Marriage License vs. Certificate?

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Marriage License vs. Certificate?

Post by twylitemyst » 09 Jun 2011, 16:50

Hi all,

Question regarding marriage documents:

Grandparents applied for license in Philadelphia 03/20/1935 but eloped in Maryland same day since MD had no waiting period laws.

Do I need to have an apostilled MD marriage certificate AND an apostilled PA marriage license for the Philadelphia consulate? Or is just the MD Certificate enough?

Many thanks for your help!

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Re: Marriage License vs. Certificate?

Post by johnnyonthespot » 09 Jun 2011, 18:29

This is a problem which varies depending on where the marriage took place and what documents are actually available.

First off, did the Pennsylvania marriage license even come into play in the actual Maryland marriage? If not, then it is meaningless and you should ignore it entirely. But, if it did, then yes, you need both documents.

The consulate wants a document (or two; New York used to have separate marriage licenses and certificates for example) which shows the names, dates and places of birth of the bride and groom, along with the names and places of birth of each of their parents. And of course, the date and place of the wedding, the officiator (is that a word?), and so on.

In some states some of this information is no longer or never was available. If I recall correctly, Texas some time ago destroyed all copies of marriage licenses and kept only marriage certificates which do not contain all the info required by the consulate. Obviously, this has created some problems which must be worked out on a case-by-case basis.

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