Legally married?

48 years later, California couple learns marriage wasn't legal

In 1964 Norma and Bob Clark had a wonderful wedding in Northern California. Everything was perfect.

Nearly five decades later, the happily married couple, now in their seventies, live in Redlands.

But while getting paperwork in order in case one of them passed away, they made a somewhat disturbing discovery -- they were never legally married, because they had no marriage license.

"I couldn't find it, and couldn't find it for a reason, because it wasn't there," Norma Clark said.

When couples get a marriage license, the person who then marries them must return the license to their county record office, where it becomes a marriage certificate.

The pastor who married the Clark's apparently never did that. Bob Clark went to the San Bernardino County Hall of Records to try to fix everything. The couple first told the story to the Redlands Daily Facts. "I just went in there thinking I could just do it, and she said, 'No, no, you have to have witnesses,'" Clark said.
Comment: Our 38th anniversary is next week (wedding date was 12/28/1974). I asked Kathee if we have a copy of our Marriage License. Kathee thinks so but doesn't know where it is. I did a document search of Hillsborough County FL today. I found documentation of our first mortgage (image below) ... but not the marriage license.


  1. Link to PDF of our first mortgage

    Mortgage amount = $ 37,650
    Interest Rate = 7.75%
    Monthly Payment = $ 269.95

  2. Not a free man ... Kathee looked in our safe and found the license

    Marriage license #: 53419
    Marriage book # 157, page # 445

  3. I'm calling on Monday .. I still can't find the records online

    Phone Center Number: 813-276-8100 Ext: 4367

  4. Called on 12/27/12: Marriage licenses prior to 1990 not online


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