Circuit Court’s Streamlined Marriage License Process Recognized
July 14, 2014
Fairfax Circuit Court’s online marriage license pre-application process was recognized by the Public Technology Institute (PTI) as a “Significant Achievement” for their 2013–2014 Technology Solutions Awards.
This new, online tool offers a straightforward way for Fairfax residents to prepare and remotely e-file their pre-application for a marriage license. When the couple comes to the courthouse to swear-in their oath, the pre-application is electronically retrieved and processed in a matter of minutes, rather than the 20 minutes it can take to have a clerk enter the data manually.
“This is a substantial timesaver for our residents, streamlining their paperwork, so they can focus on the joy of their wedding,” said Clerk of Court John T. Frey. The pre-application helps make the overall process more convenient. In the past, if a bride and groom did not have all of the required information for the Virginia forms, they would have to leave and come back to court once they tracked it down. “Couples might have to make several trips to the courthouse, as missing gaps of information were discovered. Now, they can compile their information online at home, at their own pace, without needing to commute back and forth to court,” Frey explained.
The clerk’s office is tracking the community’s use of this new e-file service. “We’re excited that 50 percent of marriage applicants are using the pre-application," Frey said. "It shows there’s a desire in the community for online services.”
“We do about 5,000 marriage licenses a year, so e-processing half of them makes a huge difference on our workload and improves our customer service,” said Chief Deputy Clerk Gerarda Culipher. The marriage license efficiency also helps the Fairfax business community, she pointed out. “Because our public services window also handles notaries and business trade names, business customers enjoy a swifter experience for their needs, since marriage applications are now processed more quickly.”
“I am very proud of our staff who crafted this technology that improves the experience couples have at the courthouse. The PTI award is a tribute to their creativity and commitment to serving the public,” Frey said.