Affordable Wedding Officiants






Marriage Laws U.S. California Fees CA Wedding Officiants

How Much a Marriage License Cost?

California requires a couple to obtain a marriage license in order to have a legally binding wedding ceremony. Some states require a medical examination or blood tests in order to obtain a license. All require proof of identification and a license application fee.

The fee for a marriage license in California varies from county to county. It will cost you between $35.00+ and $100.00+ to get married in California.

The Confidential Marriage License fee also varies by county, and is usually more expensive than the Public Marriage License.

Unless you have a compelling reason for your marriage to be unpublicized, the Public License makes the most sense. It is generally less expensive and no longer requires the blood test certificates.

The fee paid should cover application processing and at least one copy of the marriage license.

Some California counties will only accept cash. Please call ahead to verify whether or not you need cash.

Alturas 
Auburn 
Avalon 
Bakersfield 
Beverly Hills 
Bridgeport 
Colusa 
Crescent City 
Downieville 
El Centro 
Eureka 
Fairfield 
Fresno 
Hanford 
Hollister 
Independence 
Jackson 
Lakeport 
Lancaster 
Los Angeles 
Madera 
Mariposa 
Markleeville 
Martinez 
Marysville 
Merced 
Modesto 
Napa 
Nevada City 
Norwalk 
Oakland 
Oroville 
Placerville 
Quincy 
Red Bluff 
Redding 
Redwood City 
Riverside 
Sacramento 
Salinas 
San Andreas 
San Bernardino 
San Diego 
San Francisco 
San Jose 
San Luis Obispo 
San Rafael 
Santa Ana 
Santa Barbara 
Santa Cruz 
Santa Rosa 
Sonora 
Stockton 
Susanville 
Ukiah 
Van Nuys 
Ventura 
Willows 
Woodland 
Yuba City 

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Marriage License in California

Residency Requirements:

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

Application and ID Requirements:

To marry in California, the two parties may not be already married to each other or other individuals. Both parties must appear in person and bring valid picture identification to the County Clerk’s Office to apply for a marriage license in California. Valid picture identification is one that contains a photograph, date of birth, and an issue and expiration date, such as a state issued identification card, drivers license, passport, military identification, etc. Some counties may also require a copy of your birth certificate.

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.

Same Sex Marriages:

Yes.

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.

Blood Test:

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

Previous Marriages:

If you have been married before, you will need to know the specific date your last marriage ended, and how it ended (Death, Dissolution, Divorce or Nullity). Some counties may require a copy of the final judgment if your previous marriage ended by dissolution or nullity.

Valid:

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.

Civil Marriages:

Many County Clerks in California perform civil marriage ceremonies in their offices. For further information regarding civil marriage ceremonies, please contact the County Clerk’s Office directly to see if they provide this service.

Solemnization Authority:

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.

    Types of Marriage Licenses:

    Registration and Ceremony Information:

    Copy of Certificate of Marriage:

    Copies of California birth certificates, California death certificates and public California marriage records (for marriage licenses that were issued in California). You may order copies of California vital records through USAVital on an expedited basis.

    It is important that you verify all information with your local marriage license office or county clerk before making any wedding or travel plans.

    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.

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    To notify us of corrections or additions send an email to update@usmarriagelaws.com.  Please include the state and county information.

    California County Clerk's Office

    Alameda County Recorder
    Oakland, CA
    510.272.6363
    Alpine County Recorder
    Markleeville, CA
    530.694.2281
    Amador County Recorder
    Jackson, CA
    209.223.6469
    Butte County Recorder
    Oroville, CA
    530.538.7691
    Calaveras County Recorder
    San Andreas, CA
    209.754.6375
    Colusa County Recorder
    Colusa, CA
    530.458.0500
    Contra Costa Recorder
    Martinez, CA
    925.646.2360
    County Of Orange Recorder
    Santa Ana, CA
    714.834.2500
    Del Norte County Recorder
    Crescent City, CA
    707.464.7216
    El Dorado County Recorder
    Placerville, CA
    530.621.5490
    Fresno County Recorder
    Fresno, CA
    559.600.2575
    Glenn County Clerk
    Willows, CA
    530.934.6407
    Humboldt County Recorder
    Eureka, CA
    707.445.7593
    Imperial County Recorder
    El Centro, CA
    760.339.4427
    Inyo County Records
    Independence, CA
    760.878.0410
    Kern County Clerk
    Bakersfield, CA
    805.868.3588
    Kings County Clerk
    Hanford, CA
    559.582.3211
    Lake County Clerk
    Lakeport, CA
    707.263.2293
    Lassen County Recorder
    Susanville, CA
    530.251.8217
    Los Angeles County Clerk
    Norwalk, CA
    562.462.2137
    Madera County Clerk
    Madera, CA
    209.675.7724
    Marin County Recorder
    San Rafael, CA
    415.499.6092
    Mariposa County Recorder
    Mariposa, CA
    209.966.2007
    Mendocino County Clerk
    Ukiah, CA
    707.463.4370
    Merced County Recorder
    Merced, CA
    209.385.7501
    Modoc County Clerk
    Alturas, CA
    530.233.2512
    Mono County Recorder
    Bridgeport, CA
    760.932.5241
    Monterey County
    Salinas, CA
    831.647.7906
    Napa County Clerk
    Napa, CA
    707.253.4246
    Nevada County Clerk
    Nevada City, CA
    530.265.1221
    Placer County Clerk
    Auburn, CA
    530.886.5610
    Plumas County Recorder
    Quincy, CA
    530.283.6305
    Riverside County Clerk
    Riverside, CA
    909.486.7000
    Sacramento County Clerk
    Sacramento, CA
    916.874.5522
    San Benito County Clerk
    Hollister, CA
    831.636.4029
    San Bernardino Recorder
    San Bernardino, CA
    909.387.8314
    San Diego County
    San Diego, CA
    619.237.0502
    San Francisco County
    San Francisco, CA
    415.554.4176
    Orleans Town Clerk
    Albion, NY
    716.589.5100
    San Joaquin Clerk
    Stockton, CA
    209.468.2362
    San Luis Obispo County
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    805.781.5088
    San Mateo County Clerk
    Redwood City, CA
    650.363.4711
    Santa Barbara County Clerk
    Santa Barbara, CA
    805.568.2250
    Santa Clara County Recorder
    San Jose, CA
    408.299.2481
    Santa Cruz County Recorder
    Santa Cruz, CA
    831.454.2800
    Shasta County Clerk
    Redding, CA
    530.225.5378
    Sierra County Recorder
    Downieville, CA
    530.289.3295
    Siskiyou County Clerk
    Ureka, CA
    916.842.8084
    Solano County Recorder
    Fairfield, CA
    707.421.6319
    Sonoma County Clerk
    Santa Rosa, CA
    707.527.3800
    Stanislaus County Clerk
    Modesto, CA
    209.525.5265
    Sutter County Recorder
    Yuba City, CA
    530.822.7120
    Tehama County Recorder
    Red Bluff, CA
    916.527.3350
    Trinity County Recorder
    Weaverville, CA
    916.623.1222
    Tulare County Clerk
    Visalia, CA
    559.733.6518
    Tuolumne County Clerk
    Sonora, CA
    209.533.5573
    Ventura County Recorder
    Ventura, CA
    805.654.2263
    Yolo County Clerk
    Woodland, CA
    530.666.8130
    Yuba County Clerk
    Marysville, CA
    530.741.6341

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    Order Vital Records Online! certified copies of Birth, Death, Marriage, and Divorce certificates, for events which occurred within the state of California.


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