2011 Marriage Workshop - California Association of Clerks and

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Fifth Annual
Vitals/County Clerk Staff Workshop
MARRIAGES
2011
1
DISCLAIMER / WARNING
This is a training workshop, but local practices do vary from county to
county according to local policy and practice as well as local county
counsel opinions.
No practice or procedure you become aware of as a result of this
workshop should be implemented in your own office without the full
AWARENESS and APPROVAL of the County Clerk or Recorder for whom
you work.
2
Marriage Licenses,
Certificates, Ceremonies
and More….
3
County Clerk



Issues marriage licenses
Local registrar of confidential
marriages [FC 401]
Maintains permanent index
4
Marriage Officiant




Performs ceremony (solemnizes the
marriage)
Completes marriage license
Returns public license to County
Recorder’s office for registration
Returns confidential license to County
Clerk’s office for registration
5
County Recorder



Local registrar of public marriages [HS
102285 & 102295]
Required to verify an acceptable certificate
is filed for each marriage
Transmit to the state office not less than
quarterly [HS 102355]
6
California
Marriage Licenses
& Forms
7
There are four types of marriage licenses
issued by the County Clerk in California:

License & Certificate of Marriage (Public - VS 117)

Confidential License & Certificate of Marriage (VS
123)

License & Certificate of Declaration of Marriage (VS
116)

License and Certificate of Marriage for Denominations
Not Having Clergy (VS 115)
A petition to establish the fact of marriage, order
establishing those facts and issuance of a court ordered
delayed certificate of marriage are done through
Superior Court (VS 122)
8
Power of Attorney for members of the United
States Armed Forces stationed overseas and
serving in a conflict or a war:



This form may be used by members of the United States
Armed Forces stationed overseas and serving in a conflict
or a war, who are unable to physically appear in person to
obtain the marriage license and/or have their marriage
solemnized.
The power of attorney must be signed by the party
stationed overseas and acknowledged by a notary or
witnessed by two officers of the United States Armed
Forces.
The power of attorney shall state the true legal names of
the parties to be married, and that the power of attorney
is solely for the purpose of authorizing the attorney-in-fact
to obtain a marriage license on the person’s behalf and
participate in the solemnization of the marriage. The
original power of attorney shall be part of the marriage
certificate upon registration and is issued with certified
copies as a second page similar to an amendment.
9
Affidavit of Inability to Appear Form:
 This may be used if for sufficient reason
one or both parties cannot physically
appear together to apply for the marriage
license [FC 426, 502].
 Specifies sufficient reason includes:
Proof of hospitalization
 Incarceration
 Other reason proved to the satisfaction of the
County Clerk

10
Affidavit of Inability to Appear Form (cont’d):




Can be used for either a public or confidential marriage license (FC 426,
502)
Requires the signature of the party who is unable to physically appear be
authenticated by a court or notary public
Requires the affidavit be executed and signed under penalty of perjury by
all parties (first person, second person, and person solemnizing the
marriage)
Requires the person solemnizing the marriage physically present the
completed affidavit to the County Clerk explaining the reason for the
inability to appear


If only one party is physically unable to appear, the other party must physically
appear in the County Clerk’s Office at the same time as the person solemnizing
the marriage to have the marriage license issued
NOTE: GC 8224(a) prohibits the notary public who has authenticated the
signature(s) of the person(s) who is/are unable to physically appear in
person at the County Clerk’s Office from also being the person solemnizing
this marriage.
11
Issuing a
Marriage License
12

Parties need to be physically present in your
office at the same time in order to purchase a
marriage license


Unless they are applying for a marriage license using
an Affidavit of Inability to Appear Form
Both need to be 18 years of age or older, and
have authentic photo identification acceptable to
the County Clerk

Persons under the age of 18 must have parental
consent and apply to Superior Court for an order
authorizing the issuance of a marriage license. A
certified copy of the order must be presented to the
County Clerk when the marriage license is issued.
13


A credible witness affidavit may be used in lieu of
authentic photo identification. The credible witness
must be at least 18 years of age, be of sound mind,
and know the person whom they are identifying. It is
up to the County Clerk whether or not they will
accept a credible witness affidavit.
Parties must be getting married in California,
within 90 days of the date the marriage license
is issued.


