Are Alaska Marriage Records Public?
Yes. However, while Alaska Marriage Records are public, access to these records is sometimes restricted due to the personal nature of the information within. A marriage record in Alaska becomes available to the public 50 years from the date the marriage was recorded with the state. Until then, access is restricted to the couple named in the record, their attorneys, and anyone with a court order authorizing access to the record. Marriage records in Alaska can be accessed at the courthouse clerk's office where the record was filed or at the Anchorage and Juneau Vital Record Offices.
Family Court records can include marriage records and divorce records. These records contain the personal information of those involved, and their maintenance is critical should anyone involved wish to make changes. Because of this, both marriage and divorce records can be considered more difficult to locate and obtain than other public records and may not be available through government sources or third-party public record websites.
How to Find Alaska Marriage Records
Alaska marriage records are official documents authorizing and providing proof of unions between people in family units. In addition to the union between a man and a woman, Alaska recognizes same-sex marriages and issues vital records for them. Marriage records include a marriage certificate and marriage license. Typically, marriage records in Alaska are confidential for 50 years. Confidential marriage records search in Alaska can be conducted at the Alaska Vital Records office, while Alaska public marriage records are accessible at the State Archives office. Marriage records search in Alaska does not include providing information regarding divorce. However, interested persons can request divorce certificates to know if a person has been previously married.
How to Find Out if Someone is Married in Alaska
An individual can find out if someone is married in Alaska by requesting their marriage certificate at the Alaska Health Analytics & Vital Records office. Requests can be made online, by mail, by fax, and in person. Online marriage certificates are processed by a third-party vendor approved by the office. Fax requests can be made by calling (907) 465-3618. Mail requests require submitting an Alaska Marriage Certificate Request Form alongside a copy of a government-issued ID with the appropriate fees payable by check, money order, or credit card) to:
Health Analytics and Vital Records
P.O. Box 110675
Juneau, AK 99811-0675
In-person orders can be made by visiting the Alaska Vital Records Offices at Juneau (Main Office) or Anchorage Office. These Offices are located at:
Alaska Vital Records Office
Juneau (Main Office)
5441 Commercial Blvd.
Juneau, AK 99801
Phone: (907) 465-3391
Fax: (907) 465-3618
3901 Old Seward Hwy, Ste. 101
Anchorage, AK 99503
Phone: (907) 269-0991
How to Check Marriage Status Online
An Alaska resident seeking how to check marriage status online can do so via the online tool provided by a third-party vendor approved by the Health Analytics and Vital Records office. Online marriage certificate via this third-party tool requires providing the following information:
- State of Marriage
- City of Marriage
- Marriage date
- Reason for request
Online marriage certificate requests cost $30 per copy and an additional $10 for the processing fee. Individuals who want expedited services would have to pay an additional $5.50. Contact the Vital Records Office for more information on how to check marriage status online in Alaska.
What is Considered a Marriage Record in Alaska?
Alaska Marriage records are an assembly of formally written reports that chronicle official processes involved in the contraction of a marriage performed within the state.
In Alaska, a marriage record is made up of
- An application form for a marriage license
- A photo ID of each of the parties intending to marry
- A copy of the issued marriage license
- A copy of a sample marriage script
- A copy of previous divorce decree, certificate or record (where applicable)
- A transcript of the marriage proceedings
- A marriage certificate
Individuals seeking to know how to find marriage records can contact the Alaska Vital Records office.
Both government websites and organizations may offer divorce and marriage records. Similarly, third party public record websites can also provide these types of records. But because third party organizations are not operated or sponsored by the government, record availability may vary. Further, marriage and dissolution of marriage records are considered highly private and are often sealed, meaning availability of these types of records cannot be guaranteed.
Where to Find Free Alaska Marriage Records
In Alaska, copies of marriage records are typically not free. However, individuals might be able to view marriage records for free at the Alaska State Archives office at:
Alaska State Archives office
395 Whittier Street
Juneau, AK 99801
Phone: (907) 465-2270
Fax: (907) 465-2151
However, requesters must pay $0.10 per page and $50/hr for processing fees to obtain paper copies of marriage records at the State Archives office.
How to Change Your Name After Marriage in Alaska
Newlyweds can change their name after marriage in Alaska with a certified marriage license. After locating copies of their marriage certificate, the party will need to visit a local Social Security Administration (SSA) office to register their new name on their social security record. Applicants are to fill a form-SS5 and will need to submit a copy of their marriage certificate and proof of identity. The SSA will process this request within two to three weeks.
Couples will also need to change their name on their Alaska driver's license by submitting an Alaska Driver's License application to any local Alaska DMV office. Applicants must bring along a copy of their marriage certificate and proof of identity.
