California marriage records

California marriage records DEFAULT

Vital Records in California

California Department of Public Health
Vital Records – M.S. 5103
P.O. Box 997410
Sacramento, CA  95899-7410
(916) 445-2684
Internet: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CHSI/Pages/Vital-Records.aspx

Availability of California records (all counties):

Births and deaths July 1905 to present (15 business days to process).

Marriages 1998-1999 and 2010 to present (1 month to process).

For marriages that took place 1949-1986 it can take longer than 6 months to process, so it is recommended you request these records from Los Angeles county (see below).

The CDPH no longer processes requests for marriages that took place 1905-1948, 1987-1997, and 2000-2009 (you must go to Los Angeles county for these).

Divorces 1962-June 1984, but this is only a limited abstract of the divorce, and it can take over 6 months to process (it is recommended you also go to Los Angeles county for these).

All records you get from CDPH are considered “Certified,” but you can choose between an “Authorized” copy and an “Informational” copy (they contain the same information, but Authorized has restrictions on who can obtain one; Informational is easier if you don’t need the record for official purposes)

Get as much information as you can find from the following resources before you make your request:

The California Birth Records index 1905-1995 is available online at:
https://www.familysearch.org:443/search/collection/2001879?collectionNameFilter=false

Some indexing on deaths prior to 1905 is available online at:
https://www.rootsweb.com/~cabf1905/counties.htm

The California Death Records index 1905-1939 is available online at:
https://www.familysearch.org:443/search/collection/1932433?collectionNameFilter=false
The index number you’ll find here will apply to the Sacramento collection of records (not county-level)

The California Death Records index 1940-1997 is available online at:
https://www.familysearch.org:443/search/collection/2015582?collectionNameFilter=false

The California Divorce index 1966-1984 is available online at:
https://www.familysearch.org:443/search/collection/2015584?collectionNameFilter=false

FamilySearch.org

The Family History Library has been digitizing vital records, and they have several for Los Angeles County available for free online.  Here, for example, is how you can find a death certificate:

            Get the death place and date information from an index first (see resources above for this)

            From the www.familysearch.org home page, click:

Search >

Browse All Published Collections >

United States of America >

California >

California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994 >

scroll to the bottom and click “Browse through ____ images.”

DO NOT PUT YOUR PERSON’S NAME IN THE SEARCH BLANK! 

Choose your county or city (“Los Angeles” for L.A. county; “Los Angeles, Los Angeles” for the city of L.A.).

Scroll to the bottom of this big list of birth and death certificates to find the INDEX for your time frame and open it. 

Find your person alphabetically, and then note his/her index number. 

Click back to get to the main list of all the birth and death certificates and choose the year and index range for your person, and click. You will be able to find your person by the INDEX NUMBER.

The index number you may find in the state-level California Death Index will not correspond with these death certificates because these are county-level; you need to use the index number found in this data set.

Ancestry.com

For persons you find in the California Birth Index and California Death Index 1940-1997, you can order a copy of the death certificate via ancestry.com for a fee. Just go to Ancestry.com and find your person by using keywords (name) and other info you have. Then click “Order Original Document from VitalChek” on the left side of the record.

Los Angeles Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk
12400 Imperial Highway
Norwalk, CA 90650
(562) 462-2137 or (800) 201-8999
Internet:  https://www.lavote.net/home/records

Availability of Los Angeles County records:

Births 1866 to present

Deaths 1877 to present

Marriage 1852 to present

In 1971, confidential marriages became an option in addition to conventional marriages. Confidential marriage records are available only to the spouses or by court order and cannot be searched using the marriage indexes.

See the website (above) for forms and complete information about fees, procedure, and processing times.

There are several County Clerk offices at which you can place your order in-person, but only the Norwalk address (above) has records available for viewing.

