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Notary Bulletin

Hotline Tip: What Is A Confidential Marriage Certificate?

NNA Hotline Tips For NotariesA confidential marriage certificate is a marriage certificate that is not available as a public record. California is the only state that authorizes their use. They often are requested by couples seeking additional privacy. Celebrities, for example, often wish to keep details about their marriages out of the public eye.

In California, a limited number of specially authorized Notaries in each county are authorized to issue confidential marriage certificates for weddings. Issuing a confidential marriage certificate is not the same as officiating at a wedding. California does not authorize its Notaries to perform marriage ceremonies, only three states -- Florida, Maine and South Carolina -- do so.

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