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  1. #1

    Default Question on marriage license?

    To the couples that have been married at couples resorts I have a question that I haven't seen answered on the mb before. Do I need to "register" with the state that I'm from that I was married in Jamaica? Do I need to take the marriage license that was sent to me by the resort to the courts here?

    My husband seems to think there is something else I need to be doing but I'm thinking that if there is any question of our marriage that we have a marriage license from Jamaica. Please helf...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    1,169

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mssandy View Post
    To the couples that have been married at couples resorts I have a question that I haven't seen answered on the mb before. Do I need to "register" with the state that I'm from that I was married in Jamaica? Do I need to take the marriage license that was sent to me by the resort to the courts here?

    My husband seems to think there is something else I need to be doing but I'm thinking that if there is any question of our marriage that we have a marriage license from Jamaica. Please helf...
    We were married in Jamaica almost 2 years ago. The registration document we were given on our wedding day allowed us to make changes with Social Security and drivers license and such. When we got our marriage certificate from Jamaica, about 90 days after our return, we took it to the courthouse where they made an official copy and placed it on file. You might call your county records office to check their policy.

    Hope this helped,

    Bart & Bug

  3. #3

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    What state do you live in? I know we did not have to do anything special here in Florida.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    1,420

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    No, you don't "register" your wedding certificate with the county. That misinformation is still floating around from the old FAQs, and it was simply wrong but has been corrected.

    This is the way that the process works: When you intend to marry, you obtain a marriage license from the state/county/country in which you intend to wed, regardless of where you live. After the marriage ceremony takes place, the officiant signs the license, documenting that the ceremony has in fact occurred and that you have wed. The officiant then files the signed license with the issuing authority, which in turn issues the marriage certificate. That's it.

    A marriage certificate is only issued by the venue in which it occurred, and the individual states have no process for filing or registering foreign marriage certificates.

    I was curious after reading Bart and Bug's post, so I did a quick check of Oklahoma law, and its statutes have no process for recording foreign marriage certificates. I assume the employee with whom they dealt at their county clerk's office wasn't sure what to do and accepted it intending to ask someone what to do with it. That's better than what happened to a New Yorker last year. When she tried to "register" her marriage certificate, she was incorrectly informed that Jamaica marriages weren't legal in the U.S. Rather than consulting an attorney to find out if the information given by the non-lawyer was accurate, she and her husband married again in New York.

    You were married in Jamaica, so your marriage certificate is part of the official records maintained by the appropriate Jamaican authority. If you want to obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate in the future, you'll have to ask for it from the issuing authority in Jamaica; your county clerk's office couldn't issue a certified copy, even if it purported to maintain it on file. It might be helpful to think of a marriage certificate as similar to a birth certificate or death certificate. Birth and death certificates are issued where the birth or death occurs. Similarly, the marriage certificate is issued and maintained by the venue in which your marriage was "born."

    The U.S and every state therein recognize as valid marriages legally performed in other countries. As long as your marriage is legal under Jamaica law (e.g., you are both of marriageable age, neither of you is married to another, etc.) and is not a marriage that your state refuses to recognize and declares absolutely void (e.g., you are close blood relatives), then your marriage is valid, legal, and recognized by your state of residence. You don't need to do anything.

    Pamela
    I know everything, and I'm always right (just ask my husband).

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