What is an ‘Affidavit of Inability to Appear’ Form?

bride and groom

To get married in the State of California, an engaged couple needs to purchase a marriage license from the County Clerk before a marriage ceremony can take place. In most cases, both parties have to appear before the Clerk, but there are a few exceptions. If one of the parties is hospitalized or incarcerated, they are exempt from appearing.

To purchase the marriage license, the person that cannot appear signature is notarized on an Affidavit of Inability To Appear form. While each County Clerk has its form, what is required is virtually the same as they are following state regulations. The form requires the full name of the person unable to appear, the proof of their reason for not appearing, and their signature.

Once the Affidavit of Inability to Appear is notarized, the other party appears before the County Clerk with the person solemnizing the marriage. It is at this time that the marriage license is purchased.

I have notarized this document many times over the years. Most times, it is for a jail marriage, but today it was at Long Beach Memorial Hospital for a couple wanting to get remarried. The hospitalized fiance was incapable of appearing before the County Clerk, so I came to his bedside. The couple was very appreciative of my service.

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