A photocopy of the original marriage record or an extract from the record is acceptable
as preferred proof of marriage if it is certified by the custodian of the religious
records in his/her official capacity or by an authorized SSA, State Department, or
VA employee. The record custodian must attest to the document’s authenticity and accuracy
by a signed or stamped statement executed at the time the photocopy/extract is made;
or by affixing his/her seal of office to the photocopy/extract. See GN 00301.080.
The custodian must indicate his/her official status, and his/her relationship to the
records, by the use of the organization’s letterhead or seal, or his/her own seal
of office. In some cases, there may be no printed letterhead, but the name of the
church or religious entity will be typed or handwritten in the appropriate space on
See GN 00301.050C for instructions on distinguishing between certified copies of religious
marriage certificates and SC’s. FOs should use their judgment and knowledge of local
practices in evaluating these documents.