Review Free New Jersey Marriage Records (Certificate Search)

Free New Jersey Marriage Record Search
Access anyone's marital information in New Jersey, free of charge.

Access free New Jersey marriage records by connecting with state and local agencies that host these documents.

Understanding which custodians to contact and what information is required to make a request enables individuals to learn more about marriages in the state. Through online requests, mailed applications, or in-person visits to local agencies, citizens can secure the marriage records they need to further their research or satisfy their curiosity.

This resource explains how to search marriage records for free in New Jersey, stress-free and efficiently.

Are Marriage Records & Certificates Available to the Public in New Jersey?

Citizens may want to search New Jersey marital records for various reasons. Often, a couple wants to secure a certified copy of their marriage record to use for future transactions or situations where they may need to show proof of their union. Having this certified marriage record on hand can help when they’re getting passports, applying for adoption, or securing a loan or health insurance.

In other situations, individuals may seek marriage records to confirm a union for informational purposes. Others who are conducting genealogical research may want to tap into historical marriage records to learn more about their family’s history.

Individuals can secure these marriage records in New Jersey, but the state has more restrictive access to this information compared to other states. The easiest records to obtain are historical ones, defined as any unions that occurred 50 years earlier or before. These records are accessible via a genealogical request through state and local agencies.

Another way to obtain a marriage record in New Jersey is by submitting a non-genealogical request. Citizens can receive a marriage certification—not a certified copy of a certificate—for unions that took place within the past 50 years.

According to the New Jersey Department of Health Vital Statistics, any vital statistics – including certified marriage certificates – are not considered a part of the public record.1

That means that such records are not bound to the guidelines established by the Open Public Records Act that governs how state and local agencies distribute government documentation.

Instead, current certified vital records, defined as marriage certificates that were issued within the past 50 years, can only be requested by someone with a personal relationship to the union. A certified marriage record will be issued to the following individuals and organizations:

  • Either party named on the record
  • The parent, legal guardian, or legal representative of either party named on the record
  • Either party’s spouse or domestic partner
  • Either party’s child, grandchild, or sibling aged 18 or older
  • A state or federal agency that needs the record for official use
  • A court requesting the record via court order

Individuals searching for a record who do not fall within the above categories will have to submit a non-genealogical request to obtain a marriage certification, not a certified marriage certificate. In most cases, this record is sufficient to satisfy a search.

While a marriage record can confirm a specific union, other data can provide interesting insight into trends throughout the state. The U.S. Census Bureau publishes its annual American Community Survey, which details marriage trends within the state. The 2022 survey revealed that 49.4% of New Jersey residents ages 15 and older are married, representing 52% of men and 47% of women.2

Another 8.6% of residents are divorced, and 5.6% are widowed. Just under 2% of all residents are separated. Also, 34.6% of New Jersey residents have never been married.

How To Look Up Free New Jersey Marriage Records

Citizens hoping to learn more about marriages in New Jersey can access state and local resources to secure needed information. At the state level, the Office of Vital Statistics & Registry housed within the New Jersey Department of Health is a go-to resource for record seekers.

Individuals have several ways they can request marriage records: online, by mail, in person at the Trenton office, or via phone through VitalChek, a third-party provider. The request method depends on the type of marriage record requested, so read on for more details.

Online marriage record requests through the Office of Vital Statistics & Registry are available for certificates from the past 100 years. Citizens can access the Vital Records Online Service to request a certified copy of a marriage certificate.3 To obtain this record, they must be named on the certificate or be an authorized party as explained in the previous section.

A screenshot of online service where an individual can fill out personal details such as full name, date of birth, and primary residence address for a vital record request.
Source: New Jersey Department of Health4

To complete this request, citizens should provide both parties’ full names, the requester’s relationship to the couple, the date of marriage, and the city/town and county of the wedding. Citizens making this request must also upload a digital image of a photo ID to confirm their identity.

Online copies cost $25 each and $2 per extra copy. Record seekers also have to pay a $5 processing fee, a $5 non-refundable identity verification fee, and a $12 shipping fee.5

A screenshot detailing the availability, pricing, and delivery information for marriage certificates, including notes on genealogy requests, legal changes, processing, identity verification fees, and estimated order processing times.
Source: New Jersey Department of Health5

All fees are payable online via credit card at the time of the request. These requests can take up to 8 to 12 weeks to process, and citizens can check the status of their form online.

Individuals can also visit the Office of Vital Statistics & Registry to make an in-person records request. Same-day walk-in service is only available for non-genealogical requests. Information required for an in-person request includes all details listed on the record (names and marriage date and location), proof of relationship, photo ID, and all required fees, which include a $25 search/certificate fee for the first copy and $2 for any additional copies.

In-person requests usually take two hours to process. The office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Citizens should arrive by 3:30 p.m. for same-day services; the address can be found below.

