Marriage records are official government documents that verify the marriage between two individuals. As marriage records are timeless similar to birth or death records, these are considered as valuable supporting documents for a number of reasons. One can use the marriage records California to change one’s name, prove the legitimacy of a kid and to serve genealogical purposes and others. For those who are interested in obtaining a marriage record in California, it is important that they distinguish whether what they need is an authorized copy or an informational copy of the marriage record. Authorized copies are given to those directly connected with the registrants and can serve as supporting documents whereas an informational copy contains the same information, however it is not valid as a supporting document.
To get a copy of the marriage records, one can check the State’s Vital Records division. The office contains marriage indexes ranging from 1949 – 1986 and 1998- 1999. Indexes are not certified copies but contain information where the marriage certificate was issued and the parties in the marriage. For certified copies, one can check out the County Recorder or the Clerk of the County Office. Marriage records are of two types – public and confidential marriage records. Public marriage records are available from the County Recorder’s office.
For private or confidential marriage certificates, one can check out the County of the Clerk’s Office. Confidential records are restricted to the registrants themselves. The cost of the marriage indexes from the State is about $14; however, the cost may differ from one county to another. It is best practice to call the office to get the latest fee schedule.
Those who are eligible for authorized copies under the California Health and Safety Code include the parties indicated in the certificate, parents or legal guardians, their kids or grandchildren, husband or wife, adoption agencies and law officers who need the document in the performance of their work.
To request for the copies, those requesting will have to submit an official request form that they can obtain from the CDPH site or the County Clerk site. All requests must include a notarized sworn statement for authorized copies of the record. The application will not be processed if the form and notarized statement is not included. Payments should be included in the requests as well. Payment can be made via money orders or checks, which are drawn from one of the US Banks. Money orders can be obtained from the USPS as well. Cash and credit cards are not accepted.
The processing of the request(s) can take up to 6 months because of the high volume of request the office receives every day. For those who urgently need the records, they can contact the County Clerk office or they can also access online vendors that provide such services. Marriage and divorce records are available from online public search portals and this is the fastest way that one can obtain their records without having to visit the county clerk’s office.