Obtain Free Nebraska Marriage Records (Certificate Lookup)

Free Nebraska Marriage Record Search
Access anyone's marital information in Nebraska, free of charge.

Access free Nebraska marriage records to learn more about individuals or aid in your genealogical research.

Thanks to the Nebraska Public Records Act and the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), individuals can tap into a wealth of government information, including marriage licenses, at no charge.

Exploring this information through state and local agencies allows searchers to determine if a person is married. In this resource, you’ll be provided contact information for record custodians, an overview of historical archives, and clear insight on accessing marriage licenses in Nebraska.

Can Anyone Access Marriage Records & Certificates in Nebraska?

Nebraska citizens may choose to search for marriage records for many reasons.

Finding this information can help answer questions on whether an individual is married and help them learn about their family’s history. Additionally, couples who wed in Nebraska may need their marriage records to change their name, gain spousal benefits, or provide proof of marriage for immigration, tax, or estate planning purposes.

The Nebraska Office of Vital Records is the custodian for marriage licenses in the state, and citizens can request certified copies of their own marriage records in Nebraska.1 Additionally, they may obtain the marriage licenses of a direct relative, such as a parent or child, but they must provide proof of relationship when submitting their request.

Sometimes, people may want to find out the marriage status of another individual. When they’re seeking these records, people will need to explain to the Office of Vital Records why they need the information. Ultimately, it’s up to the office to approve the purpose of the records search and issue the marriage certificate.

Before searching for publicly available data, it’s helpful to know the basics of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Title 174, Vital Records, which establishes guidelines for viewing such information. This regulation allows individuals to view vital records, including marriage licenses, in the department’s office.

When the department provides requested viewing copies, they will be stamped “not a legal document” and will omit any private information, such as Social Security numbers or medical history. Record seekers can review their requested certificates in the viewing area, but they cannot take photographs or make copies of these documents. However, they can make notes about the record’s contents.

In all cases, record seekers must identify a proper purpose for viewing the marriage certificate, and the department will decide whether that purpose is valid. Additionally, these marriage licenses are also available for people conducting genealogical research. However, the individual listed in the record must have died 50 or more years ago.

Individuals seeking such information can visit the Office of Vital Records to make an in-person request in the viewing room:

Office of Vital Records
Nebraska State Office Building
301 Centennial Mall South
Lincoln, NE 68508

Finally, citizens may also use third-party provider websites to secure marriage records that they cannot obtain through government agencies and databases.

However, keep in mind that if these third-party vendors are not endorsed by the state, county, or city, the records cannot be used for official purposes and, instead, may only be used for personal research.

Another way to learn about marriages in Nebraska is through the United States Census Bureau’s marriage statistics.

While this data won’t provide details on an individual resident’s marriage status, it gives some interesting insight into marriage trends in the state, including who’s married, who’s divorced, and who’s single. For example, the Census Bureau reports that nearly 85% of Nebraskans ages 15 and older are married, 10.7% are widowed, 2.3% are divorced, and 2.3% are never married.

A screenshot of the database that gives some interesting insight into marriage trends in the state, including who’s married, who’s divorced, and who’s single.
Source: United States Census Bureau2

How To Find Nebraska Marriage Records, Documents & Licenses for Free

The Nebraska Office of Vital Records allows interested citizens to request marriage certificates in a few ways, including online, by mail, and in person.

People who aren’t local to Lincoln, the home of the office, will appreciate the convenience of online or mailed records requests.

They can complete the online application for a certified copy of a marriage certificate, providing their name, contact information, and an image of a government-issued ID.

A screenshot of the online form that can be used by those individuals requesting a certified copy of their marriage certificate or one for a parent or sibling.
Source: Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services3

The department also accepts a mailed application for a certified copy of a marriage certificate, which requires the same information as the online form. To obtain a certified copy, individuals can expect to pay $16, payable by credit card online or check or money order by mail.

As another option, citizens can visit the Office of Vital Records in person, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., to make a request.

Office of Vital Records
Nebraska State Office Building
301 Centennial Mall South
Lincoln, NE 68508

Phone: 402-471-2871
Email: DHHS.VitalRecords@nebraska.gov

Mailing Address:

Nebraska Office of Vital Records
P.O. Box 95605
Lincoln, NE 68509-5065

Nebraska Title 174: 3-.004.06 governs the use of public records for genealogical purposes. This regulation states that vital information — including marriage records — may only be accessed for genealogy research if those licenses are 50 years or older. Individuals wishing to view this marriage license information must visit the Office of Vital Records in person to make the request.

They must provide photo identification, meet the proper purpose regulations, and pay the $16 fee for a view-only certificate. Note that the office allows individuals to jot down relevant information from the marriage license, but they can’t bring the record home.

