The Differences between a Confidential License and a Public License
A confidential license is a marriage license that is not accessible to the public. It is exclusively issued to the couples only. Your confidential marriage certificate cannot be given to your children, parents, or neighbor. This license usually cost a little bit more than the public license.
A confidential license also does not require any witnesses to sign your marriage license, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t have any guests present it to you. Basically, it means that you’re not going to have anybody sign your marriage license.
A couple must be living together to be granted a confidential marriage license.
A public marriage license, on the other hand, is exactly like it sounds. This means that anybody that requests is your certificate for any reason can obtain a copy of it.
The reason couples choose to have a public license over a confidential really comes down to privacy. Most people who choose to get a private license include those in law enforcement and those with a ‘crazy exes’.
What both licenses have in common is that you can get married anywhere in the state of California since it is no longer restricted by county. You can obtain the licenses from the Hall of Records or from the reporter’s office.