westvirginiaCourtRecords.us is a privately owned website that is not owned or operated by any state government agency.
Notice

CourtRecords.us is not a consumer reporting agency as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and does not assemble or evaluate information for the purpose of supplying consumer reports.

You understand that by clicking “I Agree” you consent to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy agree not to use information provided by CourtRecords.us for any purpose under the FCRA, including to make determinations regarding an individual’s eligibility for personal credit, insurance, employment, or for tenant screening.

This website contains information collected from public and private resources. CourtRecords.us cannot confirm that information provided below is accurate or complete. Please use information provided by CourtRecords.us responsibly.

You understand that by clicking “I Agree”, CourtRecords.us will conduct only a preliminary people search of the information you provide and that a search of any records will only be conducted and made available after you register for an account or purchase a report.

West Virginia Court Records

WestVirginiaCourtRecords.us is not a consumer reporting agency as defined by the FCRA and does not provide consumer reports. All searches conducted on WestvirginiaCourtRecords.us are subject to the Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.

disclaimer

West Virginia Marriage Records

West Virginia marriage records are government-issued certificates affirming the union of two married people. They include information about the location of the marriage ceremony and the people involved in the union. West Virginia marriage records also contain the full names of the bride and groom, their ages at the time of marriage, the date of the marriage, the residences of the couple, and the birthplaces of the bride and groom. In addition, marriage records may list the couple's occupation, the church of marriage, the county where the marriage took place, names of ministers or priests, and names of witnesses to the marriage.

Note: The West Virginia Department of Health Vital Registration Office is the state's official repository of marriage records.

What Types of Marriage Records are available in West Virginia

There are two types of marriage records in West Virginia: marriage certificates and marriage licenses.

Marriage Certificate:

West Virginia marriage certificates are state-issued certificates given to couples after their wedding. They provide proof that a couple is legally married. Marriage certificates have no validity period. They only become invalid through an annulment of the marriage or divorce. West Virginia marriage certificates are used for official and legal purposes such as passport application, child legitimacy, and genealogical research.

Marriage License:

A marriage license is a legal document obtained by the bride and groom before their marriage. The West Virginia marriage license gives legal permission to the persons named on the license to get married. Also, it confirms to the authorities that no conditions disqualify either party from a legal marriage.

Per Chapter 48-2-101 of the West Virginia Code (WVC), intending couples must obtain a marriage license issued by the County Clerk before the official marriage ceremony. Marriages conducted without obtaining a marriage license are void, and parties do not attain the legal status of husband and wife. In addition, parties obtaining marriage licenses must be 18 or older. Persons under 18 may obtain West Virginia marriage licenses after providing signed and acknowledged affirmation that they are not entering the marriage under duress (Chapter 48-2-301).

West Virginia marriage licenses are valid for 60 days from the issue date. If the couple does not get married within the stipulated period, the marriage licenses expire, and the couple must apply for new marriage licenses. After the wedding, the officiant performing the ceremony signs the marriage license and returns it to the County Clerk's Office to issue the marriage certificate. 

Are West Virginia Marriage Records Public?

West Virginia marriage records older than 50 years are public. Per Chapter 16-5-27 of the WVC, marriage records are confidential and not open to the general public. Per the law, marriage records in West Virginia must be 50 years and older before they become public records. However, eligible persons and persons mandated by court order may access the marriage records.

How to Find Marriage Records in West Virginia

West Virginia marriage records e are available at the County Clerk's Office. In addition, eligible parties can obtain certified copies of West Virginia marriage licenses for marriages conducted from 1964 to date from the Vital Registration Office of the Department of Health.

West Virginia residents may order marriage records in person or by mail. Requesting marriage records in person is the fastest way to obtain marriage records in West Virginia. The state provides a same-day walk-in service at the Vital Registration Office, where requesters can get marriage records within 15 minutes. To shorten the wait time, record seekers can fill out the Application for Certified Marriage Certificate Form before arriving at the office. Persons ordering West Virginia marriage records by mail can complete the application form and supporting documentation to the Vital Registration Office at:

Vital Registration Office

350 Capitol Street, Room 165

Charleston, WV 25301-3701

It costs $12 to obtain a copy of West Virginia marriage records. The fee includes a search fee. In-person requesters can pay the fees with cash, check, or money order, while persons ordering marriage records by mail may pay the fees with a check or money order. All applications for West Virginia marriage records must include a color photocopy of a valid government-issued identification card.