Some types of research require more in-depth searching. In these cases, citizens will have to explore archived indexes to find older marriage records. More information on this search process will be outlined below.

Searching Marriage Records in Nebraska Through Local County Agencies

Although state-level marriage record searches provide the broadest results, citizens can also research marriage certificates through local Nebraska agencies. County clerk offices are a good place to start a marriage records search at the local level, and they’re convenient for a few reasons.

First, many Nebraska counties offer convenient online searches for marriage license information, making the information available from the convenience of home. Additionally, these agencies accept requests in various formats, including online, by mail, or in person, which makes it convenient to obtain necessary information.

The Douglas County Clerk & Comptroller’s Office manages marriage records at the county level for the greater Omaha area.4 To start, individuals can search county marriage records online by name. This online search pulls information from two databases: the Nebraska Marriage License Listing and the Marriage License Archives.

A screenshot of the search tool where the user can see the names of both married parties, their date of marriage, their marriage application date, and their marriage license number.
Source: Douglas County Clerk/Comptroller’s Office5

Although individuals cannot view the marriage license through this search, they can see the names of both married parties, their date of marriage, their marriage application date, and their marriage license number.

It’s important to note that not all marriage licenses are available through this online search, but the county clerk’s office can provide additional information over the phone or via email.

Individuals can also request certified and non-certified copies of a marriage license by completing the Marriage Record Request Form. On the application, they must explain the purpose of the record request and the relationship with the person listed on the license to obtain the copy. Also, citizens must provide a copy of a photo ID with the completed form.

Certified copies cost $9 each, and non-certified copies cost $0.25.

Douglas County Clerk/Comptroller’s Office
Omaha-Douglas Civic Center
1819 Farnam Street, H08
Omaha, NE 68183

Phone: 402-444-6080
Email: marriage@douglascounty-ne.gov

Lancaster County is home to Lincoln, Nebraska’s capital city, and has the second-largest county population in the state. The Lancaster County Clerk has a similar process for obtaining marriage licenses.6

Record seekers can begin by using the online search of marriages in Lancaster County.

A screenshot of the database that includes marriage records from the mid-1960s to the present, and individuals can search by name or marriage date.
Source: Lancaster County Clerk7

This database includes marriage records from the mid-1960s to the present, and individuals can search by name or marriage date.

Like the Douglas County search, these results do not show the marriage license but list the names of the two parties, the marriage date, and the license number, giving insight into the searched party’s marriage status. Individuals must complete the Marriage Record Request Form and submit it by mail or in person.8

With the form, individuals must provide a photo ID and list the purpose of obtaining the record and the requester’s relationship to the individuals listed on the marriage license. Certified copies cost $9, and non-certified copies cost $25.

Lancaster County Clerk
555 South 10th Street
Lincoln, NE 68508

Phone: 402-441-7484
Email: coclerk@lancaster.ne.gov

Individuals seeking information on marriages in Sarpy County can check out the online search for marriage records.9 They can enter either party’s full name to pull up the marriage date and name of both parties. Marriages from 1987 to the present are accessible via this online search.

For physical copies of a license issued in the county, citizens should complete the Copy Request for Marriage Record and submit it to the Sarpy County Clerk.10 The office issues certified copies only to the two named parties on the license. A certified copy is $9, and non-certified copies are $.25.

Individuals can pay the fee by mail via money order, or they can pay by credit card over the phone.

Sarpy County Clerk
1210 Golden Gate Drive #1250
Papillion, NE 68046

Phone: 402-593-5957
Email: clerk@sarpy.com

In Nebraska, county clerk offices are the local custodian for marriage records. Citizens can check out a complete list of Nebraska counties to find the contact information for their county.11 Although local health departments house some vital records, including birth and death certificates in the state, citizens should reach out to their county clerk office for marriage license information.

Nebraska cities such as Omaha and Lincoln refer record seekers to the county clerk office for all marriage license information.

While this county-level data can help citizens find more recent marriage licenses, archived records can be useful for genealogical research, and more information on Nebraska marriage archives follows.

Review Archived Marriage Indexes in Nebraska & Find Ancestral Information

Citizens can also search marriage records in Nebraska by accessing archived indexes available at the state and county level and published by several organizations.

To start, individuals should reach out to History Nebraska, the state’s historical society and the primary custodian of archived public records kept for historical purposes.12

The organization publishes a detailed list of what county-level public records, including marriage licenses, are available. Citizens can review these records, which are available in microfilm or paper form, in person at History Nebraska. To begin their research, they can explore the list of government records available by county.13

Each county-specific document lists if marriage records are available for the county and, if so, the dates available. Note that common law marriages are not recognized in Nebraska, so there is no public record available to verify such unions.

