Waiting in Line

I was at the East Los Angeles Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s (RR/CC) office the other day doing what I love to do – volunteering for the County as a Deputy Commissioner for Civil Marriage. That means I perform the wedding ceremonies. It’s a great job and I absolutely love it. The people who work in the office are all superb – dedicated, knowledgeable, and friendly. The lines outside unfortunately are long. It takes time to provide quality service, particularly as marriage licenses are so important, and everyone is given what they need.

I do want to let you know, however, that there are certain things for which you do not need to go to the RR/CC office during regular business hours, when they are open.

Couple getting marriage certificate issued at their home

Couple getting marriage certificate issued at their home

On that day last week, out of the blue, a friend of mine showed up. He and his girlfriend had been planning to get married. Someone of great importance had shown up in town, and my friend wanted that person to perform the marriage ceremony.  So my friend and his girlfriend chased down to the RR/CC office to get a marriage license, and found themselves waiting in that long line. They eventually got their license.

Now, what my friend did not know, and is going to find out when he reads this, is that in fact he did not need to wait in line to get a marriage license. In California, specially authorized notaries are able to issue marriage licenses, and can come to the couple to do so, and around the clock.  This certainly beats taking time off work. Notaries usually charge a travel fee for such a service – however, in most cases they can also perform the marriage ceremony itself after issuing the marriage license, which lends their services to those who want to get married same day, or want a simple service, or a private ceremony.

Notaries are authorized to issue Confidential Marriage Licenses, which are fairly common in California. Notaries are authorized by County, which means that, for instance, a notary authorized in Los Angeles County can only issue marriage licenses in Los Angeles County, and then the couple has to be married in Los Angeles County.  I am such a notary authorized in Los Angeles County, and for more details on obtaining your marriage license and getting married in Los Angeles County, even at short notice, please see this page.