How to Get a Marriage License in West Virginia

Marriage licenses and marriage certificates are two distinct documents with different legal functions. While marriage licenses are legal permits obtained before the wedding, stating that two people are legally allowed to get married, the court issues marriage certificates after the wedding, confirming that the couple is lawfully married.

West Virginia residents must meet the following requirements to obtain marriage licenses in the state:

  • Persons under 18 but above 16 cannot obtain a marriage license with a person four years older.
  • Persons under 18 but over 16 must provide the County Clerk with a signed statement saying they are not coerced into the marriage.
  • Applicants under 18 but up to 16 must have written notarized consent from their parents or legal guardians. The persons named on the notarized consent must be present when applying for the marriage license.
  • Both parties to the union must come to the County Clerk’s office together to apply for the marriage license.
  • Both parties must present valid photo identification cards showing proof of age when applying for the license. Accepted identification cards include a driver's license, passport, military identification card, or West Virginia identification card.
  • Both parties must complete and sign the Application for Certified Marriage Certificate Form.
  • The couple must provide their parent’s full names, including their mother's maiden name and their place of birth.
  • Non-citizens getting married in West Virginia must present their Green Card, work visa, passport, or tourist visa.
  • The couple must pay the fees to obtain the marriage license. It costs $56 to get a West Virginia marriage license without pre-marriage counseling and $36 with pre-marriage counseling.
  • The premarital education course completion must be signed by a minister or counselor and dated within one year of applying for the marriage license.
  • Either party previously married must provide the exact date the previous marriage ended alongside the final divorce decree signed by the judge or the death certificate.
  • Parties who live in West Virginia must apply for a marriage license where they live. However, persons outside West Virginia may apply for a marriage license in any county within the state.
  • The County Clerk issues the marriage license on the same day of application. The license is effective only in West Virginia and valid for 60 days from the date of issuance.

Who can obtain Marriage Records in West Virginia?

Marriage records in West Virginia are confidential. State law restricts the number of persons entitled to obtain marriage records. Therefore, only the following persons may lawfully order marriage records in the state, They include:

  • The couple listed on the marriage certificate
  • The adult children who are products of the union
  • Legal representatives who must show proof of legal representation

Aside from the couple and their children, all other persons seeking West Virginia marriage records must comply with the state's requirement for individuals seeking marriage records. In West Virginia, record seekers must obtain permission slips from the couple. The bride or groom must complete the Authorization to Obtain Certificate Form and fax the form to the Vital Registration Office. The form must include a copy of the permission grantor’s photo ID, their signature, and the full names of persons receiving the permission.

Can You Lookup Online Marriage Records For Free in West Virginia

Yes. Interested persons may look up online marriage records for free in West Virginia. The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture, and History provides free access to digitized and indexed images of the original marriage records. However, the available years are based on county, filmed records, privacy restrictions, and missing records. Marriage records from the inception of each county through to 1971 are available in a free searchable database at the West Virginia Vital Research Records. There are also third-party online sites that provide free access to West Virginia marriage records. Some websites offer marriage records by county, making the search seamless.

Using an online third-party database to access West Virginia marriage records instead of visiting the County Clerk's office has its benefits:

  • It helps save money. Free online marriage records lookup platforms eliminate the fees associated with obtaining the same record from the County Clerk's office. Searchers can view, download, and print marriage records online without cost.
  • It saves time. Accessing marriage records from online databases eliminates the inconvenience of driving to the courthouse, standing in line, and manually sifting through the pile of records.
  • Free online marriage records platforms are an invaluable resource for genealogists.

Is West Virginia a Common Law State for Marriage?

West Virginia does not have specific laws or statutes that define or regulate common-law marriages. However, West Virginia recognizes common law marriages contracted in other states where it is legal. Consequently, persons in a common law marriage from other states are considered married under West Virginia law.

Common law marriage, also called informal or irregular marriage, exists when two people decide to live together- and cohabit while presenting themselves as a married couple. Common law marriages make the couple lawfully married even though they never obtained a marriage license.

There are no alternatives to marriages in West Virginia. Some states in the United States recognize common law marriages, cohabitation, or domestic partnerships. However, effective 8th October 2014, the state recognizes civil unions as legal. Civil unions are lawfully created to provide recognition for same-sex couples. Consequently, same-sex couples married after this date are legally married under West Virginia laws. The state also recognizes as legal civil unions contracted in jurisdictions outside the state.

disclaimer