Marriage Certificates

Table of Contents Important NoticeApplications and FormsOverviewAuthorized Individuals to Receive Certified CopiesConfidential marriage records:Order a


Important Notice

Important Information 75x40 The staff of the Clerk-Recorder-Assessor’s Office are forbidden by California legal codes to practice law or provide legal advice; this prohibition includes giving advice about what forms you might need or how you should fill them out.

Applications and Forms

Application for Certified Copy of Marriage Record (English)

Aplicación para Obtener una Copia Certificada de Matrimonio (Español)

Overview

  • The County Clerk has marriage records for events occurring in Sonoma County from 9/23/1846 to the present
  • We are unable to issue marriages certificates for marriages where the license was purchased someplace other than Sonoma County
  • Fee: $17.00 per copy       
  • We cannot take payments over the phone
  • A certified copy of the registered license as proof of marriage may be required for legal purposes.
  • A certified copy is not automatically provided; it must be requested and paid for after the ceremony is performed and the license is registered. 

Pursuant to the Governor’s Proclamation of State Emergency, all fees for certified copies of birth, death and marriage records in the state of California are suspended for any individual that lost such records in the fires. Sonoma County will only have records for events that occurred in Sonoma County (someone was born, died or purchased their marriage license in Sonoma County).

Authorized Individuals to Receive Certified Copies

In an attempt to stop the illegal use of vital records, and as part of statewide efforts to reduce identity theft, a California law (effective January 1, 2010) changed the way certified copies of  marriage certificates are issued.

Certified copies to establish identity can be issued only to authorized individuals, as defined in Health and Safety Code103526(c).

All others will be issued Certified Informational Copies that are not valid to establish identity, and contain a legend on the face of the document that states, “Informational, Not a Valid Document to Establish Identity.”

In the case of public marriage records, the law describes an authorized person as:

  • A parent, legal guardian, child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner of the registrant
  • A party entitled to receive the record as a result of a court order (a certified copy of the court order must be included with request)
  • A member of a law enforcement agency or a representative of another governmental agency, as provided by law, who is conducting official business
  • 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 (if by power of attorney, the power of attorney must be included with request

Confidential marriage records:

  • Only a party to the marriage, (or a party entitled to receive a copy as a result of a court order) may receive a certified copy of a confidential marriage license.
  • The existence of a confidential marriage may be verified by the County Clerk to any other party upon completion of an application and payment of a $17.00 research fee,

Order online through VitalChek.com

  • For convenience, Sonoma County has partnered with an independent company, VitalChek Network, Inc., through which an order may be processed.
  • VitalChek can be reached through its website, www.vitalchek.com or by phone at 1-866-281-1810.
  • All major credit cards are accepted, including American Express®, Discover®, MasterCard® and Visa®
  • Additional fees are charged by VitalChek for using this service.
<p>Order a Marriage Certificate</p>

Important Notice

Important Information 75x40The staff of the Clerk-Recorder-Assessor’s Office are forbidden by California legal codes to practice law or provide legal advice; this prohibition includes giving advice about what forms you might need or how you should fill them out.

Overview

  • The County Clerk has marriage records for events occurring in Sonoma County from 9/23/1846 to the present
  • We are unable to issue marriages certificates for marriages where the license was purchased someplace other than Sonoma County
  • Fee: $17.00 per copy       
  • We cannot take payments over the phone
  • A certified copy of the registered license as proof of marriage may be required for legal purposes.
  • A certified copy is not automatically provided; it must be requested and paid for after the ceremony is performed and the license is registered. 

Pursuant to the Governor’s Proclamation of State Emergency, all fees for certified copies of birth, death and marriage records in the state of California are suspended for any individual that lost such records in the fires. Sonoma County will only have records for events that occurred in
Sonoma County (someone was born, died or purchased their marriage license in Sonoma County).

Authorized Individuals to Receive Certified Copies 

In an attempt to stop the illegal use of vital records, and as part of statewide efforts to reduce identity theft, a California law (effective January 1, 2010) changed the way certified copies of  marriage certificates are issued.

Certified copies to establish identity can be issued only to authorized individuals, as defined in Health and Safety Code103526(c).

All others will be issued Certified Informational Copies that are not valid to establish identity, and contain a legend on the face of the document that states, “Informational, Not a Valid Document to Establish Identity.”

In the case of public marriage records, the law describes an authorized person as:

  • A parent, legal guardian, child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner of the registrant
  • A party entitled to receive the record as a result of a court order (a certified copy of the court order must be included with request)
  • A member of a law enforcement agency or a representative of another governmental agency, as provided by law, who is conducting official business
  • 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 (if by power of attorney, the power of attorney must be included with request

Confidential marriage records:

  • Only a party to the marriage, (or a party entitled to receive a copy as a result of a court order) may receive a certified copy of a confidential marriage license.
  • The existence of a confidential marriage may be verified by the County Clerk to any other party upon completion of an application and payment of a $17.00 research fee,

Order a Marriage Certificate Online / By Phone

Order online through
VitalChek.com

  • For convenience, Sonoma County has partnered with an independent company, VitalChek Network, Inc., through which an order may be processed.
  • VitalChek can be reached through its website,
    www.vitalchek.com or by phone at
    1-866-281-1810.
  • All major credit cards are accepted, including American Express®, Discover®, MasterCard® and Visa®
  • Additional fees are charged by VitalChek for using this service.

 

Order a Marriage Certificate by Mail

Complete form, have notarized, and mail with check

Application for Certified Copy of Marriage Record (English)

Aplicación para Obtener una Copia Certificada de Matrimonio (Español)

  • The sworn statement must be notarized and included with your application.
  • If the notarized statement sworn to under penalty of perjury is not included with your application, it will be rejected as incomplete and it will be returned to you without being processed.
  • Note: Any member of a law enforcement agency or a representative of a state or local government agency, as provided by law, who orders a copy of a record to which subdivision (a) applies in conducting official business may not be required to provide the
    notarized statement required by subdivision (a).