These records typically have sensitive information about those involved and are kept safe if involved parties want to make any alterations. As a result, marriage records are usually more challenging to locate and obtain than other publicly available records.

How to Find Marriage Records in Arizona

The Clerk of the Superior Court in the county where the marriage license was issued is responsible for keeping marriage records in Arizona. To find marriage records in Arizona, residents can request a marriage record search through the county clerks of superior courts. However, certified copies are only available to eligible parties. Unauthorized individuals may be given uncertified copies. 

You can make a marriage records search request in person at the clerk's office. Requests can also be made online. Visit the court’s clerk’s website, navigate the public record request page, complete an online form, and submit it. Individuals looking for marriage records would need to provide the following information. 

  • The record case number
  • The full name of the parties involved
  • The particular documents they require;
  • The filing and marriage dates
  • Their contact information, such as their phone number or email address, in case any inquiries about the requested data should come up.

Note: Although marriage records show that an individual was once married in Arizona, it does not mean they are still married. Interested persons can look for divorce records, also held by the County clerks, to know if someone is still married. These records can be found in the same manner as marriage records. 

How to Get a Marriage License in Arizona

The following are the procedures for obtaining a marriage license in Arizona:

  • The spouses-to-be must visit the Clerk of the Superior Court.
  • Complete the marriage license application form. This can be found at the Clerk’s office or on the county website.
  • Each party must bring some means of identification. This could be a Driver’s License, ID Card, or Passport.
  • Parties must provide proof that they are 18 and older. If they are younger, they must provide either a certified copy of an Emancipation Order or a parental consent form notarized by the Clerk's Office. The form must be accompanied by a parent(s) or legal guardian's identification.
  • The required application fee must be paid. This fee varies from county to county.
  • Once the application has been made and the license fee has been paid, the Clerk will issue the license.
  • Couples can get married once they receive their marriage license, as there is no waiting period in Arizona. 

Note: Marriage licenses are only valid for 12 months.

Who can obtain Marriage Records in Arizona?

Since marriage records are sensitive documents, the public is not allowed to have access to certified copies. Only a few people are qualified to receive these copies. They are as follows:

  • The party whose name is in the marriage certificate, license, or affidavit. 
  • Immediate family members of the spouses-to-be. This includes fathers, mothers, children, and siblings.
  • Legal representatives of the proposed spouses. 
  • Authorized government officials such as law enforcement.

Individuals seeking marriage records can do so at the Clerk of the Superior Court in the county where the document was issued.  

Can You Lookup Online Marriage Records For Free in Arizona

Yes, you can look up online marriage records for free in Arizona. Residents can request a person's marriage records online from the county clerk’s website for free. However, there may be a need to pay additional fees if a certified copy is being requested. 

Record seekers can also use third-party sites to access marriage records. Third-party sites are convenient to use since individuals can request records from the comforts of their homes. They are also more time-efficient than going through government websites. Additionally, they offer more flexible search options, allowing users to search for marriage records using various criteria such as names, dates, and locations.

Note: Using third-party sites may be more convenient but may also come at a fee.

Is Arizona a Common Law State for Marriage?

Arizona does not acknowledge common-law marriages and will not issue licenses for such marriages. But if the relationship is recognized in another state, Arizona will recognize the common-law marriage between both parties. Arizona also recognizes domestic partnerships but only for limited purposes, such as when a patient is incapacitated and unable to communicate important healthcare decisions.

Couples wishing to become domestic partners must register with their county clerk in person. They must meet the following requirements:

  • They must be 18 or above. 
  • The couple must be unrelated by blood to the extent that their marriage would be allowed under Arizona law.
  • Parties must have the requisite mental capacity 
  • The unmarried and not in another domestic partnership
  • They must unequivocally state that they are each other’s sole partner
  • Pay a registration fee

Note: A common law marriage is a kind of marriage without a formal ceremony or marriage license. They are formed based on the actions and behavior of the parties, such as cohabitation or entering a relationship with the intent to marry.

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