Birth records for persons who were adopted or had a name change are only available from the California Department of Public Health in Sacramento (contact info at the top of this handout).  See this paget for information about adoption records: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CHSI/Pages/Adoptions-or-Changes-in-Paternity.aspx

      No divorce records here

For county-level divorce information

Available at the Los Angeles Superior Court where the divorce was filed.  If the Superior Court location is not known, information can be obtained at the County Courthouse by calling at (213) 830-0803 or going to 111 North Hill St., Los Angeles, CA, 90012.  Or try the California Divorce Index found at this free website: https://www.familysearch.org:443/search/collection/2015584?collectionNameFilter=false

Divorce filings that took place within the Central Los Angeles area are transferred to the County Record Center (Archives) normally within two to three years of the filing.  The Archives can be contacted by phone at (213) 830-0803 or in-person at 222 North Hill St., Los Angeles, CA 90012.

Divorce filings outside of the Central Los Angeles area can take five or more years for transfer to the Archives. Records are transferred to the Archives when storage space at the courthouses becomes limited. 

Sours: https://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/research-guides/vital-records

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find birth, death, and marriage records?

Options for researching vital records in California are as follows:

  • Place of event is known: If you know where the event took place, you may receive quicker service by contacting the County Recorder directly. California Counties' websites are available online.
  • Events after July 1, 1905, place of event unknown: The California Department of Public Health has been filing and indexing copies of birth, death, and marriage records since 1905. For information about obtaining a certified copy of an event which took place after July 1, 1905, contact the California Department of Public Health, Office of Vital Records – MS 5103, P.O. Box 997410, Sacramento, CA 95899–7410 or telephone (916) 445–2684 for information about fees and turnaround times. California Department of Public Health also maintains a website. It is not necessary to know where the event took place since the agency maintains a statewide index.
  • Events before July 1, 1905: For birth, death, and marriage records dating from before July 1, 1905, you must contact the county recorder in the county where the event took place since records are not available at the state level. In addition, many birth, death, and marriage records dating before 1905 have been microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah and should be available through your local LDS Family History Center. The California State Archives maintains only pre–1905 vital statistics from a few counties.

Does the California State Archives have old newspapers?

Newspapers are published materials often available through public libraries. The State Archives collects primarily unpublished, state agency records with historical or legal value. The California State Library, California History Room, however, maintains a comprehensive collection of California newspapers including long runs of at least one title from each county. A large portion of the collection is available on microfilm and may be borrowed through interlibrary loan. They may be contacted at P.O. Box 942837, Sacramento, CA 94237–0001, telephone (916) 654–0176 or for more information visit the California State Library website. Some California newspapers can also be accessed online through the California Digital Newspaper Collection.

Can the California State Archives help me find a missing person?

While the California State Archives' collections do include some information concerning individuals, we do not possess a personal name index to our holdings. It is difficult for us to assist in locating information about someone without knowing what state agency may have maintained such information. In addition, the records we have are typically older and do not contain current information. There are, however, a variety of resources for finding missing persons available on the Internet. A number of commercial websites offer people search services: Yahoo's People Search, Switchboard, and WhoWhere. In some cases, the Salvation Army Missing Persons Service will assist people in locating family members. The Social Security Administration will forward letters to missing persons; check out Social Security Administration online for more detail.

Does the California State Archives have records of military service?

The California State Archives contains State Militia and California National Guard unit records from 1849 to 1945. Most records for U.S. Military service are housed at the National Personnel Records Center (Military Personnel Records), 9700 Page Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63132–5100. These records pertain to officers separated after June 30, 1917, and enlisted personnel separated after October 31, 1912. Earlier records are preserved by the National Archives and Records Administration, Textual Archives Services Division, Washington, D.C. 20408.

Where can I get a copy of a legislative bill or a law?

Full text of legislative bills as introduced and amended is provided by the California Legislative Counsel's website. Bills are available for the current legislative session and several prior sessions (1993 to present). Copies of laws may be obtained from another Legislative Counsel website (California Codes). Legislative bills and California Codes can also be found at the California State Library, Witkin State Law Library, P.O. Box 942837, Sacramento, CA 94237–0001, telephone: (916) 654–0185, email: [email protected], or at many county law libraries and major university libraries. The State Archives no longer maintains a bill service which provides free copies of bills in all their amended forms. However, we can photocopy California Codes and Statutes at a cost of $0.25 per page.

