Getting A License

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California Marriage License Requirements

Below is the information on what you need to bring with you, and what you need to know about the marriage laws before filling out the marriage license forms.

In order to get married, you need to apply and receive a marriage license. This is the document that allows you to officially be married under the law. Always check with your city's marriage bureau at your clerk of court's office to find out what your local rules are.

Licenses are usually not valid for more than 30 days so you'll typically need to apply for your marriage license within one month of your wedding ceremony. You need to submit your birth certificates, tax information, and other official documents.

When you apply for your license, you'll not only need a proof of identification and age, will need to provide any information about previous marriages, and will need to pay a nominal fee. You will also need to have a witness when you sign the application, so plan on bringing your maid of honor or best man with you. The bride will need to know what her married name will be before she signs the marriage certificate. You'll have to write that name on the application.

IMPORTANT: You are not officially married when you receive a marriage license. You need to have a justice of the peace or a religious clergyman sign the document. On your wedding day, you'll give your officiant your marriage license, then after the ceremony, he'll sign it and send it to the proper government agency for validation.

Requirements vary as each marriage license bureau in California have their own requirements. If you have questions, please contact the appropriate California clerk's office

ID Requirement: Picture id such as Drivers License or other valid identification. Some counties recommend bringing certified copies of your birth certificates. Know your parents names, mothers' maiden name and places of their birth.

Application Requirement: Both the bride and groom must appear in person at the time of applying.





Residency Requirement: Do not have to be a resident of Califorina.

Waiting Period: No waiting period.

 

Previous Marriages: You must show proof of divorce, death or annulment. You need to bring a copy of your final divorce decree if you have divorced within the 90 days through past year (varies by county.)

Fees: $40.00. Some counties will only accept cash.

Other Tests: No tests.





Under 18: If either the bride or groom is under 18, at least one of the minor's parents,
or legal guardian, must appear with the couple. Certified copies of birth certificates are required. The couple must also schedule an appointment with a counselor and then appear before a superior court judge.

Proxy Marriages: No.

Cousin Marriages: Yes.

Common Law Marriages: No.

Same Sex Marriages: No. However, Domestic Partnership Certificates are available in San Francisco, Marin Counties and here. One partner must live or work in that county and both must have photo ID.

Officiants: Any priest, minister, or rabbi of any religious denomination, of the age of 18 years or over may perform marriages. Ministers must complete the marriage license and return it to the county clerk within 4 days after the marriage.

Valid: License is valid for 90 days.
The license can only be used within the State of California.

Confidential License: A regular marriage license is a public record. A license and Certificate of Confidential Marriage is only accessible by the husband, wife, or by decree signed by a superior court judge. At least one witness is required to observe the solemnization for a regular, public ceremony. No witnesses are required to observe a confidential marriage ceremony. A regular license may be used throughout the state. However, the confidential license may only be used in the county of issue. The confidential license costs $80.00 same as the regular license.

 

Solemnization Authority : Marriage may be solemnized by any of the following who is of the age of 18 years or older:

  1. A Priest, minister, or rabbi of any religious denomination.
  2. A judge or retired judge, commissioner of civil marriages or retired commissioner of civil marriages, commissioner or retired commissioner, or assistant commissioner of a court of record in this state.
  3. A judge or magistrate who has resigned from office.
  4. Any of the following judges or magistrates of the United States:
    1. A justice or retired justice of the United States Supreme Court.
    2. A judge or retired judge of a court of appeals, a district court, or a court created by an act of Congress the Judges of which are entitled to hold office during good behavior.
    3. A judge or retired judge of a bankruptcy court or a tax court.
    4. A United States magistrate or retired magistrate.
    5. A legislator or constitutional officer of this state or a member of Congress who represents a district within this state, while that person holds office.
  5.  

    Each county offers civil ceremonies performed by a judge or commissioner. The cost is approximately $40.00. For additional information call your County Clerk's office.

    Valid: License is valid for 90 days.

    IMPORTANT: State and county marriage license requirements can change so make sure you check with your local town clerk. This information is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice. It is important that you verify all information with your local marriage license office or county clerk before making any plans.

     

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    County Clerk Address and Phone Number List

