Jump to content
Michaela K.

Missouri marriage on K1 - marriage certificate or license??

15 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Hey guys, please help, I'm super confused and frustrated!

 

I did hours of research on this and today a lady at a local office told me something completely different and I have no idea what to do now. 

I came on K1, we got marriage license at County Recorder's Office last Monday and got married last Friday.

 

Today we were supposed to stop by the County Recorder's Office again and I thought they were gonna issue us certified copies of marriage certificate. I read on many websites that the license allows us to get married and then the marriage certificate is an actual proof of marriage. Also in AOS instructions they ask for copy of a marriage certificate not license. Also I read people used marriage certificate to show legal name change in case they wanted to change their name to the married name on bank account etc.

 

The lady today gave us certified copies of signed marriage LICENSE from the court. She said the marriage certificate is a nice thing (memory) for us to have at home but otherwise it is useless and it is NOT a legal document. Also she told me I CANNOT change my last name to my husband's unless I go to social security office. She said I CANNOT use the license and definitely not the certificate as a proof of name change.

 

Until today I thought once we will get certified copies of marriage certificate, I'll use it for AOS and also I'll use it to change my last name on anything I have or will set up (bank account etc.).

I thought social security office won't change my last name until it matches with the immigration system, which is not until I get my work permit with my new last name, that I am supposed to prove by a certified copy of marriage certificate. 

 

Was the lady wrong or was my research wrong?

Anyone in Missouri who could share their experience and advice? This is probably different for each state.

Should I just use the cert. copies of license or should we insist on the cert. copies of the certificate even though she said it's useless?

 

Edited by Michaela K.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, not Missouri, but here in TX the Marriage License BECOMES the Marriage Certificate once the bit on the bottom about the marriage "rites" having been performed & the marriage having been recorded by the county are filled out. (I can go in to the county clerk & get certified copies at any time. Those are smaller and black & white vs the original I have from when we got married. I never sent the original to USCIS, only certified copies.)

Maybe Missouri is similar?

You can definitely use it as proof of name change, though. What else would serve as such? You don't have a court document (nor do you need one).

It's a good idea to change your name with SSA & on your driver license. Guess what proof will they need? Your marriage certificate.

(As an aside, my marriage certificate only lists my maiden name but it's still proof of name change. It does list my husband's name, after all.)

Edited by EM_Vandaveer

Entry on VWP to visit then-boyfriend 06/13/2011

Married 06/24/2011

Our first son was born 10/31/2012, our daughter was born 06/30/2014, our second son was born 06/20/2017

AOS Timeline

AOS package mailed 09/06/2011 (Chicago Lockbox)

AOS package signed for by R Mercado 09/07/2011

Priority date for I-485&I-130 09/08/2011

Biometrics done 10/03/2011

Interview letter received 11/18/2011

INTERVIEW DATE!!!! 12/20/2011

Approval e-mail 12/21/2011

Card production e-mail 12/27/2011

GREEN CARD ARRIVED 12/31/2011

Resident since 12/21/2011

ROC Timeline

ROC package mailed to VSC 11/22/2013

NOA1 date 11/26/2013

Biometrics date 12/26/2013

Transfer notice to CSC 03/14/2014

Change of address 03/27/2014

Card production ordered 04/30/2014

10-YEAR GREEN CARD ARRIVED 05/06/2014

N-400 Timeline

N-400 package mailed 09/30/2014

N-400 package delivered 10/01/2014

NOA1 date 10/20/2014

Biometrics date 11/14/2014

Early walk-in biometrics 11/12/2014

In-line for interview 11/23/2014

Interview letter 03/18/2015

Interview date 04/17/2015 ("Decision cannot yet be made.")

In-line for oath scheduling 05/04/2015

Oath ceremony letter dated 05/11/2015

Oath ceremony 06/02/2015

I am a United States citizen!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Michaela K. said:

Hey guys, please help, I'm super confused and frustrated!

 

I did hours of research on this and today a lady at a local office told me something completely different and I have no idea what to do now. 

I came on K1, we got marriage license at County Recorder's Office last Monday and got married last Friday.

 

Today we were supposed to stop by the County Recorder's Office again and I thought they were gonna issue us certified copies of marriage certificate. I read on many websites that the license allows us to get married and then the marriage certificate is an actual proof of marriage. Also in AOS instructions they ask for copy of a marriage certificate not license. Also I read people used marriage certificate to show legal name change in case they wanted to change their name to the married name on bank account etc.

