Confidential Marriage Licensing Requirements

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Confidential Marriage Licensing Requirements

California law requires all couples to obtain a marriage license before their wedding day, and offers a choice of two marriage license types: public or confidential.

A small number of authorized notaries may privately issue confidential marriage licenses. Confidential marriage licenses do not require a witness signature and are a closed record--certificates are only available to the couple, not the general public. Confidential marriage licenses bestow the same legal status change as a public marriage licenses, but there are restrictions on who may receive them.

To qualify for California confidential marriage licensing, you must

  • already be living together,
  • have valid unexpired government-issued ID like a drivers license or passport,
  • provide proof of any dissolutions that became final in the last two years, and
  • provide proof of any legal name changes occurring outside of marriage.

You may be required to provide additional name verification, such as a birth or naturalization certificate. Same-sex couples in current SRDPs must also provide a copy of their notarized paperwork or certificate.

If you do not currently live together, you'll need to purchase a public marriage license at a County Clerk's office before your wedding day. Authorized notaries cannot issue public licenses.

We are now authorized to provide confidential marriage licenses for ceremonies taking place anywhere in California. Please inquire for details.