There are two types of marriage licenses a couple may apply for: Regular and Confidential. Both licenses may be obtained at the County Clerk-Recorders Office.
California residency and U. S. citizenship are not requirements for marriage in California. Only two unmarried persons over the age of 18 years of age may apply for a marriage license in California. Anyone under 18 must obtain a court order through the Court system.
LAW PERTAINING TO NAME(S) ON MARRIAGE LICENSES EFFECTIVE 01-01-2010What you should know about the Name Equality Act of 2007.
Regular (Non Confidential) Marriage License
A regular (non confidential) marriage license is valid for ninety (90) days from the date it was issued. It is a permit to marry. You are not legally married until the marriage is solemnized by a person authorized to do so. The license can be used anywhere in the State of California. You do not need a blood test. You must present the license to the person who is to perform the marriage ceremony. It is their responsibility to return it to the County Clerk for filing within ten days after the ceremony.
To apply for a regular (non confidential) marriage license you will need:
- Both Applicants must be present to apply.
- $60.00 for the marriage license fee. Issuing a duplicate license costs $30.25 (In case the first one is lost, destroyed, or altered.)
- The Applicant's parents full birth names, including mother's maiden name.
- State or country of birth of Applicant's parents.
- Date of dissolution of most recent previous marriage.
- Photo ID required.
Online Marriage Application
You can now apply for a Marriage License Online - It’s easy and saves time.
Confidential Marriage License
A confidential marriage license is valid for ninety (90) days. The license can be used anywhere in the State of California. A couple must sign under penalty of perjury that they are over 18 years of age and currently living together as spouses. A certified copy of the marriage license may be obtained by either applicant, with photo ID or by court order.
To apply for a confidential marriage license you will need:
- Both Applicants must be 18 years or older and be present to apply.
- $58.00 Confidential License Fee.
- Both Applicant's parents full names, including mother's maiden name.
- State or country of birth of both Applicant's parents.
- Date of dissolution or death of most recent previous marriage.
- Photo ID required.
Who may solemnize marriages
Marriage may be solemnized by any priest, minister, or rabbi of any religious denomination, a judge or retired judge, commissioner or retired commissioner, or assistant commissioner of a court of record, a judge or magistrate who has resigned from office, or by a person authorized to do so under Family Code Section 401.
For each county, the county clerk is designated as a commissioner of civil marriages. The commissioner of civil marriages may appoint deputy commissioners of civil marriages who may solemnize marriages under the direction of the commissioner.Civil marriage ceremonies are performed at the Clerk-Recorder's Office, Monday through Friday 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM by appointment only, for a processing fee of $35.00. Appointments preferred. Witness provided, if needed, for a fee of $10.50.
Marriage License Applications
Alternative to a Marriage License
- Domestic Partnership Registry
Through the State of California.