 

The lady today gave us certified copies of signed marriage LICENSE from the court. She said the marriage certificate is a nice thing (memory) for us to have at home but otherwise it is useless and it is NOT a legal document. Also she told me I CANNOT change my last name to my husband's unless I go to social security office. She said I CANNOT use the license and definitely not the certificate as a proof of name change.

 

Until today I thought once we will get certified copies of marriage certificate, I'll use it for AOS and also I'll use it to change my last name on anything I have or will set up (bank account etc.).

I thought social security office won't change my last name until it matches with the immigration system, which is not until I get my work permit with my new last name, that I am supposed to prove by a certified copy of marriage certificate. 

 

Was the lady wrong or was my research wrong?

Anyone in Missouri who could share their experience and advice? This is probably different for each state.

Should I just use the cert. copies of license or should we insist on the cert. copies of the certificate even though she said it's useless?

 

The lady is wrong. She is speaking from a USC perspective concerning the name change on the SSN being the first place to "change your name". That's for USC's. The first place immigrants change their name is on the AOS application and we do that by filing for AOS in our married name.

Some states issue the marriage license and marriage certificate on the same document. It sounds like your county, that is the case. As long as the marriage license/marriage certificate has been signed by the officiant and filed with the county and is certified (stamped etc), THAT is your MC. Submit a photocopy of that with your AOS application. What she is referring to is a decorative MC that is not an official MC. What you have is official. Dont listen to her.

Edited by K1visaHopeful

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And you are right that you cannot (in most cases) change your name on your SSN or anywhere else until your married name has been updated with DHS. That happens upon EAD or GC approval, whichever comes first. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, EM_Vandaveer said:

(As an aside, my marriage certificate only lists my maiden name but it's still proof of name change. It does list my husband's name, after all.)

I have never heard of any marriage certificate listing anything BUT maiden name.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Jorgedig said:

I have never heard of any marriage certificate listing anything BUT maiden name.

There is a part in some if not most marriage certificates that lists maiden name first and then the name after marriage in the bottom section.

Edited by Naes

Check your case status at the new website : https://myaccount.uscis.dhs.gov

USPS INFORMED DELIVERY https://informeddelivery.usps.com/box/pages/intro/start.action

 

How to talk to a live person at USCIShttps://goo.gl/54z5bZ

What to do after NOA2 Approval? How to contact NVCClick here for info - https://goo.gl/KggThF

If you cannot get NVC on the phone try this - https://secureforms.travel.state.gov/ask-nvc.php

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Naes said:

There is a part in some if not most marriage certificates that lists maiden name first and then the name after marriage in the bottom section.

Really?  What if the person doesn't choose to change her name?  Here in Washington, it lists only the maiden name, and then you can use it to change your name.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Jorgedig said:

Really?  What if the person doesn't choose to change her name?  Here in Washington, it lists only the maiden name, and then you can use it to change your name.

Then you just put the same name (your maiden name). It doesn't have to be different. In California you can also change your middle name with the marriage license.

 

It acts as the main official paper to change your name when you go to social security office etc. for US citizens. For foreigners they can actually change their names with their embassy, they do not need any US government issued things for that. And then they can use their government ID such as passport to prove the change.

Edited by Naes

Check your case status at the new website : https://myaccount.uscis.dhs.gov

USPS INFORMED DELIVERY https://informeddelivery.usps.com/box/pages/intro/start.action

 

How to talk to a live person at USCIShttps://goo.gl/54z5bZ

What to do after NOA2 Approval? How to contact NVCClick here for info - https://goo.gl/KggThF

If you cannot get NVC on the phone try this - https://secureforms.travel.state.gov/ask-nvc.php

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here in Nevada I have the option to get a certified marriage license, and/ or a certified marriage certificate, or both. The certificate is what you need for AOS, but a certified copy of the marriage license is supposedly helpful because it will have the immigrants parents names on it, and all the information you provide to get the license. I didn't get a copy of the license, just the certificate, and it arrived at the lockbox on Saturday, so I am hoping for a text message or email this week showing my AOS journey has begun. 

