Certified Marriage Records (Marriage Certificates) may be purchased by any authorized party from the Clerk-Recorder for PUBLIC marriages for which the license was purchased and recorded in Santa Clara County after the year 1851. Different rules apply to confidential marriage certificates, see Purchasing Confidential Marriage Certificates If the requested certificate has not been recorded or is otherwise not found, you will receive a Certificate of No Record, and the fee will be retained as a search fee. Note that marriages may be recorded up to as late as one year after the marriage date.
Who Can Purchase Marriage Certificates
Effective January 1, 2010, the California Health and Safety Code, Section 103526, permits only authorized individuals to receive certified copies of public marriage records. Those who are not authorized by law to receive a certified copy of a public marriage records will receive a certified copy marked "INFORMATIONAL, NOT A VALID DOCUMENT TO ESTABLISH IDENTITY." For public marriage records, the law describes an authorized person as:
· The registrant or a parent or legal guardian of the registrant.
· A party entitled to receive the record as a result of a court order, or an attorney or a licensed adoption agency seeking the marriage record in order to comply with the requirements of Section 3140 or 7603 of the Family Code.
· A member of a law enforcement agency or a representative of another governmental agency, as provided by law, who is conducting official business.
· A child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner of the registrant.
· An attorney representing the registrant or the registrant's estate, or any person or agency empowered by statute or appointed by a court to act on behalf of the registrant or the registrant’s estate.
Marriage Certificate Fees
Methods for Obtaining Marriage Certificates
The Clerk-Recorder’s Office accepts in-person or mail orders at the cost of the fee stated above. If you order a certified copy by mail, you will be required to obtain a notarized statement as detailed in Obtaining a Marriage Certificate by Mail
For public marriage certificates, you also have the option of placing an order on-line on the Vital Check web site. You will enter the desired certificate information and order information. The Clerk-Recorder’s Office will search our records for you as part of your order. Note that Vital Check is a third-party and there is a convenience fee. Due to California Health and Safety Code, Section 103526, marriage certificate orders will require you to download an authorization form, get it completed, and fax it to the Clerk-Recorders Office. Instructions appear on the Vital Check site.