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Marriage Laws U.S. California Sacramento County Clerk

Here's what you need to know and what documents to bring with you before you apply for a Sacramento County marriage license. We recommend getting this legal aspect of your wedding out of the way about a month before your ceremony date.

How Much a Marriage License Cost?

California law 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 marraige license application fee.

It will cost you $83.00 (if issued outside regular1 hours: $89.00) for a public license and $95.00 (if issued outside regular1 hours: $100.00) for a confidential license. Payments can be made in cash, check (personal, cashier’s, certified, or traveler’s) debit card, american express, discover, or mastercard only.

There is no waiting period or blood tests in Sacramento County.

Sacramento County Clerk / Recorder
600 8th Street
Sacramento, CA
(916) 874-6334
(800) 313-7133 within California
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. / M - F;
5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. / Th evenings
Closed for holidays.

East Area Service Center
5229-B Hazel Avenue
Fair Oaks, CA
Corner of Madison and Hazel Avenues
(916) 874-6334
(800) 313-7133 within California
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. / M - F
Closed for holidays.

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Marriage License in Sacramento

How to Obtain a Marriage License Sacramento

General information

This web page provides general information regarding the requirements for issuance and registration of public and confidential marriage licenses in California, specific to Sacramento County.

To marry in California, the couple must first obtain a marriage license from the County Clerk’s office.  In Sacramento County, marriage licenses are issued to applicants at either of our office locations in downtown Sacramento or Fair Oaks. You do not need to be a U.S. citizen or California resident to apply for a marriage license.  Blood tests are not required.

To apply for a marriage license, the couple must meet the following general requirements:

Couples meeting the requirements are issued a license on the spot.

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, AND you must apply for and purchase a new marriage license.

Types of licenses

There are 2 types of marriage licenses commonly issued in California:  public and confidential.  In addition to the general requirements listed above, there are specific requirements for each of the licenses listed below.

Public Marriage License

Confidential Marriage License

After the marriage ceremony, the license is registered in the Sacramento County Clerk’s Office.  Only the married couple may purchase copies of the marriage license and must present valid photo identification in order to do so.  Persons other than the married couple requesting copies of a confidential marriage license may only do so by presenting a court order.

Who can perform a marriage ceremony?

In California, marriage ceremonies may be performed by any of the following persons:

Note:  ships’ captains do NOT have authority to perform marriages unless they fall into one of the categories listed above.

We recommend scheduling an appointment: refer to “Schedule an Appointment” near the bottom of this page.

Can a friend or relative perform our ceremony?

To make arrangements to have a friend or relative deputized as a "One-Time Deputy Marriage Commissioner" to perform a single, specifically designated ceremony, complete the application form in its entirety, sign and return it to our office.  The return address and fax number are on the form itself.

The person to be deputized must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen.  At least one person on the application form must reside in Sacramento County, California.

Once the application is received, a staff member will contact the applicant to schedule an appointment to appear in our office and be deputized.  A fee of $44.00 is due at the time of the appointment.

Fee information

Make an appointment to get a license

For faster service, please make an appointment before you visit our office.  Walk-in customers are accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis, as time permits, and may wait as long as 2 hours.  The average appointment lasts about 30 minutes, approximately 45 minutes if you are applying for a license AND having a civil ceremony performed.

You can schedule an appointment through the online calendar or by calling (916) 874-6131.

If you make your appointment through the online calendar, you’ll have the option fill out the application form online before appearing in our office.

Complete the marriage license application

If you’ve already scheduled your appointment and want to complete the application form before your visit, go to the Online Marriage License Application.

Name Equality Act of 2007

Important:  The Name Equality Act of 2007 allows applicants for a California marriage license to elect to change the middle or last names by which each party will be known after solemnization of the marriage.  The elected names are entered on the marriage license when it is issued.  Couples should give serious thought to what their married legal names will be before applying for a license.  Changing a name after the license is issued (and before the couple marries) will require the purchase of a new license.  Changing a name after the marriage is solemnized requires a court order and can be a lengthy, expensive process.

1Regular business hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, at our Downtown location, and 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at our Fair Oaks location. Extended hours for by-appointment-only wedding services at our downtown location are 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Thursdays.

Copy of Certificate of Marriage:

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

It is important that you verify all information with your local marriage license bureau or county clerk office 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.

To notify us of corrections or additions send an email to update@usmarriagelaws.com.

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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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