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Nebraska Marriage Records

Nebraska marriage records are official documentation detailing civil unions in the Cornhusker State. Most marriage records typically include the following information:

  • Full name of the bride and groom (first, middle, and last)
  • Date of the marriage
  • Location of the marriage (city and county)
  • Name of wedding officiant (usually a justice or member of the clergy)
  • Residence of bride and groom

Other details that may be contained in marriage records include the age of both parties, the date a license was obtained, and each party's social security number. Some of this information is considered public and may be accessed by almost anyone, while others (such as social security numbers) remain confidential. The state’s courts usually manage these records as part of Nebraska family court records. They are also accessible through county clerks and recorder’s offices.

What Types of Marriage Records are available in Nebraska

State and county agencies in Nebraska maintain different types of marriage records, ranging from license applications to abstract records. However, the most common options include marriage certificates and licenses. 

Nebraska Marriage Certificate:

Nebraska marriage certificates provide official proof that the named parties have been married. Unlike licenses issued before a marriage, marriage certificates are created only after a wedding is complete. Nebraska marriage certificates serve legal and official functions such as providing proof of name change, getting benefits, participating in divorce processes, applying for a passport, verifying the legitimacy of a child, and doing genealogical research.

Nebraska Marriage License:

A Nebraska marriage license is an official permit issued by Nebraska county clerks, granting couples the right to marry. When applying for a license, most counties require that both parties appear in person. Licenses are only issued after couples submit applications and pay the appropriate fee.

Note: Licenses issued in Nebraska can only be used within the state. Couples who wish to marry in another state must apply for a license in the county or state where the ceremony will be performed.

Are Nebraska Marriage Records Public?

In Nebraska, certain types of marriage records are open to the public. For instance, Marriage licenses are considered non-confidential and open to the public. Interested persons can obtain such records by searching local archives or public indexes. However, certified copies of a marriage certificate are not as accessible. Such records can only be obtained by spouses and parents. In addition, applicants may need to provide a reason for the request and a government-issued ID to prove their identity.

How to Find Marriage Records in Nebraska

Step 1. Decide on the type of Record

Different public agencies maintain marriage records. For instance, members of the public who wish to obtain certified copies of a marriage license must contact the court clerk in the county where the license was initially issued. Eligible parties can also obtain certified copies of a marriage certificate by applying to the Nebraska Vital Records Office. The Vital Records Office provides different types of records, including an abstract version of the marriage certificate and the long-form marriage certificate.

Step 2. Identify where and when the Marriage Occured

To obtain certified copies of a marriage license,  you'll need to know the county where the license was issued. While the Nebraska Vital Records Office maintains records of marriages filed in the country since 1909, older records can only be obtained by contacting the State Historical Society or the county clerk of the county where the license was issued.

Step 3. Provide Information Related to the Record

Applicants who wish to obtain records must provide some details to assist with the search. Some of the information that may be required include:

  • The full name of the groom
  • Full name of the bride
  • Time of marriage (month, day, and year)
  • Reason for requesting the record

You'll also need to state your relationship with the named parties, provide your residential address, and pay the fee for the record.

Step 4. Submit Applications

Once complete, applications for a marriage record can be submitted in person or via mail to the record custodians. Residents can submit requests for marriage certificates maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services at the office at 1033 O Street, Suite 130. 

How to Get a Marriage License in Nebraska

Couples must obtain a marriage license before their wedding ceremony. Obtaining a license is simple and can be completed in any county.

Step 1. Meet the Eligibility Rules

Anyone may obtain a license in Nebraska if they meet the state marriage rules, the most important of which is being old enough to marry. Applicants must be at least 19 to obtain a license. Minors between the ages of 17 and 18 may obtain a license, but only with the signed, notarized consent of a parent or legal guardian.

Step 2. Gather the Necessary Information for an application

As part of the application process, both parties must provide some information that goes into the record. Some of the details that you'll need to provide when applying for a license include:

  1. Full name of both parties
  2. Date of birth
  3. Social security number for both parties
  4. Marital status (details of any previous marriage)
  5. Full names of parents (including mother's maiden name)
  6. Parents birthplace (city, state, country)

In addition, couples may need to provide supporting documents such as a birth certificate, passport, or a valid driver's license. Although parties can remarry after a divorce, applications for a license are only permitted six months after the court issues a divorce decree.

Note: Social Security numbers are a key requirement for marriage license applications.  Applicants who do not have a social security number must indicate this.

Step 3. Submit the Application and pay the fee

Marriage license applications are processed at the County Clerk's office. While some counties permit unscheduled walk-in applications, others may require advanced appointments. Marriage licenses cost an average of $25.00. Acceptable payment options may include cash, credit card, or checks. Nebraska has no waiting period for marriage licenses, which means couples can get married the same day the license is issued. Marriage licenses remain valid for a year, after which they expire.

Note: Marriage officiants do not have to be certified or resident in the state to perform the wedding. 

Who can obtain Marriage Records in Nebraska?

Access to marriage records depends on the type of records. For instance, anyone can obtain public information from a marriage license. The names and ages of license applicants are published several days after an application in the Daily Record. However, access to certified copies of a marriage is more restricted. Only persons named on the certificate (spouses) and direct family relations like parents may obtain such marriage records. To obtain a certified Nebraska marriage record, you'll need to provide some related information, such as the full name of the bride and groom, the month, day, and year of marriage, and the county where the license was issued. You may also need to provide a reason for the request.

Nebraska Vital Records
P.O. Box 95065,
Lincoln, Nebraska

Can You Lookup Online Marriage Records For Free in Nebraska

Depending on the year they were established, some Nebraska marriage records may be accessible online for free. For example, information about marriage licenses is freely available. To access these resources, applicants will need to supply some associated data, like the full name of one or both partners. Third-party services may also provide an option. Such websites, which are privately run and unaffiliated with the Nebraska state government or any other official body, give users access to records that have been gathered from several localities throughout the state. However, the accuracy of information obtained on such platforms can't be guaranteed. 

Is Nebraska a Common Law State for Marriage?

Nebraska is not a common-law marriage state. To be considered married in Nebraska, you must obtain a license and have a marriage ceremony. However, although the state does not accept the creation of common-law unions, it recognizes the validity of marriages established in other US states with laws permitting this type of union. This means couples establishing a common-law marriage in supporting states like Rhode Island will be considered legally married even if they move to Nebraska.

Common law marriage refers to informal marriage unions where couples are considered to be married without a marriage license, marriage certificate, or wedding ceremony. Such marriages are fully or partially recognized in over a dozen US states, including Colorado, Kansas, Montana, and Texas. While the exact rules vary in different states, some of the general requirements for creating a common-law marriage include:

  • Both parties must be living together.
  • Both parties must be single and unrelated.
  • Both must be of marriageable age.
  • Couples must hold themselves out as married to the general public.

Couples living together who wish to set some rights and responsibilities without getting married may be able to do so using a cohabitation agreement. A cohabitation agreement is a legal contract wherein two unmarried parties can define specific rights and responsibilities. Such agreements can be used to define financial payments, debt splitting, and buyout rights in the event of a separation. However, it will not provide the same spousal privileges a legal marriage grants.

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