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AB-583 Remote marriage license issuance and solemnization.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/11/2021 09:00 PM
AB583:v99#DOCUMENT

Revised  March 23, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 583


Introduced by Assembly Member Chiu
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Davies)
(Coauthor: Senator Skinner)

February 11, 2021


An act to amend, repeal, and add Section 359 of, and to add and repeal Part 5 (commencing with Section 550) of Division 3 of, the Family Code, relating to marriage.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 583, as introduced, Chiu. Remote marriage license issuance and solemnization.
Existing law requires applicants to be married to first appear together in person before the county clerk to obtain a marriage license. Existing law does not require a particular form for the ceremony to solemnize a marriage, but requires the parties to declare, in the physical presence of the person solemnizing their marriage and necessary witnesses, that they take each other as spouses. Existing law requires the person solemnizing the marriage to return an endorsed marriage license to the county recorder of the county in which the license was issued. Existing law authorizes a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is stationed overseas and serving in a conflict or a war and is unable to appear for the licensure and solemnization of the marriage to enter into that marriage by the appearance of an attorney-in-fact. Existing law also authorizes a county clerk to issue a marriage license to the person solemnizing the marriage if either or both of the parties to be married are physically unable to appear in person before the county clerk, certain documentation requirements are met, and there is a sufficient reason for this procedure that includes proof of hospitalization, incarceration, or any other reason proved to the satisfaction of the county clerk. Existing executive orders delineate temporary procedures for obtaining a marriage license and solemnizing a marriage via videoconference, as specified.
This bill would authorize, between January 1, 2022, and January 1, 2024, a county clerk to issue a marriage license or solemnize or witness a marriage ceremony using remote technology, as defined, except for the marriage of a minor. The bill would prescribe the procedures and requirements for marriage license applications, marriage license issuance, and the witnessing or solemnizing of the marriage ceremony using remote technology, including the requirements that the couple be in the same physical location in the State of California while using remote technology to solemnize their marriage. The bill would authorize a county clerk to require a couple to complete an affidavit affirming that they and each individual participating in a marriage solemnization using remote technology are physically present within the State of California, as required. The bill would authorize a county clerk to provide guidance relating to marriage license applications, marriage license issuance, and the witnessing or solemnizing of the marriage ceremony within their jurisdiction using remote technology.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 359 of the Family Code is amended to read:

359.
 (a)  Except as provided in Sections 420 and 426, or Part 5 (commencing with Section 550), applicants to be married shall first appear together in person before the county clerk to obtain a marriage license.
(b) The contents of the marriage license are provided in Part 1 (commencing with Section 102100) of Division 102 of the Health and Safety Code.
(c) The issued marriage license shall be presented to the person solemnizing the marriage by the parties to be married.
(d) The person solemnizing the marriage shall complete the solemnization sections on the marriage license, and shall cause to be entered on the marriage license the printed name, signature, and mailing address of at least one, and no more than two, witnesses to the marriage ceremony.
(e) The marriage license shall be returned by the person solemnizing the marriage to the county recorder of the county in which the license was issued within 10 days after the ceremony.
(f) As used in this division, “returned” means presented to the appropriate person in person, or postmarked, before the expiration of the specified time period.
(g) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2024, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 2.

 Section 359 is added to the Family Code, to read:

359.
 (a) Except as provided in Sections 420 and 426, applicants to be married shall first appear together in person before the county clerk to obtain a marriage license.
(b) The contents of the marriage license are provided in Part 1 (commencing with Section 102100) of Division 102 of the Health and Safety Code.
(c) The issued marriage license shall be presented to the person solemnizing the marriage by the parties to be married.
(d) The person solemnizing the marriage shall complete the solemnization sections on the marriage license, and shall cause to be entered on the marriage license the printed name, signature, and mailing address of at least one, and no more than two, witnesses to the marriage ceremony.
(e) The marriage license shall be returned by the person solemnizing the marriage to the county recorder of the county in which the license was issued within 10 days after the ceremony.
(f) As used in this division, “returned” means presented to the appropriate person in person, or postmarked, before the expiration of the specified time period.
(g) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2024.

SEC. 3.

 Part 5 (commencing with Section 550) is added to Division 3 of the Family Code, to read:

PART 5. Remote Marriage License Issuance and Solemnization

550.
 On or after January 1, 2022, notwithstanding any other law, including, but not limited to, Section 420, a county clerk may issue a marriage license or solemnize or witness a marriage ceremony under state law using remote technology pursuant to this part, except for a marriage of a minor, as set forth in Sections 302 to 304, inclusive, or any successor provisions.

552.
 A couple seeking a marriage license or solemnization pursuant to this part shall present, in the manner requested by the county clerk, a copy of a valid government-issued photo identification to verify their identity and any additional documentary proof requested by the county clerk.

554.
 (a) Each member of the couple shall be physically located in the State of California while using remote technology to obtain a marriage license pursuant to this part.
(b) Each member of the couple shall be in the same physical location in the State of California while using remote technology to solemnize their marriage pursuant to this part.
(c) The county clerk may require a couple to complete an affidavit, in a form provided by the county clerk, affirming that they and each individual participating in a marriage solemnization using remote technology are physically present within the State of California in compliance with this part.

556.
 (a) At the discretion of the county clerk, a couple whose marriage was solemnized by a county clerk may sign their marriage license electronically or by original wet signature. The couple shall transmit a signed, legible copy of their marriage license by United States mail, fax, or electronic means directly to the county clerk, in the manner required by the county clerk.
(b) A couple whose marriage was solemnized by anyone other than the county clerk shall sign their marriage license in ink by original wet signature and shall submit that original document to the county clerk.

558.
 A county clerk may provide guidance relating to marriage license applications, marriage license issuance, and the witnessing or solemnizing of the marriage ceremony within their jurisdiction using remote technology pursuant to this part.

560.
 For purposes of this part, “remote technology” means audio-video technology that is provided by a county clerk and allows the couple, or the couple and others participating in a marriage solemnization, as applicable, to appear together from the same physical location and directly interact with each other and the county clerk.

562.
 This part shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2024, and as of that date is repealed.

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REVISIONS:
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