Sours: https://www.sos.ca.gov/archives/faq
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California Public Records

In 1968, the California Public Records Act was passed by the State Legislature and signed by the Governor, requiring the disclosure of governmental records to the public upon request, unless otherwise exempted by the law. Under this policy and the California Constitution, Californians have the right to access public information maintained by local and state government agencies, including the Department of Justice. Within this Act, public records are broadly defined to include "any writing containing information relating to the conduct of a public's business prepared, owned, used or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristic." Due to this broadly encompassing definition of what counts as a part of the public record, only purely personal information unrelated to the conduct of a publicly retained business' could be considered exempt from this definition. There is quite a bit of information and intelligence that can be discovered via public records; the only thing necessary is to simply inquire or search for it in the right place.

On November 2, 2004, California voters approved Proposition 59, commonly called the Sunshine Amendment, to the California Constitution. This amendment read in part that "the people have the right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people's business, and, therefore, the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies shall be open to public scrutiny”.

So if you want information on how any governmental body operates in the state of California you can simply request it under the CPRA. This includes stuff like budgets, bidding processes for contracts, salaries of government employees and even government records on UFO sightings. The following are some of the questions people have about the most common types of California public records requests.

Are California marriage records public?

California is unique in that it offers both confidential and public marriage licenses. Roughly one in five marriages in the state was confidential in 2012 and in 1982 it was one in three. The state has offered confidential marriages since 1878. Anyone can request an informational copy of a public marriage license in the state. For confidential marriages, only the people named on the marriage license can access it.

How do you get a certified copy of a marriage license in California?

You can order a certified copy of a public marriage license from July 1, 1905 to the present (excluding 2000 to 2008) from the California Department of Health – Vital Records (CDPH – VR). You can request the copy either in person or by mail. You can also order certified copies online via a third-party, VitalChek. For public marriages that occurred 2000 to 2008, you will need to request a copy from the county recorder’s office in the county where the marriage occurred. Confidential marriage licenses are only available at the county clerk’s office where the marriage occurred and can only be ordered by the people named on the license.

Are divorce records public in California?

The vast majority of divorce records are public in California and can be viewed by anyone. There are some cases where the divorce court records are sealed and not available to the public.

Where can you order a certified copy of a divorce decree in California?

In California, certified divorce decrees can only be ordered from the Superior Court for the county where the divorce was finalized.

Does California have divorce indexes?

The California Department of Health – Vital Records has limited divorce indexes for marriages that occurred 1962 to June 1984. There is a fee required to search these indexes and the search will return a certificate of record that includes the names, location, dates and court case number.

Are California birth records public information?

California birth certificates are considered public records. Anyone can order an informational copy. Certified copies for the purpose of establishing identity may only be ordered by the registrant, immediate relatives and certain organizations authorized by law to order them.

How can you get a certified copy of a birth certificate in California?

Certified copies of birth certificates can be ordered from the California Department of Health – Vital Records and from the county recorder’s office for the county where the birth occurred. You can order certified copies online through VitalChek (a third-party processor authorized to issue certified copies of vital records).

Are California death records public?

Informational copies of death certificates are considered public records in California and anyone can order one. Certified authorized copies of death certificates are not available to the public and only immediate relatives and other legally authorized individuals or organizations may order them.

How do you order a certified copy of a death certificate in California?

You can order certified copies of death certificates from 1905 to the present from the California Department of Health – Vital Records and from the county recorder’s office for the county where the death took place. You can also order them online through VitalChek.

Are adoption records public in California?

Adoption records have been sealed in California since 1935. Adoptees, their siblings and their birth parents can only access them with a court order or through the Mutual Consent Program. This requires an agreement to waive confidentiality on behalf of the adoptee and their birth parents or their sibling. Adoptees and birth parents can also access non-identifying background information through the California Department of Social Services or through the agency that handled the adoption.

Are criminal records public in California?

Statewide criminal records searches can be done at the California Department of Justice, however they are not available to the general public. Only certain governmental agencies, authorized private organizations and the individual themselves may request a statewide criminal records history in California. This applies to local criminal court records as well.

Where can you look up sex offenders in California?

