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Marriage License Requirements
Public license Fee: $82
Confidential License Fee: $98
Sonoma County Clerk-Recorder
585 Fiscal Dr., Room 103
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
24 hour Information Line:
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. / M – F
(except for Court Approved Holidays)
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To complete the application for a marriage license, a couple must:
- Before a marriage license can be issued, First Person and Second Person must bring in a valid photo I.D. (e.g., drivers license, military I.D., passport, or green card, etc.) with date of birth listed.
- If providing a credencial para votar or Consulate ID such as a matricula, parties must also provide a birth certificate.
- If your full name (first, middle and last) is not printed in its entirety on your ID, you must bring in a copy of your birth certificate.
- If a divorce or State Registered Domestic Partnership (SRDP) termination was final within the past 90 days, a copy of the final judgment must be provided.
- It is preferable that the marriage license application (Aplicación para Licencia de Matrimonio en linea) be completed online. However, both parties must appear together, in person for the license to be issued. For those who do not have internet access, a marriage license application may be completed at the public kiosk in the Clerk’s Office.
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.
ID Requirement: ✔ Get Copy Of Birth Certificate
A valid photo I.D. is required (e.g., drivers license, military I.D., passport, or green card, etc.) with date of birth listed.
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 Sonoma County.
If a divorce or State Registered Domestic Partnership (SRDP) termination was final within the past 90 days, a copy of the final judgment must be provided.
Marriage License Fees:
It will cost you $84 for a public license and $100 for a confidential license. Cash, checks or credit/debit cards are accepted as payment for any services or products purchased. An additional $2.50 convenience fee applies with the use of a credit or debit card.
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.
Under 18: ✔ Get Copy Of Birth Certificate
Minors can obtain a license, but require parental consent and Superior Court approval prior to the license being issued. Contact Superior Court Family Law Division at (707) 521-6500 for instructions on applying for approval.
Officiants: » Affordable California Wedding Officiants
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.sonomacounty.ca.gov.