California is an open record state and marriage records can be obtained provided all necessary requirements are completed. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Vital Records handles all marriage and other vital records in the state of California such as divorce and death. The CDPH Vital Records department will only accept orders submitted by mail along with a $14 fee. This $14 fee will only to be accepted via money order and will be retained by the CDPH Vital Records regardless of whether or not a record is found. These marriage records do not depict whether a marriage was between two individuals of the opposite or same sex otherwise they are largely similar to those found in other states. However, both authorized and informational copyiesof any given marriage record can be obtained depending on the requestee. Both documents will provide the same exact information but the informational copy will include a statement that says “INFORMATION, NOT A VALID DOCUMENT TO ESTABLISH IDENTITY” and does not require a sworn statement. An authorized Californian marriage record, on the other hand, will only be provided to those who go through the sworn statement process.
A sworn statement valid for this purpose can only be given but an individual named on the marriage record. In other words, only one of the two individuals who participated in the marriage can provide a sworn statement for an authorized record. If said document is a Public Marriage Record, the CDPH Vital Records says a 6 month wait period may occur. However, a Confidential Marriage Record can only be obtained by one of the two individuals listed on the document through the County Clerk’s office in the county which the marriage occured. If a 6 month waiting period does not fall in line with your plans a public record can also be obtained through the County Clerk’s office. The same procedures required by the CDPH Vital Records department will apply when requesting either a Public Marriage Record or a Confidential Marriage Record from any given county’s County Clerk’s office.