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New Mexico Marriage Records

New Mexico marriage records provide official records of persons who are married (or intend to marry) in the state. Such records typically contain data collected during marriage license applications, certificates, and documents filed after the wedding. Some of the information that may be found in a marriage record includes the name of both spouses and the date and location of the wedding. Marriage records may also include the name of the wedding officiant and witnesses.

New Mexico Marriage records are vital for various reasons. Certified documents can be used during official processes that call for proof of identity and union, such as name changes, insurance policies, or spousal benefits. Genealogy researchers also use marriage records when tracing family lines.

What Types of Marriage Records are available in New Mexico

Record seekers can obtain different marriage records in New Mexico, ranging from information saved during the license application state to those filed after the wedding ceremony.

New Mexico Marriage License

New Mexico marriage licenses are legal documents issued by the county clerk authorizing the bride and groom to marry.  Under state laws (Section 40-1-10), licenses are mandatory before any marriage. Couples who marry in New Mexico without obtaining a marriage are considered not legally wed. As part of the application process, both parties must meet certain requirements, including being old enough to marry. Marriage licenses are also only issued to applicants not already in a marriage.

Note: Marriage licenses issued in New Mexico do not expire, so couples can get married immediately or wait longer before having a wedding ceremony.

New Mexico Marriage Certificate:

A marriage certificate is a legal document issued by a New Mexico County Clerk affirming the union between two individuals. Marriage certificates have no validity period and only become invalid at the dissolution of the marriage. Certified copies of a marriage certificate can serve legal and official purposes, including applying for a passport, establishing the legitimacy of a child, and conducting genealogical research.

Note: Marriage licenses are filed and evolve into certificates after a wedding. 

Are New Mexico Marriage Records Public?

New Mexico does not provide a statewide public repository for marriage records. Instead, marriage records are maintained by the County clerk in the county where the license was issued. Residents with tangible interest can obtain copies of such records by applying to the county office. However, access to certified copies is typically restricted to only eligible parties, such as the spouses named on the certificate. Residents may also be able to look up public civil marriage information by searching archived county Justice of the Peace records.

How to Find Marriage Records in New Mexico

Anyone can find marriage records in New Mexico by following several general steps.

Step 1. Identify the Right County

To find marriage records in New Mexico, you'll need to know where the marriage occured. That's because, unlike some US states, New Mexico does not provide a central statewide repository for marriage records. Instead, all records are maintained by clerks in the county where the marriage license was issued.

Step 2. Gather Marriage Information

Record custodians require that requesters provide some information to assist with the retrieval process. Some of the information that must be contained in a request include:

  • The date of marriage
  • Full name of both spouses
  • The date of birth of both spouses

You'll also need to provide some personal information, such as your full name, mailing address, and reason for the request. In addition, you'll need to specify the number of copies.

Step 3. Submit Application with Custodian

Completed applications and the applicable fee must be sent to the County Clerk's office. County offices may provide online, walk-in, or mail-in options, each offering different benefits. Walk-in applications generally have the shortest processing times, while mail-in applications offer more convenience and flexibility. Most counties permit requesters to make payments using money orders. However, the cost of obtaining a marriage record varies with county clerks and district courts. 

How to Get a Marriage License in New Mexico

New Mexico laws require that couples obtain a marriage license from the county clerk before holding a legal wedding. Getting a license is simple. Almost any eligible adult can get a marriage license in New Mexico by following several quick steps.

Step1. Meet the State Marriage License Requirements

To qualify for a marriage license in New Mexico, both parties must meet the state requirements for marriage. Applicants must be at least 18 years old to obtain a license. However, minors aged 16 or 17 may get a license if they provide written and signed consent from their parents or guardians. Mexico also prohibits marriages between blood relations (half or full). This means the following parties are not allowed to obtain a license for marriage.

  • Siblings
  • Aunts and nephews
  • Uncles and nieces 
  • Grandparents and grandchildren

Step 2. Collect Necessary Information 

Applications for a marriage license in New Mexico require both parties to provide some personal information, which goes on the record. Some of the details needed for a marriage license application include;

  • Name of applicants (first, middle, and last)
  • Date of birth for both applicants
  • Phone number, mailing address, and current physical address
  • Place of birth (City and state or city and county)

Both parties must also provide a valid government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license or US passport. Non-US applicants must provide two valid forms of identification. In addition, applicants from previous marriages must provide documentation proving they are now single, such as a copy of the divorce decree.

Step 3. Submit the Application at the Clerk's Office

Completed applications must be submitted at the Clerk's office. For this, both applicants must be present and present some photo ID. Marriage licenses are typically issued Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Licenses cost $25 on average. Unlike some states, New Mexico has no waiting period for licenses. Licenses also never expire.  Once issued, both parties may hold a marriage ceremony in any part of the state. Licenses must be signed and filed with the Clerk's office within 90 days of the marriage date, proving that the marriage occurred. 

Who can obtain Marriage Records in New Mexico?

Anyone can obtain marriage records in New Mexico if they're authorized. To obtain records in Mexico, applicants must have legal standing. For instance, spouses named on the record may request certified copies from the county clerk. Marriage records can also be obtained by immediate family members, such as parents, legal guardians, siblings, or children. Other parties permitted to obtain marriage records in New Mexico include attorneys, genealogists, researchers, or an authorized representative acting on behalf of the listed groups.

Can You Lookup Online Marriage Records For Free in New Mexico

Searching through archived court records may provide online access to some marriage records. Such records typically provide publicly accessible information, such as the name of the married parties and the marriage date. Record seekers may also be able to look up some marriage records for free using third-party platforms. Operating as private entities independent of the New Mexico state government or any official agency, such sites provide access to records compiled from multiple jurisdictions across the state. Access to some records may require essential information, such as the subject's name or marriage location.  

Is New Mexico a Common Law State for Marriage?

New Mexico does not recognize common-law marriages. However, it recognizes the validity of common law unions established in states that support this type of marriage. Common law marriages refer to unions where two people are considered married without a marriage ceremony or license. Such unions are permitted in several US states, including Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island.

Some of the general requirements that must be met to establish a common-law marriage include the following:

  • Both parties must be single and old enough to marry 
  • Both parties must indicate their intent and willingness to marry
  • Both parties must hold out to the public as husband and wife/spouses.

Unmarried couples who wish to create a legal framework for their relationship may consider the option of a domestic partnership or cohabitation agreement. Although New Mexico does not recognize common-law marriages, relationships established via formal contracts such as a cohabitation agreement are legally binding. Cohabitation agreements are legal arrangements that allow couples to define the rights and responsibilities of either party. Such agreements can cover different areas, such as financial responsibility, debt obligations, child custody arrangements, and property ownership.

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