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Marriage Licenses  »  Marriage License  »  California  »  County Clerk  »  San Diego County, CA

San Diego County, CA

San Diego County
Application Process

Public license Fee: $70
Confidential License Fee: $89

County Administration Center
1600 Pacific Highway, Ste 273
San Diego, CA 92101
Ph: 619.237.0502
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. / M – F

Appointments only:
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. / M – F

San Marcos
141 E. Carmel St.
San Marcos, CA 92078
Ph: 619.237.0502
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. / M – F

Appointments only:
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. / M – F

Chula Vista
590 3rd Ave.
Chula Vista, CA 91910
Ph: 619.237.0502
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. / M – F

Appointments only:
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. / M – F

El Cajon
200 S. Magnolia Ave.
El Cajon, CA 92020
Ph: 619.237.0502
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. / M – F

Appointments only:
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. / M – F

(except for Court Approved Holidays)

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Public | Confidential

Couples applying for a marriage license must be unmarried. Each person must present one form of valid photo identification with proof of age. To expedite the identification process, it is recommended that both parties bring a certified copy of their birth certificate.

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.

  • To obtain a Confidential Marriage License, the couple must make an appointment by calling (619) 237-0502 and appear together at one of the office locations.
  • 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.

ID Requirement:

Valid photo I.D. 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.

Residency Requirement:

You do not need to be a California resident to marry in San Diego County.

Previous Marriages:

  • If you were previously married and the dissolution is not yet final, even if it will be final before the wedding date, you will not be issued a marriage license.
  • If you are in a State Registered Domestic Partnership (SRDP) you may not enter into a marriage or be issued a license with someone other than your registered domestic partner, unless the most recent domestic partnership has been terminated or a final judgment of dissolution or nullity has been entered.
  • If the dissolution was final within the past 90 days, please provide a copy of your final judgment.

Marriage License Fees:

It will cost you $70 for a public license and $89 for a confidential license.

Payment may be made with cash or by check/money order made payable to the “San Diego Recorder/Clerk”. American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa Debit card payments are also accepted at any of our office locations with a $2.50 surcharge per transaction.

Same Sex Marriages:


Proxy Marriages:

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.

Cousin Marriages:


Common Law Marriages:


Blood test in California:

Blood tests are NOT required to obtain a marriage license in California.

Name Change:

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.

Under 18:

California Law requires a person under the age of 18 to file with the clerk of the court and apply to the Juvenile Courts for judicial approval to marry. In all instances, a certified copy of the court order granting permission to marry must be presented to the County Clerk at the time the marriage license is issued.

The contact information for the Superior Court is:

County of San Diego Superior Court
Juvenile Division
2851 Meadowlark Drive
San Diego, CA 92123
(858) 634-1600

If the judge grants permission to obtain a marriage license, the order granting permission shall expire in thirty days. The couple must then make an appointment by calling (619) 237-0502 and appear together, in our office, to obtain a marriage license.

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.


    1. If you are having a civil ceremony and have already purchased a non-confidential marriage license, you will need at least one witness.
    2. You may bring your own witness or this office can provide a witness for a fee of $18.00.
    3. If you are having a civil ceremony and have already purchased a confidential marriage license, you will not need a witness.
    4. You will not need a witness to purchase a marriage license

    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).

    Copy of Certificate of Marriage:

    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.arcc.sdcounty.ca.gov.