If a confidential marriage license is issued, the parties
must be getting married in the county where the
marriage license is issued.
Parties who are applying for a License and Certificate
of Declaration of Marriage are declaring the facts of
their marriage that occurred more than one year ago.
14

Question:

A 16 year old emancipated minor comes into
your office and wants to apply for a marriage
license. She states she doesn’t need parental
consent since she was emancipated through
Superior Court. Can you issue the marriage
license?
15

Complete and issue the marriage license
using the information provided by the parties
in their application as follows:
NAMES OF BOTH PARTIES
(Fields 1A-1D & 12A-12D)

Must be full legal name as shown on their birth
certificate, adoption decree, court ordered name
change or naturalization certificate

An assumed last name may be entered in fields 1C or
12C as applicable – however their legal last name
must be entered in fields 1D or 12D as applicable
16

Question:

A couple comes into your office to purchase a
marriage license. One of the parties names
on their birth certificate is listed as “Baby Girl”
in the first and middle name fields. Her
driver’s license and social security card
correctly reflect the first and middle names
she’s used all her life. How should her name
be listed on the marriage license?
17
DATE OF BIRTH
(Fields 2 & 13)

Enter the parties dates of birth
STATE/COUNTRY OF BIRTH
(Fields 3 & 14)

Enter the birthplace using the standard two letter
abbreviation
18

Question:

A couple comes into your office to purchase a
marriage license. You notice the year of birth
on the driver’s license for one of the
applicants is different than what’s shown on
their marriage application. The customer tells
you the DMV made a mistake and they have
never gone back to correct it. What date
should you put on the marriage license?
19
PREVIOUS MARRIAGES/SRDP
(Fields 4 & 15)

Enter the number of previous marriage and/or
Terminated State Registered Domestic
Partnerships (SRDP)

Note: Marriages that were terminated by an
annulment must be listed as a previous marriage
LAST MARRIAGE ENDED BY
(Fields 5A &16A)

Enter how the LAST marriage ended
DATE ENDED
(Fields 5B & 16B)

Enter the month/day/century and year the
LAST marriage ended. If no previous
marriages enter two dashes (--)
20

Question:

A couple comes into your office to purchase a
marriage license. One of the parties had a
previous marriage that ended by divorce. The
final date of the divorce will be before the
marriage ceremony, but is after the date they
are in your office applying for the marriage
license. Can you issue the license since the
divorce will be final before they have their
ceremony?
21
ADDRESS
(Fields 6-9 & 17-20)

Enter the full street address including city,
state and zip where the applicants usually
reside
If the place where the applicant resides has no
number or street address, enter a physical
description of a location, e.g., “four miles south of
Sutter Creek”
 If they prefer, applicants may use a business
address, a U.S. P.O. Box, or temporary residence
address being used during a visit or while on
vacation.

22

Question:

If one or both of the applicant’s are homeless
and living in their car, or under a bridge, how
would you list their address on the marriage
license?
23
FULL BIRTH NAME OF PARENTS
(Fields 10A, 11A, 21A & 22A)

Enter the full birth name of the applicant’s
father/parent and mother/parent
A dash or “unknown” is acceptable for a
father/parent’s full name if there is no
father/parent listed on the applicant’s birth
certificate
 /parent was added to all vital record forms based
on GC 14771(14) which states all forms have to be
gender neutral
 Entries for parents’ names are to reflect parents by
birth or adoption. Only if the step-parent legally
adopted the individual is the step-parent’s name to
be entered
 A middle initial may be entered when there is not
sufficient space to fit the full first, middle and last
name of the parent
24


Questions:


If the parents are a same gender couple, how
do you enter their names on the marriage
license?
One of the applicant’s has “Jr” after their last
name on the marriage license. In the field for
their father’s name, they’ve listed “Sr”. Is this
acceptable?
25
STATE/COUNTRY OF BIRTH FOR BOTH PARENTS
(Fields 10B, 11B, 21B & 22B)

Enter the birthplace of each parent using the standard
two letter abbreviation

“Unknown” is an acceptable entry if the parent’s birthplace is
not known
26
NEW MIDDLE AND LAST NAME
(Fields 30A thru 31C)
A person may adopt any of the following middle names:

The current last name of the other spouse

The last name of either spouse given at birth

A hyphenated combination of the current middle name and current last name of the
person or spouse

