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Public license Fee: $86
Confidential License Fee: $90
555 Escobar Street
Martinez, CA 94553
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. / M – F
(except for Court Approved Holidays)
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Application: Public | Confidential
- Before a marriage license can be issued, First Person and Second Person must bring in a valid photo I.D. with birth date (e.g., drivers license, military I.D., passport, or green card, etc.)
- You may fill out the application online, but you must come into our office to complete the process.
There are two different types of marriage licenses in California, and they can be obtained in two different ways.
Confidential Marriage License and a Public Marriage License:
- A “public” California marriage license is a marriage license that is available to the public for viewing.
- A “confidential” marriage license allows all the personal information on a marriage license to be protected from public view. Only a court order or a notarized application by either spouses can obtain a copy of the information.
The following information is required on a marriage license application.
For both spouses, or party A and party B, the information needed for marriage license requirements is below.
- A valid driver’s license or a DMV issued Identification Card. If you do not have either of these, you must provide a certified copy of your birth certificate and another acceptable form of picture I.D.
- To obtain a Confidential Marriage License, party A and party B must be living together as a married couple. The same I.D. requirements as mentioned above are applicable.
A valid photo I.D. with birth date is required (e.g., drivers license, military I.D., passport, or green card, etc.)
Waiting Period in California:
There is no waiting period. You will receive your marriage license immediately after you submit your application.
You do not need to be a California resident to marry in Contra Costa County.
Previous Marriages: Search Divorce Records
If either party has been granted marriage dissolution (divorce) within the last three (3) months, a certified copy of the final judgment is required.
Marriage License Fees:
It will cost you $86 for a public license and $90 for a confidential license. We accept cash, pre-printed checks, credit and debit cards. Credit and debit cards are subject to an additional service fee. If you intend on using a check, please make sure the address on the check is the same as your picture identification. We cannot accept crossed out information on checks.
Marriage by proxy is NOT allowed in California. Family Code, Section 420(a), requires the two parties, marriage officiant and witness if applicable be physically present together in the same location for the marriage to be performed.
Common Law Marriages:
Blood test in California:
Blood tests are NOT required to obtain a marriage license in California.
Getting a marriage license with your new name on it does not mean your name has automatically changed. If you need to change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
If a minor is obtaining a marriage license, a certified copy of the court order will be required.
Officiants in California:
California Family Code, Section 400 states the persons authorized to solemnize marriage ceremonies in California are as follows:
A priest, minister, or rabbi of any religious denomination.
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.
A judge or magistrate who has resigned from office.
Any of the following judges or magistrates of the United States.
A justice or retired justice of the United States Supreme Court.
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.
A judge or retired judge of a bankruptcy court or a tax court.
A United States magistrate or retired magistrate.
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.
The person solemnizing the marriage must return the original marriage license to the County Clerk or County Recorder as applicable within 10 days of the date of the ceremony. Addresses should be on the county site.
You will NOT receive a copy of your marriage license after you have been married unless you request and pay for a certified copy from the County Clerk or County Recorder as applicable.
ALL information on the marriage license MUST be legible, unambiguous and reproducible. DO NOT change any information on the license, cross out information, use white out, etc., as that will require the payment for and issuance of a duplicate marriage license. Contact the County Clerk’s Office if you have questions about completing the marriage license and/or incorrect information contained on the marriage license.
The public marriage license requires the signature of one witness,
and if desired, has a place for an additional witness. No more than two
witnesses may sign on the public marriage license. Only one signature
per line is allowed. No witnesses may sign on the confidential marriage
License Validity Time:
- Marriage licenses are valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. If you do
not get married within 90 days, the license will no longer be valid. You must
purchase a new license.
- Public Marriage License can be used throughout the state of California.
- Confidential Marriage License can be used throughout the state of California (Effective January 1, 2015).
California birth, death, fetal death, still birth, marriage and divorce records are maintained by the California Department of Public Health Vital Records.
Please Note: State and county marriage license requirements often change. The above information is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice. For more information regarding California marriage license laws please visit www.ccclerkrec.us.