Access Free Washington Marriage Records & Licenses

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

Free Washington marriage records are available to anyone when they know where to look.

Often, record custodians for marriage certificates provide online databases that allow members of the public to find information at no cost.

The government agencies responsible for maintaining marriage licenses and records can also be contacted to obtain copies of these documents. Thanks to Washington Vital Records System Law, copies of certifications and informational copies of marriage records are available to the public.

Using the step-by-step instructions and guidance throughout this resource, you can learn how to find out if someone is married in Washington and how to get a marriage license.

Are Marriage Records & Certificates Available to the Public in Washington?

Under the Washington Public Records Act, vital records are not subject to public inspection and copying.1 A vital record is a written document that reports a vital life event, and that includes marital records. However, there is a legal exception to certifications and informational copies of vital records.

This means any member of the public can obtain certifications of Washington state marriage records. The state of Washington requires all certifications of a vital record to include security features that deter counterfeiting and alteration. The state also requires all informational copies to expressly indicate that they cannot be used for any official purpose.

Interested parties may also utilize the United States Census Bureau to view marriage statistics for the entire state of Washington. As reported in 2022, an estimated 50% of the adult population has been married.

A screenshot of the search tool to view various data, including marriage statistics for the entire state of Washington.
Source: United States Census Bureau2

The Washington State Health Department also provides free marriage statistics. Most recently reported in 2020, there were an estimated 37,109 marriages recorded in the state.

A screenshot of the database from Washington State Health Department that provides free marriage statistics.
Source: Washington State Department of Health3

How To Access Free Washington Marriage Records

Interested persons looking for free public marriage records should start their search with the Washington Secretary of State. The state Digital Archives allows anyone to look up marriage license in Washington.

Users need to input a first and last name and select “Marriage Records” in the Collections drop-down menu. Users should then click “show all records” to display a table of all persons who have been named in a recorded marriage record in Washington.

The table includes both parties’ first and last names, the marriage year, the county of record, and in some cases, an image of the marriage license. Users may also click on a person listed in the table, and additional information, including the ceremony date, is revealed.

A screenshot of the search tool that provides details on marriage records from 1968 - 2017.
Source: Washington State Archives4

This search tool states that it only provides details on Washington state marriage records from 1968 – 2017. For records prior to 1968 and marriage records filed in the last two months, interested persons should contact the County Auditor where the marriage was recorded. Most counties in Washington also provide online search tools where users can look through a database of recorded official documents, including marriage certificates.

More on that later.

For all marriage records filed in 2017 and up to two months ago, interested persons must contact the Washington Department of Health.5

Washington Department of Health
Licensing and Vital Records
Town Center 2
111 Israel Road, Southeast
Tumwater, Washington 98501

Phone: 360.236.4300

How To Obtain Certified & Uncertified Marriage Certificates in Washington

Physical copies of marriage certificates from 1968 up to two months ago may be ordered through the Washington Department of Health (WSDOH). It should be noted that marriage certificates are not available until three months after the matrimony has been finalized with the respective county.

There are many ways to obtain a certified marriage certificate or non-certified informational copy from the WDH.

Via Mail: Interested parties must complete a marriage/divorce certificate order form, complete with a photocopy of a valid form of ID for a certified copy, and payment by check or money order in the amount of $25. These materials must be mailed to the WSDOH at:

Washington Department of Health
Center for Health Statistics
PO Box 9709
Olympia, Washington 98507

The processing time for mail-in orders of marriage certificates or non-certified informational copies is 1-3 weeks after receiving a completed application and processing payment.

In-Person: After completing the order form, interested persons must bring the form to one of the local Washington State Health jurisdictions.6 There may be additional fees associated with this method; however, certificates and informational copies are generally processed the same business day.

Via Telephone: Call +1(866)687-1464 to get started. For certified copies, you must provide a photocopy of a valid ID. There is also a nonrefundable $40.50 fee for this service.

Marriage certificates and non-certified informational copies are shipped out within 3-7 business after the order is received.

Online: The state of Washington endorses the VitalChek platform to process online marriage certificate orders. After clicking on the link, users must select “Marriage Certificates” in the order drop-down menu, then click on the state of Washington. The platform requires users to select the city within the state and the date of the marriage.

