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 their 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 their seal of office to the photocopy/extract. See GN 00301.080.
The custodian must indicate their official status, and their relationship to the records,
by the use of the organization’s letterhead or seal, or their 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 the document.
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.