Marriage Certificate Applications Drop Significantly: Those Filing Move Online, Then Have to Find a Justice of the Peace

The numbers of persons filing for intentions to be married has dropped dramatically in the last month, and especially compared to last year, but for those who persist, they are moving rapidly to online requests.

The number of people filing for intent to be married is down significantly every week since the COVID-19 response, and was down by nearly 300 requests in the last week of March compared to last year.

During the week of March 20-26, there were 67 requests to be married, compared to a total of 343 requests at the same time last year. In the week of Feb. 7-13 this year, there were 225 requests.

City officials indicated that to get a marriage certificate, residents can either go online to file, or they can make an appointment to go into City Hall on the prescribed days. After the state mandated wait period of three days, the City then mails the certificate to them.

Since there are no large church or venue weddings permitted by order of the state right now, City officials said it was up to the couple, once they had the license in hand, to find an eligible Justice of the Peace or member of the Clergy to perform the wedding in a small way.

Interestingly, of those that have pushed on with getting married during the COVID-19 shut-down, most have dramatically moved towards online filings. Some 75 percent of the intentions filed in the last week of March were done online. That is compared to none at the same time last year when there were more than 300 requests.

That has actually been the standard across the board at City Hall for vital statistics, which also include death certificates and birth certificates (some of the requests may not reflect current births or deaths, but rather people making the request who have more time to tie up such loose ends).

In the last week of March, there were 675 death certificates issues, and 78 percent of them were issued online. Only 144 made an appointment to come in, and only three did it by mail. Last year at the same time, of the 985 death certificates, just 45 percent performed the service online. In the Feb. 7-13 week of this year, that number was just 41 percent.

Some 72 percent of the 447 requests for a birth certificate came online, with just one person requesting one by mail.

One year ago, of the 1,870 birth certificates issued, only 34 percent were requested online, and that was also the case early in February too, with 35 percent of the 1,584 requests being made online.

It is also fair to note that the overall numbers of birth and death certificates in the last week of March was way down, with birth certificates down by more than 75 percent over last year and death certificates down 33 percent over last year.

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