The fee is $40.50, and the certificate will be shipped within 3-7 business days.

There are archived indexes that contain marriage records prior to 1968. These databases are detailed in the sections below.

Track Down Marriage Records in Washington at the County Level

In addition to using state resources to find marriage records, you can search local resources as well. As mentioned earlier, county governments generally offer the public ways to check marriage records for free online. For those interested in utilizing a free record search, research the County Auditor located where the marriage was filed.

The Washington Association of County Officials provides a list of all elected county officials in the state, including Auditors.7 The list is in alphabetical order, so interested persons should locate the respective County Auditor and call or email the contact information provided to find out how to check marriage records.

This article will supply the Auditor information for the three largest counties in Washington.

If you are looking for information on how to obtain marriage records from a county not listed in this resource, use the Washington Association of County Officials link to locate the auditor in that jurisdiction. You may also search the name of a county government website to locate the Auditor’s page.

The largest county in the state of Washington is King. The King County Recorder’s Office maintains all marriage certificates recorded in King County. The Recorder/Auditor allows members of the public to view recorded marriage records for free through the search tool.

A screenshot of the search tool used to find marriage document in King County.
Source: King County Recorder’s Office8

Under the document category, users must select “Marriages”. In the Legal section, users should select “Contains” as this provides the broadest search form, then type in the name of the individual in the space to the right. Users should also insert a date range for when the marriage was recorded if they do not know the exact date.

To order marriage certificates, users must create an account. Then, when they locate a marriage record, they may add documents to the shopping cart in the upper right corner. There are fees associated with certified copies of marriage certificates – $3 for page one and $1 for each additional page.

Uncertified copies are $1 per page.

Interested parties may also order a marriage certificate via mail or in person by completing the order form and mailing or hand-delivering to:

King County Recorder’s Office
201 South Jackson Street, Suite 204
Seattle, Washington 98104

Interested parties may also order a marriage certificate over the phone by calling the Recorder Office at 206.477.6620 from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm Monday – Friday.

The King County Auditor’s Office only maintains marriage certificates from 1991 to the present.9 To obtain King County marriage certificates prior to 1991, researchers must check the Washington State Archives maintained by the Secretary of State.

For more information, contact the King County Auditor’s Office at:

King County Auditor
516 3rd Ave, Rm W-1033
Seattle, Washington 98104

Phone: 206.477.1033
Email: [email protected]

The second largest county in Washington is Pierce. The Pierce County Auditor provides a free option for interested persons to search marriage records. Users must select Marriage in the toolbar and type in the last name followed by the first name.

A screenshot of the search tool used to find marriage document in Pierce County.
Source: Pierce County Auditor10

The search results will provide a list of licenses recorded by application date. When you click on the license number, additional information is provided, including:

  • Instrument Number
  • Date of Application
  • Book Number
  • Page Number
  • Document Type
  • Status
  • Party Names

You may also purchase a certified copy of a marriage certificate by clicking the buy a copy option in the upper left corner. Certified copies are $3.

Marriage certificates may also be ordered by submitting a mail request to the County Auditor at:

Pierce County Auditor
Attn: Marriage License
2401 South 35th Street, Rm 200
Tacoma, Washington 98409

Phone: 253.798.7427
Email: [email protected]

The third largest county in Washington is Snohomish. The Snohomish County Auditor is the custodian of marriage records, and the office provides the public with a free record search.

There is not an option to independently search for marriage records; however, under Document Category, there is an option “MISC DOCS-ILC.” By selecting this miscellaneous option, marriage records will be included in all search results for the given name you input.

Users should choose “Contains” in the Name drop-down menu as it encompasses the broadest record search. Inputting only a last name or first name will yield results. Look for Marriage Certificates in the Doc Type column. By creating an account, users will also be able to order a certified marriage certificate by adding it to the shopping cart.

Interested parties may also order certified and uncertified copies of marriage certificates via mail, email, fax, in person, and over the phone. After completing a recorded document copy request form, interested parties can submit the document in various methods, including:

Mail or in-person:

Snohomish County Auditor
300 Rockefeller Avenue, M/S 204
Everett, Washington, 98201

Email: [email protected]
Fax: 425.388.3094

Marriage certificates may also be requested over the phone by calling 425.388.3483.