A hyphenated combination of the current middle name and the last name given at
birth of the person or spouse
A person may adopt any of the following last names:

The current last name of either spouse

The last name of either spouse given at birth

A name combining into a single last name all or a segment of the current last name
or the last name of either spouse given at birth

A hyphenated combination of last names
A segment is a contiguous portion of the name; it is an identifiable match of a portion of
the current last name or the last name given at birth of either spouse (Fields 1C, 1D, 12C,
12D). The segment may not omit or add new letters and the letters may not be changed
around to create an entirely different segment that does not match a portion of the current
last name or the last name given at birth of either spouse.
Hyphenated middle and/or last names may or may not include an actual hyphen (-) between the
names. This should be decided by the party wishing to hyphenate their name.
27
NEW MIDDLE AND LAST NAME (cont’d)
(Fields 30A thru 31C)
NOTE: The law does not allow someone to drop their existing middle name by
using the marriage certificate. They must keep their existing middle name or
change it. In other words, if there is any middle name in 1B or 12 B, there
MUST BE an entry in 30B or 31B, either the existing middle name or a new
middle name.

When a party adopts a new middle name – the middle name shown in field
1B or 12B as applicable can be part of the new middle name. The new middle
name is placed in either 30B or 31 B.

Segments of a name are not acceptable in the middle name fields.

When a party to a marriage adopts a new middle and/or last name, all name
fields in the area entitled “New Names” for that party must be completed.

The new middle name field should not contain dashes (--) if a party has elected
to change their name unless that party does not have a current middle name
shown in field 1B or 12B, and they are not adopting a new middle name.

If a party is adopting a new last name, the last name may only be taken from,
or be a segment or hyphenation of, the last names shown in fields 1C, 1D, 12C
or 12D.

When a party does not elect to change their name, each of the new name fields
for that party must be completed with two dashes (--).

Hyphenated middle and/or last names may or may not include an actual hyphen
(-) between the names. This should be decided by the party wishing to
hyphenate their name.

Contact your Policy Analyst at CDPH-VR with any questions.
28
AFFIDAVIT

Both parties must declare under penalty of perjury
that the facts of the marriage license are true and
correct, they are unmarried, there is no legal
objection to the marriage, and they acknowledge
receipt of the brochure as listed in Family Code
Section 358

Some counties require the applicants to raise their right hand
and read the affidavit out loud – or they read the affidavit to
the couple. There is no legal requirement that the couple
raise their right hand and read the oath out loud…however,
the clerk issuing the marriage license must in some way
affirm the parties are declaring the information under penalty
of perjury
29
SIGNATURE OF APPLICANTS
(Fields 23 & 24)

Applicants sign the marriage license in permanent ink
using their normal or usual signature.

Their signature may not necessarily agree with the legal
name entered in the name fields
30
Signatures that are made with a mark (X):
Any signature made with a mark (X) must be identified with the
statement. “First Person Mark,” or “Second Person Mark,” and followed by the
written signature of one person who witnessed the signing. The official issuing
the license may sign as the witness. The typed name of the witness must be
included.
Example: Field 23 or 24 Signature of First or Second Person as
applicable
“X” “First (or Second) Person’s Mark”
Witness: Jane Doe Signature
Attorney-in-fact signatures for licenses issued using a Power
of Attorney for parties stationed overseas serving in a
conflict or a war:
The attorney-in fact (AIF) must sign on behalf of the party who is
stationed overseas
Example: Field 23 or 24 Signature of First or Second Person as
applicable
John Alan Smith, by: Joseph Brown, AIF
31

Issuing the marriage license

License to marry section
Point out expiration date in field 25B when issuing
the marriage license
 Explain at least one witness is required for public
license and no more than two can sign on the
license
 Give original license and officiant instructions and
advise couple to give packet to the person
performing their ceremony

32
Confidential
Marriage Licenses
33
General Information

Policy originated around 1877

Called “church marriages” because historically the record
was filed with the church


State had no role in the system until 1970 when a series
of legislative changes were directed at aligning the
requirements of confidential marriages with those of
public marriages
Law changed in 1985 requiring the confidential license
may only be used in the county in which it was issued.
Prior to that time, the code was silent on where the
confidential license could be used so older records may
show a confidential marriage performed in a county
other than the county where the license was issued. (Ch
149 Statutes of 1984 (amended Civil Code Section
4312(b))
34
General Information (cont’d)