Since 2004, the public has been able to search an online database for information on registered sex offenders at California’s Megan’s Law, a department of the state DOJ. This information was previously available only by personally visiting police stations and sheriff offices or by calling a 900 toll-free number. California has required sex offenders to register with their local law enforcement agencies since 1947. Signed by the Governor on September 24, 2004, Megan's Law provides the public with certain information on the whereabouts of sex offenders so that members of local communities can protect themselves and their children.

Are California civil court records public?

California civil court records are public, however these records can be especially challenging to find as there are many different jurisdictions in the state. To obtain a transcript of a California Local or Superior Court Record, you will need to contact the court with jurisdiction over the specific case.

Sours: https://publiclibraries.com/public-records/california/

How to Find California Marriage Records

  • Marriage records began at the creation of the individual county
  • County clerks began sending copies to the state in 1905

Marriages before 1905[edit | edit source]

Marriage records began at the creation of the individual county. The first official law that required the recording of marriages was passed in 1850.

If your ancestor does not appear in the index, you may need to contact the town clerk office or you may need to search substitute records to locate your ancestor’s marriage date and place.

Obtain the Marriage Record[edit | edit source]

If your ancestor appeared in the index, there are two options:

  • FamilySearch.org - If the indexed information contained a GS microfilm number you can view the microfilm at the Family History Library or possibly a Family History Center.
  • Individual County Registrars and Recorders - If there is no GS microfilm number available, or if you cannot gain access to the microfilm, you may contact the county registrar or recorder office where your ancestor was married and order a copy of the marriage record.
Return to top: Choose another marriage year

Marriages between 1905 and 2007[edit | edit source]

County clerks began sending copies to the state in 1905. An image of the record may be available at:

To locate a record using available marriage indexes, follow the steps below:

STEP ONE: Find Marriage Information[edit | edit source]

Try 1st:
1850 - 1952 - At FamilySearch.orgFree; index of marriage records from individual counties. Includes marriage licenses, certificates, registers, applications, affidavits, stubs, etc. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and some FamilySearch Centers.
Next try:
1850 - 1945 - At FamilySearch.orgFree; index of marriage records. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and some FamilySearch Centers.
Can't find your ancestor in the online index?Tips for searching online indexes

STEP TWO: Obtain the Marriage Certificate[edit | edit source]

If your ancestor appeared in the index, you have three options:

  • FamilySearch.org - If the indexed information contained a GS microfilm number you can view the microfilm at the Family History Library or possibly a Family History Center.
  • Individual County Registrars and Recorders - If there is no GS microfilm number available, or if you cannot gain access to the microfilm, you may contact the county registrar or recorder office where your ancestor was married and order a copy of the marriage record.
  • California Department of Health - You can order the certificate from the state department.
Return to top: Choose another marriage year

Marriages after 1952[edit | edit source]

Statewide registration of marriages began in 1905 with general compliance by 1920. The Vital Records office of the California Department of Public Health has copies of marriages from 1905 to present day.

STEP ONE: Find Marriage Information[edit | edit source]

For marriages that exist during this time period, try the following database.

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate[edit | edit source]

Restrictions to qualify for marriage certificates:
To obtain a certified copy of the marriage certificate, you must be:

  • The person named on the certificate
  • The person's spouse
  • The person's spouse, parent, child, grandchild, or sibling
  • A legal party (attorney, law enforcement or representative of the government) with authorization or court order
  • The legal custodian, guardian, or authorized representative of the person named on the record
  • An individual who orders the certificate in behalf of an individual in the above categories

NOTE: An certified copy of the death certificate cannot be obtained by anyone except those listed above. If you do not qualify for an authorized copy, you may order an informational copy.

The department of public health ONLY provides certified copies between 1949 to 1986, 1998 to 1999.

If you do not want to order the marriage record, there are other records with marriage information you can search.

Return to top: Choose another marriage year

Related Wiki Articles[edit | edit source]

  • California Marriages, 1850-1877 Index ($)
  • California, Select Marriages, 1850-1945 Index ($)
  • California, Marriage Records from Select Counties, 1850-1941, ($). Images.
  • California, Marriage Index, 1949-1959, ($).
Sours: https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/How_to_Find_California_Marriage_Records

Marriage records california

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How to Get a California Confidential Marriage License Easily

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