March 28, 2023, 9:25 am
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General Information About California Marriage Records and Laws
California marriage records can be difficult to track down in some cases. For the most recent information and copies of your license, visit your local county's office to gather that information. However, for those that need marriage records to document the life of a loved one or perhaps for a genealogy search, a records search can lead to a wealth of important information. Individuals in California will find a wide range of helpful information available to them to aid in the search for family histories.
In California, marriage records were not always collected by the state. In fact, any record you may need prior to 1905 may be difficult to obtain from state agencies. In this case, you will need to gather information from the county in which the marriage occurred. That is the only source for most information prior to this date. However, for those events occurring after 1905, most vital records are available. You can find both birth and death records available alongside most marital records. For those that need California marriage records from 1905 through present time, the best location for obtaining them is at the following office:
Office of Vital Records and Statistics
Department of Health Services
304 South Street
PO Box 730241
Sacramento, California 94244-0241
You can visit the location or write to the location for additional information. Over the phone inquiries are not available through this agency, but you can fax this information to 800-858-5553. The best way to achieve access to records from prior to 1905 is to contact the county clerk's office for additional search options. Some county clerk offices may not have the necessary records on file since it was not a requirement to get that information prior to 1905.
However, there is a block of time when the state did not gather this information. The state does not have marriage records from 1987 through 1995. Any marriage recorded during that time will be recorded in the county clerk's office as well.
There is a fee to receive a copy of any California marriage records. This fee is $13 as of now, though it may change. You can visit most county clerk's offices to get a copy right away (in some counties, a clerk counter may not be available.) If you process it through the mail, it can take up to 12 weeks to obtain.
Gathering California marriage records can help you to boost your family history search, but this information may only provide very basic information to you. Most of these records indicate the place and date of the marriage, the name of the two people getting married and the name of the person conducting the marriage, such as a religious official or the court judge.
California marriage records can provide outstanding information for those who wish to learn about a family's history or to document the life of an individual. Marriage records in the state are public information, though some older, pre-1900's documents may no longer be available to individuals.
California Marriage Records

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