County Clerk or local official prepares
“License and Certificate of Confidential
Marriage” [VS 123]
Not available to members of religious
denominations not having clergy
35
Confidential Marriage License Rules



Only used when applicants have been living
together as spouses
Both public and confidential marriage
licenses may be amended [HS 103225-103255]
Confidential ceremony requires three people:
unmarried male, unmarried female, and person
solemnizing marriage (no witness required)
36
Confidential Marriage License Rules
(cont’d)



Certificates filed and maintained by the County
Clerk
May not be issued for Attorney-in-Fact
marriages [FC 420 (b)]
Parties attest under penalty of perjury that
they are living together as spouses
37
License and Certificate of
Confidential Marriage

License becomes confidential after
marriage is solemnized



Record is held confidential – not for
public viewing
County Clerk may only indicate if there
is a record of the marriage
Court order is required to release the
date or any other facts contained in
the certificate
38
Confidential Marriage
Licenses Issued to
Authorized Notaries
39
AUTHORIZED NOTARIES





Fee to file an application and a renewal is $300
Renewed annually
Must be filed in the County where the notary resides
Notary must successfully complete a mandatory
maximum of six hours of instruction given by the County
Clerk in the county where they are registered [FC 532].
For a notary to perform the marriage, she/he must be
one of the persons authorized under Family Code,
Section 400, e.g., priest, minister, or rabbi.
40
AUTHORIZED NOTARIES (cont’d)

Secretary of State suggests you contact your
County Counsel or District Attorney for guidance
if you have a question as to whether or not GC
8224(a) prohibits the notary public who has
acknowledged the signature of the parties to the
marriage from also being the person solemnizing
this marriage.
 GC 8224. A notary public who has a direct
financial or beneficial interest in a transaction
shall not perform any notarial act in connection
with such transaction.
41
Marriage
Ceremonies
42
General Information




California State Law does not require persons
performing marriages to file credentials with the
Clerk of the Court
County and State are not responsible for
verification of credentials
The State does not maintain central registry of
clergy members
Verification is at the discretion of the parties to
the marriage
43
Who can perform ceremonies?

Persons over the age of 18, authorized to solemnize marriage ceremonies in
California are as follows [FC 400]:

A priest, minister, or rabbi of any religious denomination.


Note: Captains of the Salvation Army; and a religious leader or shaman are authorized to perform
marriages in California
A judge or retired judge, commissioner, retired commissioner or assistant commissioner of a
court of record in California.

NOTE: Out of State judges are not authorized to perform marriages in California

A judge or magistrate who has resigned from office

Any of the following judges or magistrates of the United States:



A Justice or retired justice of the United States Supreme Court

A judge or retired judge of a Court of Appeals, district court, or court created by an act of Congress
the judges of which are entitled to hold office during good behavior

A judge or retired judge of a bankruptcy court or a tax court

A United States magistrate or a retired magistrate
A California legislator or constitutional officer, or a member of Congress representing a district
within this state while that person holds office
In addition to persons specified in FC 400, marriage may also be solemnized by a mayor of a city
elected by the people while that person holds office. The mayor shall obtain and review from the
county clerk all available instructions for marriage solemnization before the mayor first solemnizes a
marriage.
44
Officiant Requirements



Must know the California laws regarding
performance of a marriage ceremony and the
requirements for officiants
Must review the marriage license prior to
solemnizing the marriage
Note: Any person who solemnizes a
marriage without first reviewing the license is
guilty of a misdemeanor [Penal Code 360]
45
Officiant Requirements (cont’d)




Must complete the marriage license and obtain the
signature of a witness [FC 422]
Must return the completed original marriage license to
the issuing County Recorder (or County Clerk for
confidential licenses) within 10 days of the ceremony
Note: If a license is lost, damaged, or destroyed,
before a marriage ceremony takes place, the
applicants must purchase a new marriage license and
the old license shall be void. [FC 360 (d), 510 (d)]
Must cooperate with state or local officials by replying
promptly to inquiries concerning any entry on the
license.
46

Question:

Does the marriage officiant have to review the
marriage license prior to solemnizing the
marriage?
47
Form of Marriage Ceremony