Citizens can request a non-genealogical record for a marriage within the last 50 years by mail or via phone through VitalChek, a third-party provider. To request by mail, complete the Application for Non-Genealogical or Certified Marriage, Civil Union, or Domestic Partnership Certificate and mail the form to the VitalChek address below.6 Copies cost $25 each, plus an additional $6 VitalChek processing fee, and shipping fees vary.

VitalChek also accepts phone orders at 1-877-622-7549. Record seekers will need to fax proof of identity to 1-888-489-9506 to complete their request.

Finally, citizens can request genealogical records by mail for marriages that occurred more than 50 years ago up to 1931. Individuals can mail in a request letter detailing the names of both parties on the record and the marriage year and location. Additional information, such as the parents’ names, may also be included.

The request also must include photo identification and a $25 check or money order made payable to the Treasurer, State of New Jersey. The office can search additional years for a $1-per-year fee. Genealogical requests typically take 10-12 weeks to process.

Office of Vital Statistics & Registry
140 East Front Street
Trenton, NJ 08608

Phone: (609) 292-4087

Mailing Address – VitalChek Request:

Vital Record Mail Services
Attn: New Jersey Vital Records
Post Office Box 222130
El Paso, Texas 79913

Mailing Address – Genealogical Request:

New Jersey Department of Health
Office of Vital Statistics and Registry
P.O. Box 370
Trenton, NJ 08625-0370

Another way to learn more about historical marriages is by searching archived state indexes, with more information on those steps below. Note that common law marriages aren’t legal in New Jersey, so citizens won’t be able to find records about those unions.

Looking Up Free New Jersey Marital Records on the City Level

In New Jersey, cities serve as the official records custodian for marriage certificates. The agency in charge of these records varies by city, but often the city clerk’s office or the vital statistics office distributes such data. Here, the process of obtaining a marriage record from the state’s three largest cities will be explained.

Newark: The City of Newark’s Office of Vital Statistics maintains marriage records for all unions. Citizens can request a marriage record by mail or in person. To apply by mail, citizens should complete the Application for Certified Copy of a Vital Record, available at the link above, and list all marriage details, their shipping information, and the reason for the request.

Remember that even at the city level, citizens have to show their proof of relationship to obtain a certified copy. Mail the completed application, a copy of a photo ID, a self-addressed, stamped envelope, and the $25 certificate fee to the below address.

Individuals can pay by certified check, money order, or cashier’s check payable to the City of Newark. Mailed requests usually take up to 3 weeks to process, but expedited service is available for an additional fee and a processing time of 5 to 7 days.

The city also welcomes in-person records requests during business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Complete the application linked above and bring it to the city office. Be sure to have a photo ID available and a method of payment, such as a credit or debit card, cashier’s check, or money order to pay the $25 certificate fee.

City of Newark
394 University Avenue
Newark, NJ 07102

Phone: (973) 733-6510

Jersey City: The Jersey City Office of the City Clerk issues marriage records for all unions that took place there. The office accepts records inquiries by mail and in person using the Application for a Non-Genealogical Certification or Certified Copy of a Vital Record.7

A screenshot of city clerk's office for requesting a certified or non-genealogical copy of a vital document, including sections for the requester's details, relationship to the person on record, and reasons for the document request.
Source: Jersey City Clerk’s Office7

Note that per state law, citizens must provide proof of relationship to obtain a certified copy. Otherwise, the office will issue a certification of the marriage.

After completing the form, individuals can mail their form and the $20 record fee to the below mailing address. They may also drop the application off in person during business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Office of the City of New Jersey Clerk
280 Grove Street, Room 118
Jersey City, NJ 07302

Phone: (201) 547-5150

Paterson: The City of Paterson’s Office of Vital Statistics issues marriage records. Citizens can request these records by mail, in person, or online through VitalChek. To begin a mail-in or in-person request, individuals should complete the Marriage Record Application, providing complete information about the union.8

They must also submit a photo ID, proof of relationship (if requesting a certified copy), their mailing address (if applying by mail), and payment. Marriage records cost $25 for the first copy and $5 for each additional copy.

Mail the form and required information to the below address, or stop by the Office of Vital Statistics during business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Records are issued in person on the same day, and mailed requests can take 7 to 10 days.

Individuals can also process their marriage record request through VitalChek, the third-party provider that the city partners with. Select marriage certificates, choose New Jersey and Paterson, and enter the wedding date. Enter the reason for the request, followed by detailed information about the union.

VitalChek records are also $25 each, plus a $7 processing fee and shipping fees, which may vary. All fees are payable by credit or debit card at the time of the records request. The office’s contact details can be found below:

City of Paterson Office of Vital Statistics
176 Broadway
Paterson, NJ 07505

Phone: (973) 321-1277

In New Jersey, citizens searching for marriage records by county will be directed to the city agency in charge of this information. Additional information follows on how to search for marriage records through New Jersey’s historical archives, which can be helpful for individuals learning about their genealogy.

