It was in 1650 that the first act for the recording of births, marriages, and burials was passed and around 1865 when Maryland mandated these specific recordings at the county level. Since June of 1951 the Division of Vital Records housed the Maryland Marriage Records Search which are kept up-to-date.
Marriage Records are vital documents which hold detailed information about the individuals being married, their full names, race, addresses, date and place of marriage. It might even contain the names of the mothers and fathers of the bride and groom, status of the previous marriage, nationality and names of the people who witnessed the marriage. It is significant in many ways, since, anyone one could view an individual’s marital status and due to the amount of information on these documents, these files have been termed as “primary source” records, and are great sources mainly for personal background checks, utilized mostly for women who may have changed their last names one or more times. Also, these files and have been long used for genealogical studies.
These documents are just one type of public files that anyone could utilize and gain a copy of. The police, lawyers, media, other professionals or any member of the public could access these files for other purposes provided they have the necessary information such as the exact wedding date and the names of the bride and groom.
Requests for marriage records should be sent to the Division of Vital Records. With a photocopy of a valid ID photo, the appropriate application form, obtained from the Division of Vital Records, and with the required fee, it should be self-addressed, and be posted in a stamped envelope. By mail, it takes approximately two to four weeks to process. For a walk-in process, one has to bring a valid, unexpired, government-issued photo ID and should display the date it was issued and its expiration date. If perchance one is unable to provide a valid ID, then he or she must present two different pieces of alternative documents. Like the mail request, one should also fill up an application form and pay the due fees.
Requests for these documents, the non-government way is the likely way to go. Online searches require minimal expenses and are hassle-free. Also, unlike most government-managed website, these are mostly instantaneous, and it offers anonymity.
There are a handful of non-government sites that cater to Marriage Records requests. Although there are many websites that offer free public searches for these documents, sometimes, they could also be time consuming and tedious. On the other hand, paid online providers are more thorough and could deliver very comprehensive reports. Not only do they have access to public resources but they also have access to private and privileged databases.