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How to Find Kentucky Marriage Records

A marriage record refers to all the documents that provide information about the formal recognition of the union of two people, as partners in a family unit. Kentucky records marriages between same-sex couples as well as unions between men and women. Various state officials maintain these records and provide them to eligible individuals upon request.

Are Kentucky Marriage Records Available to the Public?

Marriage records are considered public records in the State of Kentucky, as they are records created from the state’s court system. As a result, they are available to anyone who can provide the relevant information for a record search and pay all the required fees. The information the requester must provide includes:

  • Full names of both parties in the marriage (including maiden of the bride)
  • Month, day, and year of the marriage
  • County where the marriage license was issued

Family Court records can include marriage records and divorce records. These records contain personal information of those involved and their maintenance is critical should anyone involved wish to make changes. Because of this both marriage and divorce records can be considered more difficult to locate and obtain than other public records, and may not be available through government sources or third party public record websites.

What are Kentucky Marriage Records?

Kentucky marriage records contain details of marriages, legally entered into, in the State of Kentucky. While some records are prepared before the solemnization of such unions, others are provided after marriage ceremonies to serve as proof of state-recognized unions.

Both government websites and organizations may offer divorce and marriage records. Similarly, third party public record websites can also provide these types of records. But because third party organizations are not operated or sponsored by the government, record availability may vary. Further, marriage and divorce records are considered highly private and are often sealed, meaning availability of these types of records cannot be guaranteed.

What are Kentucky Marriage Licenses?

A Kentucky marriage license is a legal document that serves as an approval for two people to be legally married in the state of Kentucky. A couple who wishes to get married in Kentucky must obtain a marriage license for the marriage to be considered legal. Marriage licenses are obtained from the Offices of Kentucky County Clerks. Any two persons can apply for a marriage license in the State of Kentucky, provided both of them are over 18 years, can provide acceptable IDs, and pay the required fee.

How to Change Your Name After Marriage in Kentucky

The first step to changing your name after marriage in Kentucky is to obtain a marriage license. A certified marriage license is the document that facilitates a name change.

Parties should first visit a Kentucky social security office to request a name change on their social security number. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is in charge of this process. Parties must submit an application form and attach a legal name change document and proof of identity. In Kentucky, interested parties must apply for a replacement driver's license with the new name within the first ten days of a name change. Proof of residency, marriage certificate or court order, and a social security card displaying their new name to their county circuit clerk is required.

What are Kentucky Marriage Certificates?

A Kentucky marriage certificate is a legal document that provides irrefutable evidence that a couple has entered a legally recognized marriage in the State of Kentucky. A marriage certificate will include the:

  • Names of both parties to the marriage
  • Location of the marriage ceremony
  • Date of the marriage ceremony
  • Name of the official who performed the marriage

In Kentucky, marriage certificates are issued by the Office of Vital Statistics. This office has records of Kentucky marriages dating back to June of 1958. For certificates and records prior to this date, contact the Clerk of the County where the marriage license was issued.

Kentucky Formal Marriage Licenses

A formal marriage license, in the State of Kentucky, is the typical marriage license issued to an eligible couple who put in an application at any County Clerk’s Office in the state.

Kentucky Common-Law Marriage Licenses

Common-law marriage is a relationship between two people who live together and present themselves as a couple but did not obtain a marriage license or have an official ceremony. Kentucky laws do not allow for common-law marriages, but common-law marriages contracted in a state in which such marriages are valid will be acknowledged in Kentucky.

How Do I Obtain a Marriage License in Kentucky?

In Kentucky, any two persons can apply for a marriage license provided they are both over 18 years. Underage applicants (those between 16-17 years) must have parental consents. Licenses for underage applicants can only be issued in the county of residence of the bride. Applicants under the age of 16 will only be issued a license if the bride is pregnant and a court order, directing the clerk to issue the license, has been issued by a Kentucky district court judge.

A Kentucky marriage license is obtained from any County Clerk in the state. The fee for obtaining a marriage license is $35. However, this may vary from county to county. Both applicants must be present when applying for a license and must provide acceptable form of IDs. Acceptable forms of identification in Kentucky are:

  • Driver’s License
  • Government-issuedPhoto ID
  • Passport
  • Original Birth Certificate
  • Social Security Card

A marriage license is valid for 30 days after issuance, and it can be used anywhere in the state. Both applicants will be required to complete an application and provide the following information:

  • Name and address of each applicant
  • Date of birth and current age of each applicant
  • Place of birth of each applicant (if born in KY, provide county; if born in another state, provide state)
  • Father’s name of each applicant
  • Mother’s name of each applicant (first and maiden name)
  • Current marital status of each applicant
  • Number of previous marriages of each applicant
  • Occupation of each applicant
  • Race of each applicant
  • Relationship between applicants (if applicable; first and second cousins cannot marry in KY)
  • Proposed date of marriage

There is no waiting period to receive a marriage license in Kentucky and a blood test is not required.

How Do I Obtain a Copy of a Marriage Certificate in Kentucky?

To obtain a certified copy of a Kentucky marriage certificate, submit a request to the Office of Vital Statistics. The Office of Vital Statistics has, on file, all certificates from June 1958 to the present. To obtain copies of a certificate prepared before this date, contact the County Clerk where the marriage license was issued. Anyone requesting a marriage certificate in Kentucky is required to fill an application form, providing relevant information for the search to be conducted and then pay a fee of $6. The fee covers the cost of the record search and is non-refundable, even if the certificate is not located. Requests for marriage certificates can be submitted online, by mail, or in person.

A request submitted by mail should include a completed Application For A Certified Copy Of Marriage Certificate form along with a check/money order for the search fee (made payable to the Kentucky State Treasurer). Send these to:

Office of Vital Statistics
Cabinet of Health and Family Services
275 East Main Street, 1E-A
Frankfort, KY 40621

Requests by mail can take up to 30 days to fulfil.

In-person requests are also accepted at the Office of Vital Statistics in Frankfort, KY. Complete the Application For A Certified Copy Of Marriage Certificate form and take it to the office between 8.00 a.m. and 3.30 p.m., from Monday to Friday (except on state holidays), along with the required fee. Cash payments are accepted for in-person requests.