Viewing Ancestry Marriage Records in New Jersey for Free

Citizens can also look up historical marriage records through the New Jersey State Archives, which maintains certificates of unions from May 1, 1848 to December 31, 1940. Individuals can access some of these marriage records online, which can help them learn more about their family’s history.

Explore searchable vital records databases, which include colonial marriage bonds from 1666 to 1799 and marriage records from May 1848 to December 1900.9 Citizens can search by name and even request a record online for a $10 fee. After adding the record to the cart, choose to either print the form and pay by check or process an online order using a credit card.

A screenshot of database where one can look up historical couple names, residences, and wedding dates, with an option to select records for checkout.
Source: New Jersey State Archives9

Mailed records requests can be sent to the below address. Citizens can request up to 10 different records in a single online order.

Citizens can also request a record from the New Jersey State Archives. Complete the Marriage Record Search Request Form online, providing the couples’ names, wedding location, and year. Citizens pay $10 for a one-year search or $15 for a two-year search.

Like other requests, individuals can print the form and mail a check or money order to the address listed below. Or, they may complete their request online using a credit card.

Visitors can also stop by the State Archives in Trenton to conduct their genealogical research in person. The office welcomes researchers Monday through Thursday by appointment. Appointment times vary between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. depending on the day.

Citizens can schedule an appointment in the Microfilm Reading Room or Manuscript Research Room.10 Walk-in visitors are accepted if space permits.

New Jersey State Archives
225 West State Street, Second Floor
Trenton, NJ 08625

Phone: (609) 292-6230

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 307
Trenton, NJ 08625-0307

A screenshot for scheduling an appointment at a state archives, offering options to book a session in the microfilm reading room or manuscript room research area, along with a calendar to select a date.
Source: New Jersey State Archives10

While the New Jersey State Archives offers a wealth of historical marriage record information, citizens may access other resources to learn more about unions of the past. Consider checking out these local resources that can assist in a genealogical search:

  • Newspaper archives that may feature historical marriage announcements
  • Church records that may include information about unions at the institution
  • Local genealogical societies that may house such records
  • Local libraries that may provide access to marital archives

Additionally, record seekers can check out the National Archives guidance on genealogical research, which may aid in any search for New Jersey records of marriage.

How To Obtain a New Jersey Marriage License (Application Process)

Couples planning to wed in New Jersey should apply for a marriage license in the city where either or both reside.11 If out-of-state couples plan to marry in New Jersey, they should submit their application in the city where they will wed. Vital statistics offices serve as the local registrar for marriages in most municipalities.12 However, some cities, such as Newark, have a marriage bureau office that issues licenses.

To get started, couples should obtain and complete a marriage license application from the city office. Typically, they should not sign the application until they meet with a city official.

Some cities require appointments; others allow couples to walk in during business hours to obtain their marriage license. All applicants should be at least 18 years old and not in another marriage or domestic partnership.

After completing the application, providing their Social Security number, and having a witness sign the form, couples can pay the $28 fee to process their license. There is a 72-hour waiting period for New Jersey marriage licenses, meaning couples have to wait three days for their nuptials. Marriage licenses are valid for six months after issuance.

With the help of this article, citizens now understand how to secure New Jersey marriage records using state and local agencies.


1New Jersey Department of Health. (2023, September 7). Vital Statistics and Registry. Retrieved February 15, 2024, from <>

2U.S. Census Bureau. (2022). Selected Social Characteristics in the United States. American Community Survey, ACS 5-Year Estimates Data Profiles, Table DP02. Retrieved February 15, 2024, from <>

3Vital Records Online. (n.d.). Select Municipality – New Jersey. Retrieved February 15, 2024, from <>

4Vital Records Online. (n.d.). Marriage Certificate Request – New Jersey. Retrieved February 15, 2024, from <>

5Vital Records Online. (n.d.). Pricing Information – New Jersey. Retrieved February 15, 2024, from <>

6VitalChek. (2023, September). New Jersey Marriage/Civil Union Application [PDF]. Retrieved February 15, 2024, from <>

7City of Jersey, Office of the City Clerk. (2023, September 17). Marriage License Application [PDF]. Retrieved February 15, 2024, from <>

8City of Paterson, New Jersey. (July 15).Application for a Non-Genealogy Certification or Certificate of a Vital Record [PDF]. Retrieved February 15, 2024, from <>

9New Jersey State Archives. (n.d.). Searchable Databases and Records Request Forms. Retrieved February 15, 2024, from <>

10New Jersey State Archives. (n.d.). Bookings Calendar. Retrieved February 15, 2024, from <>

11New Jersey Department of Health. (2023, September 7). Marriage Licenses. Retrieved February 15, 2024, from <>

12New Jersey Department of Health. (2018, July 3). Local Vital Records. Retrieved February 15, 2024, from <>