How to Get a Copy of Divorce Certificate in California

Divorce Certificates How to Get a Copy of Divorce Certificate in California

How To Obtain a Divorce Certificate in California Quickly and Painlessly

When two married people choose to get a divorce, it has to be recorded. One of the primary reasons for recording a divorce is to be able to issue a new Marriage License. A divorce certificate in California is also important for those who want to change their last name back to their maiden name, change the information on legal documents produced during the marriage, or get a new driver's license or state identification.

But the process of obtaining a California divorce certificate is long and tedious, with no guarantee of a refund if the court can't find the document. DoNotPay can cut right through all of that red tape and have that divorce certificate in your hands in no time.

The Difference Between a Divorce Certificate and a Divorce Decree

Divorce certificates have the least information in them but are the most common divorce document. It declares that two people are legally divorced, where it was conducted, and at which time it was finalized. Divorce certificates are usually requested by people who want to change their name or file for a marriage license.

Divorce certificates are generally only available to the two parties who were divorced and the attorneys who represented them during the divorce proceedings. However, some states do permit third parties to access divorce certificates under certain conditions. Alternatively, one may write or go to the vital statistics office in the state or area where the divorce occurred.

Divorce decrees contain the same data as divorce certificates but also cover more details in the judgment itself. This includes all the terms of the divorce, such as property allocations, child custody, child support, alimony amounts, and payment schedules. A divorce decree is signed by the judge that oversaw the divorce and includes a case number like other types of cases.

As with divorce certificates, decrees are typically only available to those who are divorced, and their lawyers. To make changes to a divorce decree, it needs to be in the possession of the divorcee.

How DoNotPay Simplifies Getting a Divorce Certificate Copy In


This is why DoNotPay has made it easier for you to request certified copies of your divorce certificate . Through our Certificates of Divorce product, you can digitally apply and request certified copies straight from your laptop.

Here 's How It Works

  1. Go to the Certificates of Divorce product on DoNotPay.

  2. Select whether the certificate belongs to you or a relative/loved one. If it belongs to someone else, enter the details of both people on the certificate, and select/upload evidence that proves your relationship with them. If the certificate is yours, enter the details of your spouse. Please note: some states only allow people named on the certificate to apply.

  3. Enter the city, state, and county where the divorce certificate and original marriage certificate were issued as well as the dates they were issued on.

  4. Indicate what you will be using this certificate for, and choose whether you need an authorized or certified copy.

  5. Enter your contact information and shipping address. Upload copies of your government-issued identification, such as a driver 's license.

  6. Choose whether you would like to electronically sign this form or not. Once we generate the form, verify that all of the information is correct.

  7. If you need the document to be notarized, schedule a notarization appointment using our Notary product. Otherwise, proceed to our Mail Checks product and let DoNotPay mail in your request form with a check on your behalf.

Once you 've finished those steps, your divorce certificate copy request will be on its way! You should hear back from the court within a few weeks with an update after your request has been processed. DoNotPay can also help you in the following areas:

Who Can Get a Divorce Certificate Copy in California Myself?

Typically, this record is only obtainable by the two individuals who were divorced, and by the attorneys that oversaw the divorce procedures. But in counties like Fresno, anyone is allowed to obtain "restricted" certified copies of marriage records. The Fresno County website states that such records are for "informational purposes only and may not be used to establish identity."

To request a divorce decree meet one of the following classifications to receive a certified document:

  1. Be a named party in the divorce.
  2. Be a legal representative of a named party.
  3. Be a current spouse of a named party.
  4. Be a parent or legal guardian of a named party.
  5. Be a child of a named party.
  6. Be a sibling of a named party.
  7. Be a grandparent of a named party.
  8. Be a domestic partner of a named party.

How Much Does a Divorce Certificate Copy Cost In California?

Certifications for Divorce Judgments throughout California typically cost $14.00 for each copy.

City/County/State Office

Contact Address and Phone Number

Divorce Certificate Processing Fee

California Department of Public Health

CA Department of Public Health – Vital Records

MS: 5103

P.O. Box 997410

Sacramento, CA 95899-7410

Cost of copy: $14.00

How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce Certificate Copy In


According to the California State Records, once you figure out which court oversaw the divorce in question, submit an official request to the court in question via the clerk. You should be given a form to fill out petitioning the court to provide a copy of the divorce certificate. After filling out the form, mail it to the court that handled the divorce.

Doing it this way could take up to 60 days before you receive a response. You can also send a request to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) at the following addresses:

  • California Department of Public Health, Vital Records - MS 5103, PO Box 997410, Sacramento, CA 95899-7410.
  • California Department of Public Health, Vital Records - MS 5103, 1501 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Why Use DoNotPay To Get Your California Divorce Certificate?

For most other states, you can request a copy of your divorce certificate by filing a mail-in application to the Vital Statistics office. This formal request involves filling out the request form, having it notarized if necessary, printing and signing it, and mailing it along with copies of your government-issued ID and a check/money order to your state Vital Records office. We can simplify this process significantly. To learn more about these products, contact DoNotPay today!

While you're here, we have a long list of other solutions to help make your life a ton easier. Check out these popular features:

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