Skip Navigation LinksVital-Records-Obtaining-Certified-Copies-of-Marriage--Divorce-Records

vital records

Obtaining Certified Copies of Marriage & Divorce Records​​

marriage-GettyImages-171583598Note: Processing fees are deposited upon receiving your request.  Please allow 3-4 weeks from the date of deposit to receive your vital record in the mail.  Before submitting your application to CDPH Vital Records, please view our processing times to make sure they are acceptable for your needs. If not, you should submit your request to the County Recorder’s Office in the county where the marriage license was issued, or the Superior Court in the county where the divorce was filed.

If you are using our state application form - but are submitting your request to a county office for processing - please first check with the county office to confirm their certified copy fees, as they may be different from the State fees. Refer to the "Directory of County Vital Record Offices" link below for county contact information.

Note: The California Department of Public Health Vital Records does not collect or maintain information about whether a marriage was between individuals of the opposite sex or the same sex.

  • There are two types of certified copies that CDPH Vital Records provides: authorized copy and informational copy.

  • A notarized sworn statement is required for all requests for authorized certified copies of marriage certificates.

  • The fee for a certified copy of a marriage certificate is $15 each, when requested through CDPH Vital Records.

CDPH Vital Records only accepts orders submitted by mail.  Please follow the 6 Steps listed below to place your order.

Step 1 – Determine whether the marriage or divorce record you want is available from CDPH Vital Records

  • Public Marriage Records

    • July 1, 1905 to Present (excluding 2002 through 2009): CDPH Vital Records is not able to provide certified copies of certificates for the years 2002 through 2009. You will need to contact the County Recorder's Office in the county where the marriage license was issued. CDPH Vital Records is continually indexing marriage records and will post udpates on the website as more years become available for request.
    • For the first 6 months after the marriage, please submit your request to the County Recorder's Office in the county where the marriage license was issued, as CDPH Vital Records may not have the record available yet. If you choose to send your request to CDPH Vital Records within the first 6 months after the date of the marriage, and the records is not available yet, CDPH Vital Records will issued a Certificate of No Public Record (CNPR). CDPH Vital Records will retain the fee for the search, per California law.
  • Confidential Marriage Records

    • Certified copies of confidential marriage records are only available from the County Clerk’s Office in the county where the confidential marriage license was issued.  Only the two individuals named on the marriage certificate can obtain copies of confidential marriage records.
  • Divorce Records

    • Certified copies of actual divorce decrees are only available from the Superior Court in the county where the divorce was filed.  CDPH Vital Records can only issue a Certificate of Record - and only for divorces that occurred between 1962 and June 1984.  A Certificate of Record includes the names of the parties to the divorce, the county where the divorce was filed, and the court case number.  A Certificate of Record is not a certified copy of the divorce decree, and does not indicate whether the divorce was ever finalized in court.  Our processing times can easily exceed 6 months. 

For more information about obtaining these records from the county, contact the county offices directly. 

Step 2 – Determine whether you can obtain an authorized copy or an informational copy

In the State of California, authorized copies of vital records can only be obtained by the individual named on the record, parents of the individual named on the record, and certain other individuals or entities specified in law.  All other requestors can only obtain informational copies.  All copies issued are “certified copies.” 

Step 3 – Download pamphlet for obtaining certified copies of marriage and/or divorce records

Step 4 – Download and complete the application form if ordering a public marriage record or Certificate of Record for Divorce

Step 5 – Determine certified copy fee  

 A certified copy fee must accompany all requests for copies of vital records.  Requests received without the appropriate fee will be returned to the sender.  Make your check or money order payable to CDPH Vital Records.  Checks must be drawn on a United States bank.  Money orders must be drawn on a United States bank or issued by the United States Postal Service.

Please do not send cash by mail.  CDPH cannot be held responsible for fees paid that are lost, misdirected, or undelivered. 

If no record is found, we will issue a Certificate of No Public Record and retain the fee for the search according to State law. 

Step 6 – Mail your request to CDPH Vital Records

 The Office of Vital Records sends all certificates via Standard Mail through the United States Postal Service.  If you would like to track the item once it leaves Vital Records office, please include a pre-paid, self-addressed certified envelope with the application (this is optional).  Include completed application form and check or money order for the certified copy fee. 

Please do not send cash by mail.  CDPH cannot be held responsible for fees paid that are lost, misdirected, or undelivered.

Mail to:

California Department of Public Health
Vital Records - MS 5103
P.O. Box 997410
Sacramento, CA 95899-7410

If using a courier service, and the courier service does not deliver to a Post Office Box, please use the following address:


California Department of Public Health
Vital Records - MS 5103
1501 Capitol Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95814 

Return to Vital Records landing page.

Page Last Updated :