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Utah Court Records

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Utah Marriage Records

Utah marriage records are official documents that provide information about married couples in the Beehive State. Such records may contain the bride and groom's full names, wedding dates, parents' names, and marriage locations. Marriage documents may also include the couple's address, age, past marital history, occupation, and details of the wedding officiant. Marriage records are vital for numerous reasons. For instance, couples may require certified records when changing names, updating official documents, or applying for spousal benefits. Utah marriage records are also used in genealogical history and research. County clerks' offices typically manage these records, and they are considered part of Utah Family Court Records.

What Types of Marriage Records are available in Utah

Utah marriage records exist in different forms, ranging from the applications submitted for marriage licenses to the public marriage data published in online indexes. However, the two most common types of marriage records include marriage certificates and marriage licenses. 

Utah Marriage Certificate:

A Utah marriage certificate is an official document that confirms two people were legally wed in the state after obtaining a marriage license. Marriage certificates are created after a wedding and serve as proof of the civil union. Parties in a marriage can obtain certified copies of their marriage record by contacting the Utah Vital Records office. Applications can either be done online or at a local health department office. 

Utah Marriage License:

In Utah, marriage licenses serve as official permits, granting the named parties the right to have a solemnized wedding. Such licenses are vital for couples wishing to marry in Utah. Both parties must apply to the local county clerk's office to obtain a license in Utah. Licenses are issued before a wedding and remain valid for a fixed period, typically 32 days. During the validity period, couples must have their wedding solemnized by a registered officiant. Couples must re-apply and pay for a new license if a wedding does not occur before the license expires. 

Are Utah Marriage Records Public?

Utah marriage records become public after 75 years. Residents and non-residents can generally look up older marriage records at the Utah Division of Archives and Records Service or by searching the Utah Historical Society. However, records created more recently can only be obtained by eligible persons. Multiple agencies maintain information on records filed within the last 75 years. For instance, the  Office of Vital Records and Statistics maintains records of marriage certificates filed between 1978 and 2010. Record seekers can also obtain records filed before or after this period by applying at the county clerk's office where the license was issued.  

How to Find Marriage Records in Utah

Members of the public can find marriage records in Utah with the following general steps.

Step 1. Identify when the Record was Created

The first step to finding marriage records in Utah is determining when the marriage took place. That's because multiple agencies maintain marriage files, depending on the origin date. Records of marriages that occured over seven decades ago are maintained by the state archive, while more recent records can be found by either contacting the Utah Office of Vital Statistics or the clerk's office.

Step 2. Get Information about the Record

Requests for marriage records must include enough specific information to assist with the search, such as the full name of both spouses, the name of the county where the license was issued, and the date. Requesters may also need to provide valid copies of a government-issued ID such as a driver's license, passport or state ID. 

Step 3. Submit Application

To make record retrieval easier, record custodians typically supply printed application forms. Completed application form must be sent to the record custodian. Depending on the agency, applicants may be able to submit requests by mail or online. Mail requests for short-form certified records should be sent to the Vital Records office at:

Office of Vital Records and Statistics
Utah Department of Health and Human Services
288 North 1460 West
P.O. Box 141012
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-1012

How to Get a Marriage License in Utah

The steps for obtaining a marriage license in Utah vary slightly depending on the county. However,  in general, the process is as follows.

Step 1. Meet the State Regulations

In Utah, couples who wish to obtain a marriage license must be eligible to marry, as specified by state laws. The applicant must be 16 years old to marry in Utah. However, unlike applicants 18 years older who do not need permission from anyone, applicants aged 16 or 17 must provide signed consent from a parent or guardian. In addition, both parties must be unmarried and have no direct relationship. (e.g., siblings).

Note: Although marriage between first cousins is generally prohibited, state laws provide an exception for parties over 65 or over 55 years old and unable to reproduce.

Step 2. Collect the Necessary Information

To apply for a marriage license, both parties will need to provide some information, such as the following:

  • Social security number for both applicants (except if an applicant doesn't have one)
  • Full name for both applicants (first, middle, and last)
  • Date and place of birth of both applicants
  • Parent names for both applicants (mother's maiden name included)
  • Place of birth for both parents

In addition to this, applicants must provide a valid government-issued photo ID such as a driver's license, passport, state ID card, or birth certificate. 

Step 3. Submit the Application and Pay the Fee

Applications for a license are generally submitted in person at the county clerk's office. However, some counties provide options for online applications. Both parties must have an email address to obtain a digital license. Once a license is issued, couples must have a wedding ceremony during the 32-day validity period. Acceptable persons who may officiate a wedding include:

  • Minister, Rabbi or Priest
  • County Clerk
  • Native American Spiritual Adviser
  • Judges

Public officers such as the Governor, mayors, state attorney general, state treasurer, and Utah legislature members can also officiate wedding ceremonies. After marriage, the officiant signs the marriage certificate and files it alongside the license at the county clerk's office, where the original license was issued.

Who can obtain Marriage Records in Utah?

The age of a Utah marriage record determines who can access it. Generally, Utah marriage records older than 75 years are considered public and can be accessed by almost anyone. Requesters can obtain copies of such records without meeting any special eligibility requirements. In contrast, records created within the last 75 years are classified as vital records, meaning they can only be accessed by a smaller group of eligible persons. These include:

  • Parties named on the record (bride or groom)
  • Immediate family members
  • Guardians or parents of persons on record
  • Designated legal representative 

Can You Lookup Online Marriage Records For Free in Utah

Members of the general public can check for online marriage records for free in Utah, depending on the type of record and when it was created. Public marriage indexes provide access to a wide collection of data. Record seekers can search through such indexes using a spouse's first or last name and the county where the marriage occurred.

Searchers may also be able to find free marriage records online using third-party registers or platforms. Operating as private entities independent of the Utah state government or any official agency, such sites provide access to records compiled from multiple jurisdictions across the state. Access to some records may require essential information, such as the subject's name or marriage location. 

Is Utah a Common Law State for Marriage?

Utah is frequently thought to be a common-law marriage state. However, the rules and standards differ slightly from other states. Under state laws, couples living together can request that the courts recognize their relationship as a marriage, even if they have not gotten a marriage license or held a ceremony. If the request is approved, both parties are considered married.

To have a relationship recognized as a marriage by the court, applicants will need to meet the following:

  • Both parties must be old enough and indicate their consent
  • Both parties must have lived together for a period
  • Both parties must hold themselves out to the public as if married
  • Both parties must not be directly or closely related.

In addition, applicants must file the paperwork for the marriage during the relationship or (in the event of a separation or death) a year after it ends. Unmarried couples living together who wish to establish rights without entering into a formal union may be able to do so using cohabitation agreements. Cohabitation agreements can be used to set specific terms for different things, including financial payments, asset division, and debt division.

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