According to Family Code §420, a public
marriage (VS 117) in California requires

Minimum of 4 people [FC 420]:
An unmarried male
 An unmarried female
 A person solemnizing the marriage
 At least one witness


Parties must declare, in the physical presence of
the person solemnizing the marriage and the
necessary witnesses, that they take each other
as husband and wife (spouse)
48
Certification of Person Solemnizing
Marriage


After the marriage is solemnized, the
officiant must complete the certification
portion of the marriage license
On the VS-115 and VS 116 forms, the
parties to the marriage complete the
certification portion
49
Certification of Person Solemnizing
Marriage (cont’d)

Fields 28A – 28C:


Enter month, day and year of ceremony in field 28A–
date must be on/after issue date shown in field 25A
and not later than expiration date shown in field 25B.
Enter name of city and county where the event took
place in field 28 B-C – do not list landmark name and
do not leave blank
Fields 29A – 29E

Officiant signs his/her name in field 29A

Note: Only one entry is allowed in this box
50
Certification of Person Solemnizing
Marriage (cont’d)

The denomination or religious affiliation of
the priest, minister or rabbi (if clergy)
must be entered in field 29B

Note: For judge, magistrate, nondenominational ministers, or commissioner of
civil marriages officiants, enter a dash
(“–”) or “N/A”. Only one entry is allowed in
this box
51
Certification of Person Solemnizing
Marriage (cont’d)



Printed, stamped or typed name of the primary
officiant (one entry only) in field 29C
Official title of the person solemnizing the marriage
(should be title that gives him/her authority under
California law) in field 29D
Complete mailing address of officiant, including zip
code in field 29E

Note: If using Zip + 4, enter 9-digit number without the
dash (“–”)
52
Certification of Person Solemnizing
Marriage (cont’d)

Marriage officiant must return the certificate to the
county recorder within 10 days of the ceremony [FC
423]

Note: Certificate may be accepted for registration after 10
days; however, if more than one year from the date of the event
has passed, the marriage must be recorded either by declaration
(VS 116) or by court order (VS 122).
53
Commissioner for One-Day
Family Code Section:
401(a) For each county, the county clerk is designated as a commissioner of civil
marriages.
(b) The commissioner of civil marriages may appoint deputy commissioners of civil
marriages who may solemnize marriages under the direction of the commissioner of
civil marriages and shall perform other duties directed by the commissioner.
Penal Code Section:
70.5 Every commissioner of civil marriages or every deputy commissioner of
civil marriages who accepts any money or other thing of value for performing any
marriage pursuant to Section 401 of the Family Code, including any money or
thing of value voluntarily tendered by the persons about to be married or who have
been married by the commissioner of civil marriages or deputy commissioner of civil
marriages, other than a fee expressly imposed by law for performance of a marriage,
whether the acceptance occurs before or after performance of the marriage and
whether or not performance of the marriage is conditioned on the giving of such
money or the thing of value by the persons being married, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
It is not a necessary element of the offense described by this section that the
acceptance of the money or other thing of value be committed with intent to commit
extortion or with other criminal intent. This section does not apply to the request or
acceptance by any retired commissioner of civil marriages of a fee for the performance
of a marriage. This section is inapplicable to the acceptance of a fee for the
performance of a marriage on Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday.
54
Volunteers

Sacramento County has volunteers that
work in the marriage unit to:



Issue marriage license
Perform marriage ceremonies during the work
week
Perform marriage ceremonies on weekends
for couples throughout Sacramento County
55
Volunteers (cont’d)



Sacramento County volunteers earn the
prescribed deputy commissioner fees for
weekend and holiday ceremonies
They work the busiest days in the office and
look forward to Valentine’s Day
It is at the discretion of each county to
determine the need for volunteers and how best
to utilize them
56
Language


It is at the discretion of each county to
determine if they want to provide marriage
vows, applications and/or handouts in different
languages
Sacramento County offers marriage vows in
English, Spanish and Russian. Sonoma County
performs ceremonies in English or Spanish
57
Fundamentals




Registration is a state and local function
Both public and confidential marriages
are registered
California Family Code provides for a
continuous and permanent registration
system
System is dependent on officiants certifying
records
58
Reviewing the
Marriage License
for Registration
59
Reviewing the License for
Registration

After receiving the license from the marriage
officiant [FC 400-402], the County Recorder
reviews the document prior to acceptance,
verifying the following information is completed:


The marriage was licensed and solemnized in
California
The license was issued in the same county it is being
registered. Note: Confidential marriages must
take place in the county where the license is issued
60
Reviewing the License for
Registration (cont’d)


Is the information complete and in
compliance with state marriage laws?
Was the marriage license issued and
solemnized in California?

