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Kansas Court Records

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Kansas Marriage Records

Kansas marriage records provide official documentation of marriages that have occured in the Sunflower state. Such records are maintained by state and county officials and may be accessed by eligible persons. Some of the details contained in a marriage record include:

  • Name of both spouses (first, middle, and last)
  • Residence address (as at the time of license application)
  • Name of marriage officiant
  • Full name of parents
  • History of previous marriages (if any)
  • Name of witnesses

Kansas marriage licenses may be required for various reasons. For instance, couples may require certified copies of a marriage certificate when applying for spousal benefits. Marriage certificates may also be needed when processing a new passport or changing a name.

What Types of Marriage Records are available in Kansas

Government agencies maintain different types of marriage records, ranging from marriage license applications to marriage indexes. However, the two most common types of records include marriage licenses and marriage certificates. 

Kansas Marriage Certificate

A marriage certificate is an official document issued by the Kansas Division of Public Health showing that the named parties were married within the state. Marriage certificates are created after a wedding ceremony. The marriage officiant signs the marriage license and then files it with the county clerk of the district court. The completed document is then forwarded to the Office of Vital Statistics, which maintains it as proof of a marriage.

Note: The county district court also maintains records of marriages filed within a county. Such records are considered public and can be viewed by residents. 

Kansas Marriage License

Kansas marriage licenses are official permits issued by the state's judicial branch, giving people the right to marry. Unlike marriage certificates, which are created after a marriage, licenses are created before the marriage. In addition, couples must meet certain age requirements to obtain a license. When applying for a marriage license, you don't need to provide the name of the official who will be at your wedding ceremony. But the wedding ceremony must be done within Kansas while the license is still valid--typically within six months of its issued date.

Note: Kansas laws permit proxy marriage ceremonies where the two individuals getting married are not in the same physical location. However, such marriages must be witnessed by at least two people. In addition,  the officiant and at least one member must be located in Kansas. 

Are Kansas Marriage Records Public?

Eligible parties can access Kansas marriage records. Residents can request marriage records filed on or before May 1913 by applying to the state Office of Vital Statistics. However, to obtain certified copies of a record, requesters must provide some information related to the record and pay the application fee. 

How to Find Marriage Records in Kansas

Multiple agencies maintain Kansas marriage records at the state and local levels. The following are some general steps for finding marriage records in Kansas.

Step1. Determine When the Record was Created (Before or After 1913)

To find marriage records in Kansas, record seekers must know when the marriage occured. For instance, the Office of Vital Statistics maintains records of marriage licenses issued across the state since 1913. However, older records can only be found by contacting public libraries or centers such as the Kansas Historical Society.

Step 2. Gather the Necessary Information 

Record custodians will expect to be provided details about the record to assist with the retrieval process. Some of the information that may be required includes:

  • Name of a married couple (first, middle, and last)
  • Date of the marriage
  • Names of parents on record
  • The location where the license was issued (city and county)
  • The location where the marriage occured

Members of the public who wish to obtain certified copies of a record may also need to provide a government-issued photo ID (state or federal) to confirm their eligibility. Acceptable options include State ID cards, Military IDs, US Driver's licenses, and passports.

Step 3. Submit the Application and Pay the Fee

The Office of Vital Statistics provides multiple application submission options. For instance, residents can submit applications in person by visiting the Curtis State Office Building, located at: 

Kansas Office of Vital Statistics,

1000 SW Jackson Suite 120,

Topeka, KS 66612-2221

Walk-in requests are processed from 9 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday. Alternatively, requesters can apply for marriage records by mailing a completed application alongside a check or money order payable to the Kansas Vital Statistics office. Some of the information that must be provided on an application includes the following:

  • Requester's name
  • Requester's address (city, state, and zip)
  • Reason for submitting the request
  • Relationship to the person named on the record

Note: Certified copies of a marriage record are only released to spouses or immediate family members, such as siblings, parents, children, or grandparents. 

How to Get a Marriage License in Kansas

The Kansas Judicial Branch issues marriage licenses within the state. Anyone can get a marriage license in Kansas by following several general steps.

Step 1. Check Eligibility

Kansas has several eligibility requirements for marriage. One of these is age-related. To get a license in Kansas, applicants must generally be at least 18 years old. However, the state may permit exceptions for parties 16 or 17 years old if they provide a signed consent form from a parent or guardian. Also, marriage licenses are only issued for marriages that will be done within the state. This means you can't obtain a Kansas marriage license and then marry in another state.

Step 2. Provide Necessary Information 

To apply for a marriage license in Kansas, you must provide information about yourself and your partner. Some of the details that may be required during a marriage license application include:

  • Full name of both parties (first, middle, and last)
  • Applicant's date of birth 
  • Gender 
  • Social security number
  • Residential address (as at the time of application)
  • Names of parents for each party
  • Place of birth for each parent
  • Details of any previous name changes
  • Details of any previous marriages 
  • Race, ethnicity, and education level
  • Phone number

It's worth noting that only some of the information on a license application becomes public. For instance, social security numbers and home addresses remain confidential and cannot be accessed by the public.

Step 3. Submit the Application and Pay Fee

Unlike some US states that provide walk-in or mail-in options for license applications, marriage applications are submitted electronically via the Kansas Judicial Branch. As a result, the only acceptable forms of payment are electronic (e.g., card or electronic check). Marriage licenses in Kansas cost approximately $85.50. But you may be charged an extra fee, depending on whether you pay using a debit card, credit card, or electronic check.

Licenses have a three-day waiting period after the application. For instance, if an application is made on Monday, the license is issued by Thursday. Once given, marriage licenses remain valid for six months, during which period applicants may choose to marry within any of the 105 counties in the state. 

Who can Obtain Marriage Records in Kansas?

Access to marriage records in Kansas is determined by the age of the record. While almost anyone can obtain copies of older records (50 years and older), only eligible parties can obtain certified copies of more recent records. Under Kansas laws, certified marriage records can only be obtained by immediate family members such as siblings, parents, legal guardians, children or grandchildren. Records can also be obtained by a legal representative or anyone who can prove a direct interest. 

Can You Lookup Online Marriage Records For Free in Kansas

Older marriage records may be available at no cost using genealogical archives. Record seekers may also be able to look up some marriage records for free using third-party platforms. Such sites provide access to records compiled from multiple jurisdictions while operating as private entities independent of any state government agency. Access to some records may require essential information, such as the subject's name or marriage location.  

Is Kansas a Common Law State for Marriage?

Common law marriages are recognized in Kansas. The Sunflower State is one of several US states that allow this type of union, alongside Colorado, Iowa, Montana, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and others.

To establish a common law marriage in Kansas, the relationship must meet several requirements, some of which include.

  • Both parties must meet the general eligibility rules for marriage. Spouses must be old enough to marry and not already in a separate legal relationship. In addition, both parties must not be directly related. 
  • Both parties must indicate their intent and have an agreement to marry. However, intent does not have to be in writing. 
  • Parties must hold each other out as a married couple to the community. This means friends, family members, and others must view them as married.  Couples must also engage in joint activities like filing joint tax returns or adopting the same last names.

Note: Unlike some states, cohabitation is not a core requirement for establishing common-law marriages in Kansas.

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