Obtaining a Marriage License, Birth Certificate or Death Certificate and Genealogy Research
Town Clerk, Linda French, hours available are Monday’s 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday’s 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and Wednesday Evenings 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where do I obtain a Marriage License?
1. If both parties being married are residents of the same Town, a marriage license must be obtained in the Town where both of them live. After obtaining a marriage license, the parties are free to marry anywhere within the State of Maine.
2. If one party resides in one Town, and the other party resides in another, a marriage license may be obtained from either Town, but not both. Choose where it is most convenient to obtain a certified copy of the marriage at a later date. After obtaining a license, the parties are free to marry anywhere within the State of Maine.
3. If one person resides in the State of Maine, and the other person outside the State, then a marriage license must be obtained in the Town where the Maine resident lives if they intend to be married in the State of Maine. After obtaining a marriage license, the parties are free to marry anywhere within the State of Maine.
4. If both parties live outside the State of Maine, a marriage license can be obtained in any Town in the State of Maine. After obtaining a license, the parties are free to marry anywhere within the State of Maine. It is strongly suggested that the marriage license is obtained in the Town where the marriage will take place so that it will be easy to remember where to apply for a marriage certificate at a later date.
Marriage License Instructions
When the Town Clerk completes the marriage license, the parties will be given the license along with a packet of information explaining to the person performing the ceremony how to fill out the ceremony section of the marriage license. The marriage license and informational sheets should be presented to the person performing the wedding ceremony (pastor, notary public, etc.). That person is responsible for filling out the ceremony section of the marriage license and obtaining two witness signatures. They are also responsible for mailing the marriage license back to the issuing Town Clerk within 7 days of the wedding ceremony. The married parties are not permitted to submit the marriage license to the Town Clerk after the wedding ceremony.
Once the wedding ceremony is complete, and the Town Clerk receives the marriage license back at the Town Office, the Town Clerk records the marriage and the license/certificate of marriage will be filed at the Town Office forever. After the license is recorded, the married parties may obtain a Certificate of Marriage from the Office of the Town Clerk. The cost for a Certificate of Marriage is $15.00 for the first copy, and $6.00 for any additional copies of the same record purchased at the same time.
The Certificate of Marriage is needed for a name change on a driver’s license, bank account, social security card, etc. Please note that the Town Clerk does not automatically mail the certificate of marriage. It is the married couples responsibility to appear before the Town Clerk to fill out an application and pay the fee to obtain the marriage certificate. Effective July 12, 2010, the new law preventing fraudulent use of vital records goes into effect. Maine’s new law requires a person requesting a copy of records less than 100 years old to provide documentation establishing their direct and legitimate interest in the records.
Proof of identity must be presented to the Municipal Clerk. A brief application for securing a copy of the vital record must be filled out and presented, along with positive identification such as a driver’s license, passport, or other government issued picture identification that clearly shows that the person requesting the record is who they say they are. Identification requirements apply whether the records are requested in person or by mail. More information on this issue may be found at www.mainepublichealth.gov
Already Married and Seeking a Copy of Your Marriage Certificate?
Use these links
- Vital Records Search Application
- Maine Office of Vital Records
- Department of Health & Human Services
244 Water Street
11 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0011
Telephone: (207) 287-3181 or Toll free 1-888-664-9491
Find a Birth/Death Certificate
Recording Vital Statistics is the process of collecting data of all births, deaths and marriages that occur in the municipality, or involve its residents, so that the permanent records may be preserved. State law requires hospitals, physicians, funeral directors, ministers, notary publics, and others to complete certificates of all marriages, births and deaths in our municipality and file them with the Municipal Clerk promptly.
Effective July 12, 2010, the new law preventing fraudulent use of vital records goes into effect. Maine’s new law requires a person requesting a copy of records less than 100 years old to provide documentation establishing their direct and legitimate interest in the records.
Individuals who may access vital records less than 100 years old include:
- The person named on the record
- The person’s spouse or registered domestic partner
- The parent(s) named on the record
- Descendants of the person named on the record
- Registrant’s legal custodian, guardian, or conservator or respective authorized representative (includes attorney, physician, or funeral director)
- Genealogists who have a Maine CDC issued researcher identification card
The Maine Office of Vital Records does not permit or allow any records, whether certified or non-certified, to be faxed to any individual, business, or institution. If a person needs a certified record faxed to the airport for travel, that person must contact the Office of Vital Records in Augusta, Maine. Municipal Clerks may not fax certified or non-certified copies of any birth, death, or marriage unless the Office of Vital Records has given authorization to the Clerk.
Informational Guide to Conducting Genealogy Research in the Town of Smithfield, Maine
Genealogy is the number one hobby in America today. As a result, Municipal Clerks offices receive numerous requests each week for information. Requests are received in person, in the mail, over the phone, and by e-mail messages. Municipalities have different policies regarding conducting genealogy research – some charge by the hour, some charge per search, and some don’t charge a fee for searches. This informational guide was developed with the intent to provide information to citizens conducting genealogy research on ancestors from the Smithfield, Maine area. The Smithfield Town Clerk’s office charges $4.00 per name or event search for genealogy searches. Specific questions regarding office policy for genealogy research in Smithfield should be directed to the Town Clerk’s Office at (207) 362-4772.
- Prior to 1892, towns were not required to file records of birth, marriage and death. Some towns have records before 1892, but these are not a complete recording of events.
- Unsure where the event took place? Begin by contacting the State of Maine Office of Vital Records. They maintain copies of records from every town and city in Maine. You can reach that office at (207) 287-3184.
- Be sure to check family bibles, city directories, obituaries, old maps, old photographs, town history books and old newspapers for information.
- State Archives keeps a list of professional genealogists who will provide research for a fee.
Helpful Internet Websites
- www.nara.gov – National Archives site – census records from 1790-1920; military records from the Revolutionary War to WW1; military pension records; passport applications back to 1795; ship passenger lists; naturalization; more
- www.usgenweb.org – Links to State and County information.
- www.ancestry.com – Includes Social Security Death Index – find death records by date of death or social security number; databases; more
- www.familysearch.org – Family History Library, Church of the Latter Day Saint/Mormons, Salt Lake City
- www.cyndislist.com – Links to 42,000 genealogy sites – everything from ship’s passenger lists to prison rolls
- www.rootsweb.com – Internet’s oldest genealogy site – lets you see who is looking for the same surnames you are.
- www.adoptions.com – Good place to start genealogy research if you were adopted.
- www.loc.gov/rr/genealogy/ – Local History and Genealogy Reading Room, Library of Congress
- www.genealogynews.com – Online Newsletter
- www.ngsgenealogy.org – National Genealogical Society
- http://www.byub.org/ancestors – PBS Television Series called “Ancestors” ancestors