Was it issued in your county?

Was the license valid on date of marriage?
61
Reviewing the License for
Registration (cont’d)




Is the marriage date, city and county on
the license?
Did the parties to the marriage sign in
fields 23 & 24?
Did the witness sign and provide
address?
Did the officiant complete their portion?
62
Reviewing the License for
Registration (cont’d)

If the license is not acceptable, the county
Recorder will contact the couple and/or
the person who performed the ceremony
to inform them of the problem and how it
may be corrected:

Duplicate

Declaration

Court Order
63
Reviewing the License for
Registration (cont’d)



If the license is acceptable, sign and register the
marriage event
Transmit the competed original marriage
certificate to CDPH-VR on or before the 5th day
of each month, to not less than quarterly [H & S
102355]
Cooperate with the State Registrar by replying
promptly to any queries concerning entries on
the forms
64

Question:

Can you accept a public marriage license for
registration if one of the witnesses’ signatures
has been crossed out and re-written? There is
one good signature and the law only requires
one witness for a public marriage license.
65
Do not register if certificate is
unacceptable!
Return the document to the marriage
officiant with instructions on how to correct
the problem!
66
Signature Preference
Order of preference for the signature of local registrar is as follows:
1.
Original signature
2.
Facsimile signature stamp
3.
Printed name stamp
4.
Typed name
67
Registering a License and Certificate
For Denominations Not Having Clergy



Must be registered by one of the parties to the
marriage or witnesses within 10 days after the
ceremony
Certificate must be numbered, indexed, and filed
with public marriage certificates
The marriage must be recorded by declaration
of marriage or court order if certificate is
submitted more than one year from the date of
the event
68
Registering a Declaration of
Marriage License



VS 116 must be registered by the one of the
parties to the marriage in person or by mail
within 10 days from the date the license is
issued [FC 359]
VS 116 may be numbered by either the year of
event or the year of registration
Must be indexed by the actual year of event and
batched separately by actual year of event
when transmitting to California Department of
Public Health – Vital Records (CDPH-VR).
69
Registering a Declaration of
Marriage License (cont’d)




Declared marriage certificates are filed with all other public marriages
A declaration of marriage can be issued one year or more from the
date of the California marriage that is being declared [FC 425] Note:
Couples needing to declare a marriage that took place outside of
California, need to do so by filing a petition in Superior Court for a Court
Order Delayed Certificate of Marriage [HS 103450]
When parties to the marriage are unable to meet requirements for the
License and Certificate of Declaration, they may file a petition with the
superior court for an order to judicially establish the fact, time, and place
of the event
Note: Use “Court Order Delayed Certificate of Marriage” form for these
marriages. [VS 122]
70
Court Proceedings to Establish
Record of Marriage



Petition may be filed with the Clerk of the
Superior Court
Petition must contain all facts necessary
for the court to determine time and place
of marriage [HS 103455]
The order made in the form is prescribed
and furnished by CDPH-VR [HS 103485]
71
Court Proceedings to Establish
Record of Marriage (cont’d)


CDPH-VR will send the Local Office Copy
(LOC) to the County Recorder within the
area the event occurred
If the event occurred out-of-state, the LOC
will be sent to the County Recorder in
which the petitioner resides [HS 103485]
72
Replacement Licenses

If a marriage license is lost, damaged or
destroyed before a marriage ceremony
takes place, the applicants must purchase
a new marriage license and the old license
shall be void [FC 360].
73
DUPLICATE LICENSES

If a marriage license is lost, damaged, or destroyed after the
ceremony, but before it is returned to the county recorder, or
deemed unacceptable for registration by the county recorder, the
person solemnizing the marriage, in order to comply with Section
359, shall obtain a duplicate marriage license by filing an affidavit
setting forth the facts with the county clerk of the county in which the
license was issued [FC 360, 510].

The duplicate license may only be issued within one year of the
issuance date on the original license, and must be registered within
one year of the issuance date shown on the original license. NOTE:
The issuance date on the duplicate license will be the same as the
issuance date on the original license, just be sure it’s registered prior
to one year of the date shown in Field 25A on the marriage license.

