Proof of Marriage
A marriage certificate verifies that you are legally married and may be required when you apply for spousal benefits for healthcare or social security.
How a Marriage License Becomes a Marriage Certificate
After the marriage ceremony, the completed marriage license must be returned to the Clerk-Recorder’s Office within 10 business days. The Office records the license and it then becomes a marriage certificate.
Typically you can purchase your marriage certificate two business days after the license is received at the Clerk-Recorder's Office. Call the Office to check on the status of your certificate: (408) 299-5688.
What You Need to Purchase a Marriage Certificate
You need to be authorized to purchase a marriage certificate. See Certified Authorized Copy.
You'll need to know the:
- married couple’s legal names
- date of marriage
- city where marriage license was issued (required for online purchase only)
Certified Authorized Copy
A Certified Authorized Copy of your marriage certificate can be used as proof of marriage.
To purchase a Standard marriage certificate, you’ll need to be one of the people listed on the certificate or that person’s:
- spouse or domestic partner
- legal guardian
For official business, governmental agencies and legal representatives can request a copy of a Standard marriage certificate.
To purchase a Confidential Certified Authorized marriage certificate, you must be one of the people listed on the certificate or have a court order authorizing you to purchase the certificate.
Certified Informational Copy
A Certified Informational Copy of a marriage certificate is generally not accepted as proof of marriage.
Anyone can request an informational copy of a Standard marriage certificate without a direct relationship to the person listed on the certificate.
On a Certified Informational copy, signatures are concealed and the words, “Informational, not a valid document to establish identity” are printed across the face of the certificate.
The request form for this type of certificate does not need to be notarized.