There are two kinds of California marriage licenses: Public or Confidential.

Public will be available to future generations if they want to look up and see when and where you got married. Plus, you can buy it at any County Clerk/Registrar Recorder’s office in the entire state of California, then you can get married anywhere in the state.

One couple drove to Los Angles from Phoenix and stopped at the first clerk/recorder’s office they could find as they entered California. If you are flying into Los Angeles but are getting married in another county, there is a clerk/recorder’s office really close to LAX.


Here is the information you will put on your Public marriage license:
Your complete names
Where you live
Your occupation
Your birth date
Where you were born
Your parents names
Where your parents were born
Your mother’s maiden name

I’m not a lawyer. I’ve never heard of identity theft from a marriage license. However, I have officiated many lawyer’s wedding ceremonies and most of them get a little freaked out with a public document that contains their address and mother’s maiden name.

No one has access to a Confidential marriage license except the couple on the license and the courts. (think celebrities and undercover policemen)


The Confidential marriage license has two big rules:
The couple must already be living together
The ceremony must be signed in the same county where the license was purchased.

More about California marriage licenses in the next post.



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