A marriage needs to be documented so that there is official. In California, the State Health Department is tasked to store California Marriage Records. The documents can also be used for genealogical searches and tracing the original family name of a woman. The Health Department only grants marriage certificates. Certified copies of marriage documents can only be acquired at the exact Clerk of Court that made the marriage official.
Any member of the public has the right marriage records because they are part of what are considered as public records. However, the full details the records are only given to the husband, the wife, their legal representatives, and other people that are specified by the court. If outside parties want to access the records, they need the consent of the couple to do so. They will be provided with marriage certificates which are only good as a source of information and not as a legal document to support any legal matters.
Marriage certificates include the basic details of a marriage such as the names of the couple, place and date of birth, the location of the marriage, etc. Confidential details are not made available to the public to preserve the couple’s right to privacy.
Government agencies that are in-charge of public records have their own official website. In their website is a database where they keep soft copies of the records so that it is faster to determine if a record that a person is requesting for exists or not. Usually, these government agencies are undermanned, and as a result, transactions take longer to process. There are private websites that have the authorization of the court to disseminate public records. These websites also maintain their own database and the records in it are identical to that of the official websites of government agencies.
Online service providers are either for free or they impose certain fees. Both types are capable of supplying the basic details of a marriage files except those that impose certain fees provide more information each time as long as they are available. There is also an option for you to become a member by paying a one-time membership fee. Once a member, you can do as many searches as you wish. If you are searching for only one file and maybe a few more, you may just pay for every file that you search and not register as a member anymore.
A Marriage License is very important should be found in a marriage document. Without it, the document will be deemed as incomplete and the marriage will not be recognized as official. A license can be acquired at a county Clerk of Court. There are certain requirements and they all should be submitted. One example of a requirement that should be submitted is a divorce record, but that is only necessary if either of the couple has previously been married. A marriage license is valid for 90 days. The couple should be married within the duration of 90 days or they will have to acquire another license.