Certified copies of marriage certificates are $3, while unofficial copies are $1. An hourly search fee of $8 may be attributed for records prior to 1976 or when significant staff time is required.

Contact the Snohomish County Auditor at 425.259.2777 if you have additional questions concerning how to obtain marriage records. The office is open 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday.

How To Look Up Ancestry Marriage Records in Washington for Free

As mentioned earlier, the Washington Secretary of State maintains the State Archives.11 In this database, interested persons can review historical marriage records reported by each state county. This is especially helpful when searching for genealogy.

Unlike the digital archives search listed earlier, this historical marriage search dates back to the early 1800’s for some counties. Users must carefully review the yearly period to ensure the database contains the information they are searching for.

It should be noted that the Marriage Equality Act did not take effect until 2012. Therefore, for marriages prior to the enactment of the law, parties will be listed as “groom” and “bride” to represent a husband and wife. All marriages after the enactment of the law will state “person A” and “person B.”

Contact the Washington Secretary of State if you have questions regarding the Digital Archives.

Washington Secretary of State
Washington State Archives – Digital Archives
960 Washington St.
Cheney, Washington 99004

Phone: 509.235.7500

How To Obtain a Marriage License in Washington

Before a couple can obtain a marriage license in Washington, they must first submit an application. As prescribed by Washington law, an application for a marriage license requires:12

  • Names and addresses
  • Social security numbers
  • Birthplaces
  • Marital status
  • Widowed or divorced
  • Whether under guardianship control
  • Residence during the previous six months
  • Fees

Additionally, there are applicant requirements, including:

  • Neither can be currently married
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must not be nearer than second cousins, including half blood
  • Must have current photo IDs

After submitting a marriage license application with the appropriate County Auditor’s Office, a marriage license may be issued at the time the application is submitted. A license will be issued, according to Washington marriage licensing law, three days after the application is filed.13

The application will become void 60 days after the application is filed if the marriage is not solemnized in that period.

Wedding application fees vary by county. For example, in King County, a wedding application is $69, while in Pierce County, the application is $72. To ensure you know the appropriate fees and requirements for a marriage license, contact the County Auditor where you plan to record your marriage.

If you are also looking for a prenup, it’s wise to contact an attorney.

As mentioned previously, marriage records are public in Washington. By using this resource, you will learn how to streamline your search to view and obtain Washington marriage records.


1Vital Records. Washington State Legislature. (n.d.) Retrieved November 3, 2023, from <>

2Marital Status. United States Census Bureau. (n.d.) Retrieved November 3, 2023, from <>

3Marriage And Divorce Dashboard. Washington State Department of Health. (n.d.) Retrieved November 3, 2023, from <>

4Marriage Record. Washington State Archives. (n.d.) Retrieved November 3, 2023, from <>

5Ordering a Marriage or Divorce Record. Washington State Department of Health. (n.d.) Retrieved November 3, 2023, from <>

6Washington State Local Health Jurisdictions. Washington State Department of Health. (n.d.) Retrieved November 3, 2023, from <>

7Staff Directory. Washington Association of County Officials. (n.d.) Retrieved November 3, 2023, from <>

8Document Information. King County Recorder’s Office. (n.d.) Retrieved November 3, 2023, from <>

9Auditor’s Office. King County. (2023) Retrieved November 3, 2023, from <>

10Recorded Documents. Pierce County Auditor. (2023) Retrieved November 3, 2023, from <>

11Current Collections. Washington State Archives. (n.d.) Retrieved November 3, 2023, from <*g1pywq*_ga*MTE4MjE0ODMxMS4xNjk3NzI0MjQy*_ga_7B08VE04WV*MTY5NzcyNDI0Mi4xLjEuMTY5NzcyNDM4MC4wLjAuMA..#RSID:1>

12RCW 26.04.020. Washington State Legislature. (n.d.) Retrieved November 3, 2023, from <>

13RCW 26.04.180. Washington State Legislature. (n.d.) Retrieved November 3, 2023, from <>