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Mississippi Court Records

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Mississippi Marriage Records

Mississippi marriage records contain information on couples married within the Magnolia State. Such records contain vital details such as the name of the spouses, the date of the wedding ceremony, and the location of the marriage. Marriage records may also contain information provided during a license application and the officiant's name. Local and state government agencies maintain such documents. Members of the public can inspect or request such records by contacting the appropriate office.

Note: Mississippi marriage records are vital for various reasons. Married couples may require certified copies of a marriage record to provide proof of marriage when applying for spousal benefits, renewing a driver's license, or changing a name. 

What Types of Marriage Records are available in Mississippi

Mississippi maintains different types of marriage records, including marriage certificates and licenses. However, although both are sometimes used interchangeably, licenses and certificates differ. 

Mississippi Marriage Certificate:

A Mississippi marriage certificate is an official government-issued document that proves two people are married. Certificates are created after the wedding ceremony and may be used for legal processes that require proof of marriage, such as a name change. Eligible parties can obtain certified copies of a marriage certificate by contacting the county clerk where the license was issued. Members of the public can also obtain marriage statements from state agencies. 

Mississippi Marriage License

A Mississippi marriage license is a permit issued by the local county circuit clerk that grants named parties the right to marry within the state. Licenses are a primary marriage requirement and must be obtained before any ceremony. To obtain a marriage license, intended couples must apply in writing, including their name, ages, and addresses. Marriage license applications may also contain the names and addresses of each applicant's parents and documents showing each party is legally old enough to obtain a license and marry. 

Are Mississippi Marriage Records Public?

While some information records may be publicly accessible, certified records are generally private. Under Mississippi statutes (MS Code § 41-57-2), records maintained by the Mississippi Bureau of Vital Statistics are exempted from public access. Inquirers can only obtain such records by proving they have a "legitimate and tangible interest" in the documents. Certified copies of such records are generally restricted to eligible parties, such as:

  • Individuals named on the record (spouses)
  • Parents or legal guardians of either spouse
  • Siblings, children, or grandchildren of either spouse
  • A legal representative of any of the listed above

How to Find Marriage Records in Mississippi

Almost anyone can obtain marriage records in Mississippi by following several steps.

Step 1. Collect the Necessary Information 

To find marriage records in Mississippi, you'll need to provide some details related to the record. Some of the generally required information includes:

  • Name of both spouses (first, middle, and last name)
  • Date of marriage (month, day, year)
  • Place of marriage (city, county, and state)
  • The location where the license was issued (city, county, and state)

You may also be required to provide a copy of a valid, government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, military identification card, US passport, or a state-issued ID card.

Step 2. Contact the Record Custodian

Various state and county agencies maintain marriage records in Mississippi. For instance, the Mississippi Vital Records Office (under the Department of Health) processes requests for marriage records filed between 1926 and 1938 and from January 1, 1942, to the present. Record seekers can also obtain marriage records by contacting the circuit court clerk's office in the county where the license was issued.

Govt agencies often provide multiple options for applying. Case in point, residents can obtain certified copies of a marriage record by submitting an application in person at the Vital Records Ridgeland office at 222 Marketridge Drive. The office opens between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. from Monday through Friday. Alternatively, residents can obtain records by mailing a completed application to the following address:



MS 39215-1700

Step 3. Pay the Fee

Government agencies charge a refundable fee, typically covering the cost of searching for a record and providing one certified copy. Record seekers are issued a "Not on File" statement if no records are found. Requesters who want more than one copy will be expected to pay additional fees for each copy issued during the same request. 

How to Get a Marriage License in Mississippi

To get legally married in Mississippi, you'll need a license issued by a county clerk. Anyone can obtain a license by following several general steps.

Step 1. Determine your Eligibility

Marriage licenses are only issued to applicants who meet the state requirements for eligibility. First, applicants must be at least 21 years old. Anyone applicant younger than 21 (at least 17 for males and 15 for females) will need to have a signed parent or guardian consent to obtain a license. Like most US states, Mississippi has no residency requirement for applications. However, the wedding ceremony must be performed in the state.

Step 2. Provide Necessary Information and Documents

As part of the application process, both parties must provide some general information, some of which include:

  • Name of both applicants (first, maiden, and last)
  • Date of birth 
  • State of birth 
  • Age, race, and sex
  • Highest level of education 
  • Details of any previous marriage 
  • Parents full name
  • Current occupation

Applicants will also be required to provide supporting documents to show their age and address. Acceptable options include a birth certificate, driver's license, US passport, or an insurance certificate. Parties in previous marriages must have a copy of a divorce decree or death certificate.

Step 3. Submit Application

Most counties require both parties (bride and groom) to appear before the circuit clerk when applying. Some counties allow unscheduled walk-in applications, while others operate with scheduled appointments. During the application, you'll be expected to have valid identification or some document that shows proof of age. You'll also need to pay the filing fee for the license. Marriage licenses in Mississippi generally cost at least $37. Acceptable forms of payment may include cash or credit card. 

Can You Lookup Online Marriage Records For Free in Mississippi

Depending on when the marriage occured, details of the union may be available online on public indexes maintained by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Alternatively, searchers can look up some marriage records for free using third-party platforms. Such sites provide access to records compiled from multiple jurisdictions while operating as private entities independent of any state government agency. Access to some records may require essential information, such as the subject's name or marriage location in Mississippi.

Is Mississippi a Common Law State for Marriage?

Common law marriages are no longer recognized in Mississippi. Although common law marriages were permitted in the state at one point, such unions were abolished in 1956. Nevertheless, the state recognizes the validity of unions created before April 1, 1965. Mississippi also accepts the validity of any common-law marriage initiated in a state that recognizes this type of union.

Common-law marriages are a type of marriage where two people are considered married even though they did not purchase a marriage license or hold a formal wedding ceremony. Such marriages are permitted in several US states, such as Colorado, Iowa, and Rhode Island. Some of the general requirements for creating a common-law marriage include the following:

  • Cohabitation: Both parties must have been living together for a specific period (up to seven years in some states)
  • Capacity: Both parties must be old enough and have the mental capacity to make the decision
  • Marital Status: Both parties must be single and unrelated

In addition, couples must act and hold themselves out as married to their immediate social circle and extended community.

Note: Non-married persons living together in Mississippi who wish to create some rights may opt to adopt a cohabitation agreement. However, although such arrangements can help set the responsibilities and rights of each party, they do not provide the same rights as married couples.

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