The County Clerk may charge a fee to cover the actual cost of
issuing a duplicate marriage license.
74

Questions:


If a duplicate license is needed and the couple
noticed there was an error on the original
license. Can you correct the error when you
issue the duplicate license?
Must the officiant be physically present in
your office to purchase a duplicate license?
75
Procedures for issuing duplicate license:
Upon presentation of an affidavit by the Officiant setting forth
all the facts and payment is accepted, a duplicate license may
be issued to the person who solemnized the marriage when
the original certificate has been lost, destroyed, or is
unacceptable for registration, e.g., registered in wrong
county, illegible, whiteout, erasures, etc.
The affidavit is to be filed with the County Clerk of the county
in which the license was issued. When the affidavit is
completed and signed, issue the duplicate license from the
information contained in the affidavit. If your system doesn’t
automatically include the word “Duplicate” at the top of the
license, type “DUPLICATE” at the top of the license directly
above or in front of the title of the form.
Signatures
76
Procedures for issuing duplicate license (cont’d):
The only signature required is that of the person who
solemnized the marriage. If present at the time of issuance,
the parties to the marriage, and witness may sign the duplicate
license. However when the parties to the marriage, and
witness are not present, their names are to be typed as
follows:
Example:
23. Signature of First Person
/s/ Julio Iglesias
24. Signature of Second Person
/s/ Maria Aguilera
77
Special Circumstances
If one party to the marriage is deceased a duplicate marriage
license may be issued to the person who solemnized the
marriage, on behalf of the surviving spouse, within one year
from the date the license was issued.
A Court Order Delayed Certificate of Marriage (VS 122) is
required in any of the following situations:
More than one year has passed since the date of
marriage
OR
Both parties to the marriage are deceased
OR
The person who solemnized the marriage is deceased
78
Amendments to
Marriage
Certificates
79
General Information Requirements

Refer to Health & Safety Code sections 103225-103305 for statutory
provisions regarding amendments to vital records

Complete form VS 24C “Affidavit to Amend a Marriage Record”

Typed or written in BLACK INK ONLY!


If a license has been issued incorrectly due to a clerical error in the new
name field, an amendment may be prepared in order to correct the error.
The amendment must be signed by one of the parties to the marriage and
the County Clerk or his or her deputy, and the reason for the amendment
must be listed as correcting a clerical error.
A clerical error is when the information shown on the marriage license
differs from that shown on the application for a marriage license.
80
 Question:

A couple comes into your office to
purchase a marriage license, the next day
they decide they do not like the name
they picked in the new name field. Is this
considered a “Clerical Error”? Can it be
amended?
81
General Information Requirements
(cont’d)




Affidavit must state necessary correction
Must be supported by affidavit of one other
credible party
Signatures may NOT be corrected
Special requirements for date or place of
marriage corrections
82
General Information Requirements
(cont’d)




Corrections changing identity of one or both of the
parties to the marriage are NOT acceptable
Local registrar processes amendments ONLY when the
original certificate is still in the Recorder’s Office (or
County Clerk’s Office for confidential marriages).
H & S Code section 102355 requires the Recorder
transmit the original marriage certificates to the State
Registrar not less than quarterly.
Amendments received after certificate has been sent to
the state will be referred to CDPH–VR.
83
Application to Amend a Record




Person asserting error must apply for an
affidavit to amend the record.
If within one year of the event, there is no
processing fee.
If more than one year after event, there is
a filing fee.
Affidavit is attached to certificate and is
part of original record.
84
Completing the
Affidavit to Amend a
Marriage Record
[Form VS 24(C)]
85
Completing the VS 24(C)



Check the appropriate box to indicate type
of marriage record (public, confidential,
declared, etc.)
Enter the certificate number, exactly as it
appears on the original certificate, in the
space provided
The VS 24(C) has two sections:
86
VS 24(C) – Part I
INFORMATION TO LOCATE RECORD



Personal information about parties to the
marriage
Does not change the information on the
original record
All information entered in Part I must be
identical to the original record
87
VS 24(C) – Part II
STATEMENT OF CORRECTIONS