As for the name change I can change middle and last also with the certificate, but we decided she should keep her last name just to keep things simple. I'll deal with a name change later if she wants, changing your name doesn't make you any more married, and a lot more women are keeping their last names now than years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My husband and I got married in Kansas City, MO.

 

We went to the recorder of deeds and got our marriage licence. There is a fancy certificate that is not legally binding, and I believe there were two other forms that your officiant should have filled out and sent back to the recorder of deeds at the court house. In about a week, you should get the legal marriage certificate. Comes on yellow-orange card stock and doesn't look nearly as nice as the blue fancy one which, yes, has your maiden name on it. The yellowish one I believe also has the maiden name on it, but you take it to the social security office, bank, licence bureau, work, etc, to update your last name.

Edited by rrobin0609

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@EM_Vandaveer and @K1visaHopeful Thank you so much for your quick responses! 

 

If the marriage license becomes the marriage certificate once married, then it makes sense! I was so confused since our witnesses signed both originals (the license and the certificate) at the court so I knew both documents exist. I had no idea the license could in some states work as the certificate while the certificate is useless. The right wording in google search helped me to find correct information now.  

 

When the lady insisted that I cannot use my husband's name based neither on the certificate nor the license unless I change it with the social security, I was worried I won't be able to use his name even for AOS. I'm glad it's not the case!

 

@rrobin0609 

 

18 minutes ago, rrobin0609 said:

My husband and I got married in Kansas City, MO.

 

We went to the recorder of deeds and got our marriage licence. There is a fancy certificate that is not legally binding, and I believe there were two other forms that your officiant should have filled out and sent back to the recorder of deeds at the court house. In about a week, you should get the legal marriage certificate. Comes on yellow-orange card stock and does look nearly as nice as the blue fancy one which, yes, has your maiden name on it. The yellowish one I believe also has the maiden name on it, but you take it to the social security office, bank, licence bureau, work, etc, to update your last name.

Oh, this may be county specific. Both our originals (marriage license and certificate) have blue colour on them. Any chance you remember which one's copy you used for AOS? The one that says certificate or license?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Michaela K. said:

Oh, this may be county specific. Both our originals (marriage license and certificate) have blue colour on them. Any chance you remember which one's copy you used for AOS? The one that says certificate or license?

We used the one that was mailed back to us- made photocopies and called it good (I'm not paying $10 a pop for a copy unless USCIS asks me to). I wasn't 100% sure which it said, but luckily Jackson county has an online marriage search index and I was able to find a scanned copy of what we sent. It says marriage licence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, rrobin0609 said:

We used the one that was mailed back to us- made photocopies and called it good (I'm not paying $10 a pop for a copy unless USCIS asks me to). I wasn't 100% sure which it said, but luckily Jackson county has an online marriage search index and I was able to find a scanned copy of what we sent. It says marriage licence.

Thank you! I appreciate you looking it up!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, rrobin0609 said:

My husband and I got married in Kansas City, MO.

 

We went to the recorder of deeds and got our marriage licence. There is a fancy certificate that is not legally binding, and I believe there were two other forms that your officiant should have filled out and sent back to the recorder of deeds at the court house. In about a week, you should get the legal marriage certificate. Comes on yellow-orange card stock and doesn't look nearly as nice as the blue fancy one which, yes, has your maiden name on it. The yellowish one I believe also has the maiden name on it, but you take it to the social security office, bank, licence bureau, work, etc, to update your last name.

This ^^^^... I got married to a K-1 in St. Louis County in 2010. She started using my last name immediately based on the certificate.  I believe we sent just copies of the certificate into USCIS for AOS...


Not a newbie but lost my old info years ago) I have been through this process before --all the way through naturalization-- This site has always been a great help to me. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Jorgedig said:

I have never heard of any marriage certificate listing anything BUT maiden name.

Yes, in CA we list both maiden name and married name (if we choose to change name). We do it when we fill out the marriage license and obviously the same info later shows on the certificate too.


K-1: 12-22-2015 - 09-07-2016 (260 days)

AP: 12-20-2016 - 04-07-2017 (108 days)

EAD: 01-18-2017 - 05-30-2017 (132 days)

AOS: 12-20-2016 - 07-26-2017 (217 days)

 

ROC: 04-19-2019 earliest filing date

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask our VJ Immigration Lawyers.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×