What’s the difference between a Marriage License and a Marriage Certificate?
A marriage license is a legal document that you obtain from a county/local courthouse (or marriage license office) prior to your wedding that states you and your spouse are legally eligible to marry. You and your spouse will sign the marriage license before or after your wedding ceremony takes place. Your officiant will return the signed marriage license back to the county/local courthouse after your wedding ceremony and you will be issued a marriage certificate.
A marriage certificate is a legal document proving you and your spouse were married at a specific time and location. Your county/local courthouse will issue you a marriage certificate after your officiant returns your completed marriage license. Most couples will receive their marriage certificate in the mail 2-4 weeks after the wedding ceremony takes place.
Your marriage license and marriage certificate may be two separate documents OR your marriage license and marriage certificate may be on the same document. Every county/local courthouse is different.