What is Considered a Marriage Certificate in Alaska?
A marriage certificate in Alaska is a state-approved record that declares a couple as legally married. It is issued upon a successful marriage ceremony. Key information included in a marriage certificate are:
- Names of both parties in the marriage
- Date and place of the marriage
- Name, title, mailing address, and signature of the officiant
- Names and signatures of witnesses
In Alaska, a copy of the certificate is provided to the couple, while the original copy alongside the marriage license is filed with the state’s Vital Records Office through the court clerk in the county where the marriage was contracted. Filed copies are retained as part of Alaska vital records.
The three types of marriage certificate copies in Alaska are:
- Certified copy: This is a copy that is endorsed by the authorizing agency as a true copy of the original document. It bears an official seal
- Regular (non-certified) copy: This is a plain copy that provides the same information as a certified copy but cannot be used for legal, tax, and other official purposes
- Heirloom marriage certificate: A marriage certificate uniquely designed, often as a gift to the couple by family and well-wishers.
How Do I Obtain a Copy of My Marriage Certificate in Alaska?
In Alaska, only the two individuals involved in a marriage, their attorneys, and persons with a legally recognised relationship with the couple (e.g., the children of the couple) may request for copies of a marriage certificate.
To obtain copies of an Alaska marriage certificate, fill out the application form and submit it along with a clear and signed copy of the photo ID. A copy of the applicant’s driver’s license, state-issued ID, travel passport, military service ID, Tribal Identity card, are all acceptable forms of Identification.
The following details are mandatory in the completion of the application process:
- Full names of the married individuals named on the certificate
- When and where the marriage ceremony was held
- Reason for the request
- Applicant's relationship with the person whose record is being requested
- Applicant's telephone number (daytime contact complete with the area code)
Legal representatives must submit, along with their applications, cover letters from the owners of the records they seek.
Applications may be submitted by post mail, or fax or in person. Use only one means of submission per request in order to avoid multiple processing of the same application.
- Mail: Select one of the two Alaska Vital Records Offices for mail submission. Applications received by mail at the issuing office take about 4 weeks to complete processing, aside mailing time.
- Fax: Send the completed application by fax to (907) 465-3618 (Juneau) or (907) 269-0994 (Anchorage). Confirm the receipt of the faxed request by calling (907) 465-3391 (Juneau) or (907) 269-0991 (Anchorage) 10 minutes after the submission. It takes a maximum of 3 weeks to process faxed requests, besides mailing time.
- Walk-in: Visit any one of the two record offices during its business hours and submit a copy of the completed application by hand. Requests submitted by hand are usually processed within 48 hours.
All submissions are processed only upon the receipt of payment at the issuing office. Only credit card payments are accepted for the issuance of copies of marriage certificates. Alaska Vital Records Office charges $30 for the first certified copy of a marriage certificate and $65 for the first Heirloom certificate copy. Each additional certified copy of the same certificate, ordered simultaneously, costs $25, while an additional Heirloom marriage certificate copy costs $60. When requesting an Alaska Heirloom marriage certificate, use the Heirloom marriage certificate request form.
Expedited services are available at the record office (48 hours processing time) for an extra $11 fee. Tracking mail delivery options are available at standard shipping rates.
Contact the Vital Records Office for more information on how to find a marriage certificate in Alaska.
What is Considered a Marriage License in Alaska?
In Alaska, a marriage license is an authorizing document issued to an intending couple to proceed to marriage. A marriage license is a prerequisite to a marriage recognized by the state, but not equivalent to being married according to state laws. An Alaska-issued license can be obtained by both residents and non-residents and is valid only for marriages performed within the state.
Are Marriage Licenses Public Records in Alaska?
Per AK Stat § 18.50.310, Alaska marriage licenses become public records after 50 years. Alaska public marriage records can be retrieved by submitting a Research Inquiry Form to the State Archives Office.
Alaska Formal Marriage Licenses
In Alaska, only formal marriage licenses are issued for formally recognized marriage proceedings.
Alaska Common Law Marriage Licenses
Alaska state does not perform or recognize common-law marriages. Therefore, there are no provisions for common-law marriage licenses.
Alaska Confidential Marriage Licenses
Marriage licenses kept private are referred to as confidential marriage licenses. This is frequently the case when a couple agrees with the county courthouse to restrict the public from learning about their marriage, much less from seeing the records of their marriage license. Depending on a clause that is included in the state statutes, a couple may be granted these advantages.
Are Prenups Public Record in Alaska?
A prenuptial agreement is a written agreement between two couples planning to wed before enacting a marriage contract to specify the rights and obligations of each person in the partnership. This agreement frequently sets how property and alimony will be divided if one or both spouses pass away or leave the marriage.