Why Is There a Waiting Period for a Marriage Certificate Ordered Online?

Marriage certificates ordered online may be delayed for two reasons: processing time for the order and recording of the certificate. After a wedding takes place, the person who officiated the ceremony typically has up to 10 days to record the certificate. After that, once an order is placed online, it may take a day or more to process the order and several additional days for delivery of the certificate. A convenience fee or other charge may be required.

Once a marriage certificate is recorded with the county in which the ceremony took place, it is typically available to copy within one business day in some states, such as Nevada. As of September 2015, in Hawaii, couples may wait 60 or more days before receiving a copy of the marriage certificate due to the need to pay a marriage license fee. Couples who are married in Hawaii that need to receive the certificate earlier can order a certified copy online for an additional fee and pay the marriage license fee.

Copies of marriage certificates can only be ordered from the county in which the license was obtained and the ceremony took place. To obtain a marriage certificate, the marriage license must be valid, with the signatures of the bride, groom, person who officiated the ceremony and any witnesses, if required.