Notary Bulletin

What Is ... A Confidential Marriage Certificate?

A 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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Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

Notaries perform many different duties for the public — and it’s easy to lose track of the different acts and what states they’re authorized in. Test your familiarity with common — and uncommon — notarial acts.

(A link to the correct answers is provided at the end of the quiz.)

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