What is a certified copy of your marriage license and do you need one?
A certified copy of your marriage license is a copy of the Court’s license on record. It may be necessary to show a certified copy to the appropriate entities for a legal name change, for other legitimate purposes, or for genealogical research. A certified copy does not expire. Certified copies of your marriage license cannot be obtained until your license has been filed and accepted by the County Probate Court where you obtained your license. If you would like to request a certified copy of your marriage license from the County Probate Court, you have to complete a form and pay a fee, usually $5.
In South Carolina, when you get married you are given 3 originals of your marriage license. All have the court seal imprinted on them so they are originals. You are given one copy to keep and this original is usually sufficient for all your needs. However, if you have to send your marriage license off somewhere out of your possession, you should get a certified copy. You do not want your original to get lost.
You will usually need to wait one to two weeks to get a certified copy after your wedding, but it might take longer. Your wedding officiant has 15 days to send the other two completed copies of your marriage license back to the court for filing. It then takes the court a few days to actually file the license.
Remember, you are not married until you exchange vows (oaths) and the marriage licensed is signed by all parties and returned to the court.
Here are some links to the various courts to download the form you need to fill out to get a certified copy of your marriage certificate.