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Marriage Laws United States California CA Wedding officiants

Types of California Marriage Licenses:

There are two types of marriage licenses commonly issued in California. The public marriage license and confidential marriage license. In addition to the general requirements, there are additional requirements for each of the licenses listed below.

Public Marriage License:

  • You must be at least 18 years old. Persons under 18 with written consent from at least one parent (or legal guardian) AND permission from a California Superior Court Judge may marry. Emancipated minors are NOT exempt from this process. Contact the County Clerk’s Office in your county for further information regarding these requirements.

  • The marriage license may be obtained from any county in California. You are not required to get married in the county where you purchase the public marriage license; however, you must be married in California. You must file the license in the county where it was purchased.

  • You must have at least one witness present at your ceremony. The license contains a place for two witnesses if you prefer. You may NOT have more than two witnesses sign the official marriage license. Licenses received with more than two witnesses signatures will be returned to the officiant and a duplicate marriage license will need to be purchased.

  • There is no age requirement in California for witnesses, however, they must be old enough to know that they are witnessing a marriage ceremony, AND be able to sign their name on the official marriage license.

  • The marriage license is registered at the County Recorder’s Office in the county where the license was purchased, and is a public record. Anyone may request copies of the marriage license by submitting the required fee to the County Recorder. Download a copy of the Application for Certified Copy of Marriage or Divorce Record. (PDF)Opens a new browser window.Only one officiant may sign the marriage certificate as solemnized.

  • Confidential Marriage License:

  • The participating parties must be at least 18 years old to apply for a confidential marriage license. Minors may NOT purchase a confidential marriage license.

  • The participating parties must be living together as spouses at the time they apply for the marriage license, and must sign an affidavit on the license attesting to those facts.

  • The couple MUST be married in the county where the license is issued.

  • No witnesses are required to be at the ceremony, AND no witnesses sign on the marriage license.

  • The marriage license is a confidential record and is registered at the County Clerk’s Office in the county where it was purchased. Only the couple may purchase copies of the marriage license and must present valid picture identification together with the required fee to the County Clerk 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 to the County Clerk in the county where the license is registered.

  • Copies of confidential marriages are not available from the state office.

  • 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
    Auborn, CA
    530.889.7948
    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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