I felt really bad for the couple below.
California Marriage Licenses
To become legally married you must ensure the proper filing of your Marriage License and Marriage Certificate in Los Angeles County. Too often I am called from many a couple to correct a problem created by another wedding minister filling out the Marriage Certificate at the bottom of the marriage license and filing the erroneous Marriage Certificate in Los Angeles County. Many wedding ministers are either careless or simply do not know how important it is to the Los Angeles County Clerk’s office that their marriage licenses are completely accurate. One typo, one cross-out, one letter off, one date incorrect, one nickname instead of a birth name, even using ink that is not dark enough can mess things up in a big way. It’s not like a check where you can initial a mistake.
The erroneous marriage license cannot be recorded with the L.A. County Clerk so everything must start over and Los Angeles County will charge a $30 fee for a “Duplicate License.” The Duplicate License will be prepared and mailed to the wedding couple who must then contact their officiant to sign the Marriage Certificate and, if the wedding license was issued by an authorized notary such as myself, they must have the authorized notary sign and notarize the new Duplicate License. The resulting Duplicate License will not have the bride’s and groom’s signatures on it. Instead, their signatures will be typed into the signature boxes. Thus, the Duplicate License is much more sterile and less personal than the original marriage license would have been.
So, precision is king when it comes to any Marriage License or Marriage Certificate in Los Angeles County or any California County. The County Recorder is very much into precise information, as it should be.
Marriage Certificate in Los Angeles County
I was reminded of this common problem last week when I received a frantic call from a young couple for whom I had issued a marriage license a month and a half earlier. After their wedding, their priest did not fill out his portion of the marriage license correctly. Weeks after their marriage license and certificate was at the L.A. County Clerk’s office they received the Duplicate License to secure their priest’s signature and my signature and notarization. Since they had some pressing issues that required an immediate resolution they called in a panic and asked me to meet them as soon as possible sign to notarize their Duplicate License. This took much effort on their part to go to all parties and have it corrected and it is far from certain that they will have their Certified Copies in time to address their issue.
I wanted to tell them that they could have easily avoided this by doing what many bridal couples do: have me do the marriage license and ceremony privately, and then have the big family wedding via their priest, rabbi, or pastor. It ensures that your wedding day will go off as planned and it will be done correctly. Many couples then have their private anniversaries and their public anniversaries, which is a sweet wedding tradition.
So, if you want your paperwork to be filled out and filed correctly, consider coming to me to issue your marriage license and be your wedding officiant by clicking here.