    Alameda County Recorder
    1106 Madison St
    Oakland, CA 94607
    510-444-1396
    Map
    Alpine County Recorder
    P.O. Box 266
    Markleeville, CA 96120
    530-694-2281
    Map
    Amador County Recorder
    108 Court St
    Jackson, Ca, CA 95642
    209-223-6469
    Map
    Butte County Recorder
    25 County Center Drive
    Oroville, CA 95965
    530-538-7691
    Map
    Calaveras County Recorder
    Government Center
    San Andreas, CA 95249
    209-754-6375
    Map
    Colusa County Recorder
    546 Jay St
    Colusa, CA 95932
    530-458-0500
    Map
    Contra Costa
    County Recorder
    P.O. Box 350
    Martinez, CA 94553
    925-646-2360
    Map
    Del Norte County Recorder
    457 F St
    Crescent City, CA 95531
    707-464-7216
    Map
    El Dorado County Recorder
    360 Fair Lane
    Placerville, CA 95667
    530-621-5490
    Map
    Fresno County Clerk
    2221 Kern St
    Fresno, CA 93721
    559-488-3003
    Map
    Glenn County Clerk
    P.O. Box 391
    Willows, CA 95988
    530-934-6407
    Map
    Humboldt County Recorder
    825 5th St
    Eureka, CA 95501
    707-445-7593
    Map
    Imperial County Recorder
    P.O. Box 1560
    El Centro, CA 92243
    760-339-4427
    Map
    Inyo County Records
    P.O. Box F
    Independence, CA 93526
    760-878-0410
    Map
    Kern County Clerk
    1655 Chester Ave
    Bakersfield, CA 93301
    805-868-3588
    Map
    Kings County Clerk
    1400 West Lacey Blvd.
    Hanford, CA 93230
    559-582-3211
    Map
    Lake County Clerk
    255 North Forbes St
    Lakeport, CA 95453
    707-263-2293
    Map
    Lassen County Recorder
    220 South Lassen St
    Susanville, CA 96130
    530-251-8217
    Map
    Los Angeles County Registrar
    Records/County Clerk
    12400 East Imperial Hwy
    2nd Floor, Room 2207
    Norwalk, CA 90650
    562-462-2137
    Map
    Madera County Clerk
    209 West Yosemite Ave
    Madera, CA 93637
    209-675-7724
    Map
    Marin County Recorder
    Civic Center, Room 290
    San Rafael, CA 94903
    415-499-6092
    Map
    Mariposa County Recorder
    P.O. Box 35
    Mariposa, CA 95338
    209-966-2007
    Map
    Mendocino County Clerk
    P.O. Box 148
    Ukiah, CA 95482
    707-463-4370
    Map
    Merced County Recorder
    Administration Building
    2222 "M" St
    Merced, CA 95340
    209-385-7501
    Map
    Modoc County Clerk
    204 Court St, Suite 107
    Alturas, CA 96101
    530-233-2512
    Map
    Mono County Recorder
    P.O. Box 537
    Bridgeport, CA 93517
    760-932-5241
    Map
    Monterey County
    240 Church St,Rm 305
    Salinas, CA 93901
    831-647-7906
    Map
    Napa County Clerk
    P.O. Box 298
    Napa, CA 94559
    707-253-4246
    Map
    Nevada County Clerk
    950 Maidu Ave
    Nevada City, CA 95959
    530-265-1221
    Map
    Orange County Recorder
    County Recorder
    P.O. Box 238
    Santa Ana, CA 92702
    714-834-2500
    Map
    Placer County Clerk
    11960 Heritage Oaks Place, #15
    Auborn, CA 95604
    530-889-7948
    Map
    Plumas County Recorder
    P.O. Box 10706
    Quincy, CA 95971
    530-283-6305
    Map
    Riverside County Clerk
    2724 Gateway Drive
    Riverside, CA 92502
    909-486-7000
    Map
    Sacramento County Clerk
    P.O. Box 839
    Sacramento, CA 95812
    916-874-5522
    Map
    San Benito County Clerk
    440 5th St, Room 206
    Hollister, CA 95023
    831-636-4029
    Map
    San Bernardino County Recorder
    Hall Of Records
    222 West Hospitality Lane
    San Bernardino, CA 92415
    909-387-8314
    Map
    San Diego County
    Marriage Licenses
    P.O. Box 121750
    San Diego, CA 92112
    619-237-0502
    Map
    San Francisco County Recorders
    City Hall, #167
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    415-554-4176
    Map
    San Joaquin
    County Clerk
    P.O. Box 1968
    Stockton, CA 95201
    209-468-2362
    Map
    San Luis Obispo County
    Recording Dept
    City Government Center
    Room 102
    San Luis Obispo, CA 93408
    805-781-5088
    Map
    San Mateo County Clerk
    401 Marshall St, 6th Floor
    Redwood City, CA 94063
    650-363-4711
    Map
    Santa Barbara County Clerk
    P.O. Box 159
    Santa Barbara, CA 93102
    805-568-2250
    Map
    Santa Clara County Recorder
    70 West Hedding
    San Jose, CA 95110
    408-299-2481
    Map
    Santa Cruz County Recorder
    701 Ocean St, Rm 230
    Santa Cruz, CA 95060
    831-454-2800
    Map
    Shasta County
    Marriage License
    Courthouse, Suite 102
    Redding, CA 96001
    530-225-5378
    Map
    Sierra County Recorder
    Courthouse Square
    P.O. Box D
    Downieville, CA 95936
    530-289-3295
    Map
    Siskiyou County Clerk
    P.O. Box 8
    Ureka, CA 96097
    916-842-8084
    Map
    Solano County Recorder
    580 Texas St
    Fairfield, CA 94533
    707-421-6319
    Map
    Sonoma County Clerk
    P.O. Box 6124
    Santa Rosa, CA 95406
    707-527-3800
    Map
    Stanislaus County
    Clerk-Recorder
    912 11th St
    Modesto, CA 95354
    209- 525-5265
    Map
    Sutter County Recorder
    Hall Of Records
    466 2nd St
    Yuba City, CA 95991
    530-822-7120
    Map
    Tehama County Recorder
    633 Washington
    Red Bluff, CA 96080
    916-527-3350
    Map
    Trinity County Recorder
    101 Court St
    Weaverville, CA 96093
    916-623-1222
    Map
    Tulare County
    Marriage License
    County Civic Center, Room 203
    Visalia, CA 93291
    559-733-6518
    Map
    Tuolumne County Clerk
    2 South Green St
    Sonora, CA 95370
    209-533-5570
    Map
    Ventura County Recorder Office
    Lower Plaza, Admin Bldg L#1210
    800 South Victoria Ave
    Ventura, CA 93009
    805-654-2263
    Map
    Yolo County Clerk
    P.O. Box 1820
    Woodland, CA 95695
    530-666-8130
    Map
    Yuba County
    Marriage License
    215 5th 4
    Marysville, CA 95901
    530-741-6341
    Map