Item 5: enter certificate item numbers to be
corrected (one item per line)
Item 6: enter incorrect information
(as it appears on original record)
Item 7: enter correct information
(as it should appear)
Item 8: briefly state reason for correction –
do not leave blank
88
VS 24(C) – “Part II”
AFFIDAVITS & SIGNATURES

Items 9A and 10D



Two persons having knowledge of the facts must
complete supporting affidavits (e.g., parties to the
marriage)
Two signatures are required
When correcting the date or place of marriage,
marriage officiant must sign as one of the parties
attesting to the amendment
89
VS 24(C)
STATE & LOCAL REGISTRAR USE ONLY

If the amendment is processed at the
county level:


Item 11: signature stamp of local registrar
and original signature of authorized deputy
Item 12: date the amendment was accepted
for registration
90
Amendments to add AKA
91
Amendments to Add AKA


AKA stands for Also Known As
AKA may be added to marriage record by
completing form VS 24(C)



Item 5: list all three name items (1A, 1B, 1C and or
12A, 12B, 12C)
Item 6: all three name items as they appear on
original certificate
Item 7: all three name items as they appear on
original certificate again – go down one line and in
Item 7 again enter AKA and their full aka name (even
when AKA is one name only).
92
 Question:

A duplicate has to be issued and the
couple wants to change the order of their
new last name, can you accommodate
their request with a duplicate?
93
Certified Copies of
Marriage
Certificates
94
Certified Copies of
Public Marriage Certificates





AB 130 makes the process for requesting an authorized certified copy of a
marriage certificates consistent with the requirements for authorized
certified copies of birth and death certificates.
Requires all applicants requesting an authorized certified copy to complete
an application which includes a sworn statement signed under penalty of
perjury.
Requests for an authorized certified copy received via mail or fax must have
the sworn statement completed and also be acknowledged by a notary
public.
Requester must identify:

Name of registrants

Date of event

County of event
Note: If no record is found, the fee is retained [HS 103650] and
requester is issued a Certification of No Record
95
Certified Copies of Confidential
Marriage Certificates




Copies may be obtained only by parties to the marriage. Anyone else
requesting a copy would need to obtain a court order
Requires all applicants requesting a certified copy to complete an
application which includes a sworn statement signed under penalty of
perjury.
Requests for a certified copy received via mail or fax must have the
sworn statement completed and also be acknowledged by a notary
public.
You cannot issue an “informational” copy of a confidential marriage
certificate.
96
Certified Copies of Confidential
Marriage Certificates (cont’d)

Parties to the marriage may obtain a certified copy in any of the following
ways:


Appearing in person at the office of the County Clerk where the certificate is
filed, providing proper ID, and paying the required fee
Appearing before a Notary Public or County Clerk in his/her county of
residence with proper ID and obtaining a certificate attesting to his/her
identity. That certificate along with a request for certified copy, signed
sworn statement and the proper fee should be mailed to the County Clerk
where the certificate is filed

Entering a request on-line, with a signed sworn statement, having their
signature acknowledged by a notary public and faxing the request to the
County Clerk in the county where the certificate is filed
97
Certified Copies of Confidential Marriage
Certificates (cont’d)

Persons other than the parties to the
marriage may obtain a written acknowledgment
that a marriage took place – acknowledgment is
certified and presented in the form developed by
the County Clerk


Upon receipt of the current fee, the County Clerk
conducts a search to confirm the existence of a
marriage
The date of the marriage and any other information
contained in the certificate may not be disclosed
except upon court order
98

Question:

A mother comes into your office and gives
you a notarized copy appointing her “Power of
Attorney over her daughter’s affairs. She
would like a certified copy of her daughter’s
confidential marriage certificate. Can you
provide the mother a certified copy of the
confidential marriage certificate?
99
Sealing Notices



Issued by CDPH-VR (VS 43)
Administrative action based on documented
fraudulent or erroneous filings
Upon receipt of such notice, local registrars
must:


Remove all copies, microfilm, computer entries
and index information
Insert Sealing Notice in place of the original
document
100
INFORMATIONAL COPIES



Informational marriage copies will not be
issued through VRIRSA.
Informational marriage copies do not
require the sworn statement or notary
acknowledgment.
An informational copy cannot be issued on
a confidential marriage certificate.
101
This concludes the
Marriage License Session
of the
Vitals/County Clerk Workshop
102
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