Once the wedding ceremony is complete, and the Town Clerk receives the marriage license back at the Town Office, the Municipal Clerk records the marriage and the license/certificate of marriage will be filed at the Town Office forever. After the license is recorded, the couple may obtain a Certificate of Marriage from the Office of the Municipal Clerk.
The Certificate of Marriage is needed for a name change on a driver's license, passport, bank account, social security card, etc.
Please note that the Municipal Clerk does not automatically mail the certificate of marriage. It is the couple's responsibility to appear before the Municipal 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 went into effect. Maine's new law requires a person requesting a copy of marriage records less than 50 years old to provide documentation establishing their direct and legitimate interest in the records.
Individuals who may access marriage records less than 50 years old include:
· The members of the couple named on the record
· The parent(s) named on the record
· Guardian (must show court issued guardianship papers)
· Descendants of the person named on the record (child, grandchild, must show lineage)
· Registrant's legal custodian, guardian, or conservator or respective authorized representative (includes attorney, physician, or funeral director). Must show notarized statement from person or his/her family or proof of contract.
· Family: Grandparent, sibling, step-parent, step-child, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, mother-in-law, father-in-law (must show proof of relationship)
· Genealogists who have a Maine CDC issued researcher identification card and have a direct and legitimate interest in the record. Must show personal ID, Maine ODRVS researcher card and written authorization to receive the record (direct and legitimate interest).
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
The fee for obtaining a certified copy of a marriage certificate is $15.00 for the first copy of the record, and $6.00 for each additional copy of the same record purchased at the same time. Certified copies may be obtained at the Municipal Clerk's Office during regular office hours. Non-certified copies stamped "Not for Legal Use" are $10.00.
In order to obtain a marriage certificate through the mail, the applicant needs to fill out a vital records search application and enclose a copy of proper identification and proof of lineage, if applicable. The application, along with the fee and a self-addressed, stamped envelope should be mailed to the Town of Canaan, Town Clerk at PO Box 68, Canaan, ME 04924. The request will be processed the same day it is received.