Individuals who want to search these archived marriage records can make an appointment to visit the Reference Room at History Nebraska.14 Appointments are available Tuesdays between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. and Wednesdays between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

At History Nebraska, Individuals cannot print paper copies of the records from microfilm readers, but they may bring a flash drive to save any data they find. However, they may ask staff to make copies of any paper records.

History Nebraska
1500 R Street
Lincoln, NE 68508

Phone: 402-471-3270
Email: reference@hn.libanswers.com

Although History Nebraska offers the most comprehensive database of marriage records in the state, individuals may be able to find information at the county level as well. For example, the Lancaster County Clerk has an online marriage license index for marriages occurring between 1871 and 2006.

Other resources to explore include the following:

  • Public libraries may house archived marriage records. The Omaha Public Library has reels of marriage records for 39 Nebraska counties available to view in person.15 Additionally, the Nebraska Library Commission publishes a complete list of all public libraries in the state, which can help connect individuals to their local library archives.
  • Local genealogical societies may publish some marriage data as well.
    For example, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society has marriage records for Lancaster County available for several date ranges. Individuals can request a specific copy by emailing library@llcgs.info and paying the $10-per-copy fee.
  • Old newspapers may have records of published marriage announcements that include the couple’s name and wedding date.
  • Religious institutions may be able to verify marriages that they conducted.

How To Apply & Submit a Nebraska Marriage License

Couples must secure a marriage license from a Nebraska county clerk before they marry. Both individuals must appear in person at their local county clerk’s office to apply, and they must provide a completed marriage license application, photo identification, and payment for the license.

Forms and fees vary by county and are available on each county clerk’s website. Typically, couples can expect to pay between $15 and $34 for a license. Good news: Couples have plenty of time to wed after securing their license.

That’s because marriage licenses issued in Nebraska are valid for 365 days for any ceremonies performed in the state.

After the ceremony, the officiant should sign the marriage license and mail it to the county clerk’s office for official recording of the nuptials. To get started, couples can find any county’s website and search for the county clerk’s office, which provides required forms and fees on its website.

This resource offers helpful information on streamlining the search for Nebraska marriage records, allowing citizens to secure the vital information they need.


References

1Vital Records. Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. (2023) Retrieved November 8, 2023, from <https://dhhs.ne.gov/pages/vital-records.aspx#SectionLink5>

2Marital Status. United States Census Bureau. (n.d.) Retrieved November 8, 2023, from <https://data.census.gov/table/ACSST5Y2021.S1201?g=060XX00US3102990487>

3Application For Certified Copy Of Marriage Certificate. Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. (2023) Retrieved November 8, 2023, from <https://nevitalrecords-dhhs.ne.gov/CustomerInformation?certificateRequestId=301311>

4Contact Us. Douglas County Clerk/Comptroller’s Office. (n.d.) Retrieved November 8, 2023, from <https://www.douglascountyclerk.org/contact-us>

5Marriage License Search. Douglas County Clerk/Comptroller’s Office. (n.d.) Retrieved November 8, 2023, from <https://www.douglascountyclerk.org/marriage-licenses/marriagelicensesearch?lastname=Smith&firstname=John&searchgroom=Search>

6County Clerk. Lancaster County Clerk. (n.d.) Retrieved November 8, 2023, from <https://www.lancaster.ne.gov/389/County-Clerk>

7Marriage License Results. Lancaster County Clerk. (n.d.) Retrieved November 8, 2023, from <https://app.lincoln.ne.gov/aspx/cnty/clerk/marrsrch.aspx>

8Marriage Record Request Form. Lancaster County Clerk. (n.d.) Retrieved November 8, 2023, from <https://www.lancaster.ne.gov/DocumentCenter/View/1020/Certified-Marriage-Record-Request-Form-PDF>

9Marriage License Search. Sarpy County. (n.d.) Retrieved November 8, 2023, from <https://apps.sarpy.gov/MLSearch/>

10Register of Deeds. Sarpy County Clerk. (n.d.) Retrieved November 8, 2023, from <https://www.sarpy.gov/183/County-Clerk-Register-of-Deeds>

11Cities / Counties / Villages. State of Nebraska. (2023) Retrieved November 8, 2023, from <https://designegov.nebraska.gov/attractions/city-county/>

12Nebraska Revised Statute 82-104. Nebraska Legislature. (n.d.) Retrieved November 8, 2023, from <https://nebraskalegislature.gov/laws/statutes.php?statute=82-104>

13County Government Records. History Nebraska.  (2023) Retrieved November 8, 2023, from <https://history.nebraska.gov/collections/government-records/county-government-records/>

14Reference Services. History Nebraska.  (2023) Retrieved November 8, 2023, from <https://history.nebraska.gov/collections/research-reference-services/>

15Nebraska Marriage Records. Omaha Public Library. (2023) Retrieved November 8, 2023, from <https://omahalibrary.org/nebraska-county-marriage-records/>