California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Thursday, allowing adults to obtain marriage licenses through videoconference amid the COVID-19 pandemic, after stay-at-home orders resulted in the cancellation of weddings statewide.
For the next 60 days, adults can get a marriage license, at the discretion of their local county clerk, as long as both adults are physically in California, are present in the video chat and can show proper identification.
The license will then be issued via email, according to the order.
The order acknowledges that the state’s stay-at-home order “may make it impossible or impractical for individuals to appear in person.”
With wedding plans being altered amid the pandemic, those who wish to not only get a marriage license but to also have a ceremony can do so through the videoconference too. As long as both parties are present and they have at least one witness who can join the stream live, the ceremony can take place online.
In mid-April, Orange County officials set-up a pop-up marriage service at the Honda Center for couples whose marriage appointments were postponed due to closures and stay-at-home orders.
“There is definitely a demand,” O.C. Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen told the Los Angeles Times at the pop-up. “We were getting calls, wanting us to do it over FaceTime.”
Until Thursday, legislation didn’t allow for the ceremonies to be conducted online. But now, couples can follow health orders and still say “I do.”