How to Find Montana Marriage Records
A Montana marriage record contains all the available information about the formal union of two individuals, as partners in a domestic relationship in the state. Following the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court, on June 26, 2015, Montana began to recognize and provide marriage records for same-sex unions.
Are Montana Marriage Records Available to the Public?
In Montana, a complete marriage record consists of a marriage license and a marriage certificate. However, not all parts of a marriage record are available to the public.
Marriage licenses are confidential records (due to the information contained in them) and are only available to the parties named on the license. A valid copy of a photo ID is required to receive this when a request is made.
Marriage certificates are public records, but certified copies can only be received by the parties named on the certificates. Individuals not named on a Montana marriage certificate can only request for, and receive, plain copies of the marriage record.
Montana makes all Marriage Records public after 30 years. Therefore, anyone can obtain copies of a marriage license and a marriage certificate 30 years from the date of the marriage recorded in these documents.
Family Court records can include marriage records and divorce records. These records contain personal information of those involved and their maintenance is critical should anyone involved wish to make changes. Because of this both marriage and divorce records can be considered more difficult to locate and obtain than other public records, and may not be available through government sources or third-party public record websites.
How to Find Out if Someone is Married in Montana
To find out if someone is married in Montana, visit the office of the county clerk or recorder in the county where the marriage was likely to have occurred. These offices typically maintain details of the marriages and divorces of all persons resident within their judicial district. However, not all marital information may be disclosed, especially if deemed private per judicial order.
To obtain public marriage records, the requesting party will be required to present information relevant to the records being sought. This includes the full name of the spouses as well as the date and location of the union.
Alternative to official government sources, inquirers can find out if someone is married using third-party public record databases or social media resources. However, besides social media, inquirers will likely be required to pay a nominal fee to process their record request and present supporting documents to prove their direct, tangible interest in the record.
What are Montana Marriage Records?
Montana marriage records refer to all the available documents relating to marriages, which were legally enacted, in the State of Montana. In Montana, a complete marriage record consists of a marriage license and a certified marriage certificate. Montana does not retain a central register of marriages in the state. All marriage records, in the state, are maintained by the individual counties where the marriages occurred. However, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Service maintains a statewide index for locating marriage certificates issued since July 1943.
Both government websites and organizations may offer divorce and marriage records. Similarly, third party public record websites can also provide these types of records. But because third party organizations are not operated or sponsored by the government, record availability may vary. Further, marriage and divorce records are considered highly private and are often sealed, meaning availability of these types of records cannot be guaranteed.
How to Change Your Name After Marriage in Montana
Newlyweds who want to change their name after marriage in Montana can file for a name change using their marriage license. The next big step is to contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) to update social security information. Parties must report to the SSA upon changing their name after marriage to make the name change official. This process will involve submitting an application form, a certified copy of a marriage certificate, and proof of identity.
Parties should also visit a local Motor Vehicle Division driver's license station in Montana to update their record. They'll need to fill out an application form and provide proof of name change before the MVD can grant their request.
What are Montana Marriage Certificates?
A Montana marriage certificate is a legal document that confirms that the two individuals, named on the certificate, have entered a legal union (marriage) in the State of Montana. A typical marriage certificate includes the following information:
- Names of the two persons who were married (including maiden names)
- Date of the marriage ceremony
- Location of the marriage ceremony
- Name of the official who conducted the ceremony
In Montana, copies of a marriage certificate are only available from the Clerk of the District Court, in the county where the marriage license was purchased.
How Do I Obtain a Marriage Certificate in Montana?
To obtain a certified copy of a marriage certificate in Montana, start by submitting a request to the District Court Clerk in the county where the marriage license was purchased. Otherwise, pay a visit to the courthouse and make the request in person. There is a fee for obtaining a copy of a marriage certificate, which will be determined by the court. Individuals who are not on the marriage license can only obtain photocopies of certified marriage certificates unless the records are over 30 years old.
The Office of Vital Statistics has an index of Montana marriage certificates issued from July 1943 to the present. The office does not provide certified copies but will provide a verification copy upon request. This service is useful for individuals who do not have sufficient information to request the record from the Offices of Montana District Court Clerks. A verification copy of a marriage certificate costs $10. This fee covers the cost of record search and verification. Submit a request for a verification copy of a Montana marriage certificate to:
Office of Vital Statistics
Department of Health and Human Services
111 North Sanders, Room 6
P.O. Box 4210
Helena, MT 59604-4210
What are Montana Marriage Licenses?
A Montana marriage license is a document that must be obtained by a couple before a legal marriage ceremony can be enacted in the state. To obtain it, a prospective couple must first submit a completed marriage license application. It represents approval from the State of Montana signifying that both parties have met all requirements and are ready to be joined together in matrimony. To request for a marriage license in the start, start by getting a Montana marriage application from the Office of the District Court Clerk in any county in Montana.
Montana Formal Marriage License
A formal marriage license is an approved marriage application that has been fully completed by an eligible couple who wishes to be legally married in the State of Montana. It must be obtained before the marriage ceremony can take place.
Montana Common-Law Marriage
Common-law marriage, in the state of Montana, is a form of legal matrimony that can be enacted by two partners without obtaining a marriage license or performing a solemnization ceremony. In the state of Montana, a common-law marriage is considered a real marriage and requires a legal dissolution of marriage to terminate the relationship. A common-law marriage requires affirmative action on the part of both parties and there must be evidence that the parties present themselves as a married couple, for it to be considered legal.
For a common-law marriage to be considered legal and binding, the following conditions must exist:
- There must be consent and agreement between both parties that they are in a marriage relationship
- Both parties must be legally competent to enter a marriage
- Both parties must hold themselves out to the public as being married
Valid common-law marriages entered in the State of Montana are recognized in other states in the U.S., even in states which do not have common-law marriages of their own.
How Do I Obtain a Marriage License in Montana?
To obtain a marriage license in Montana, visit the Office of the Clerk of the District Court in any county in the state. The presence of both parties is required when submitting the application. Eligible applicants must be at least 16 years old. Applicants under 18 years who file an application must:
- Be 16 or 17 years old (persons under the age 16 cannot marry in Montana)
- Have consent from both parents or legal guardians
- Provide copies of their certified birth certificates, as proof of age
- Attend counseling sessions with designated counselors, who will provide letters of approval upon completion of the sessions
- Provide written consents from a District Court judge to the Clerk of the Court
The fee for the marriage license is $53.
When completing a marriage application, applicants must provide acceptable IDs (driver’s license, state ID, passport, or any current picture ID). A previously married party must provide a copy of the divorce decree. If under 50 years of age, the female applicant is required to have a rubella blood test, but the couple can request a waiver to avoid this. For applicants 18 years and older, there is no waiting period to get married after receiving the license.
A Montana marriage license is valid for 180 days from the date it was issued.
To request and receive a copy of a marriage license, that is less than 30 years old, the requester must be one of the persons named on the license and must provide a valid copy of a photo ID when submitting the request. All marriage licenses older than 30 years are available to the public. Submit all requests for a marriage license to the Clerk of the District Court where the license was purchased or visit the Clerk’s Office to make the request in person. There is a fee for this service which varies from county to county.
Are Prenups Public Record in Montana?
No, prenuptial agreements in Montana are not public record. Prenuptial agreements are confidential contracts between two individuals that outline their respective rights and responsibilities in the event of a divorce or dissolution of marriage. They cannot be made public unless both parties to the prenup agree.