Fresno County California

Fresno County, California Marriage License

Are wedding bells ringing in the air? Excitement, joy, and love fill the atmosphere as you prepare to embark on a new journey with your partner. Amidst all the wedding preparations, one crucial aspect often gets overlooked – the marriage license. In the state of California, obtaining a marriage license is a fundamental step before tying the knot. Let’s dive into the details of public and confidential marriage licenses, requirements, fees, and other essential information.

Understanding Marriage License Types

When it comes to obtaining a marriage license in California, there are two main types: public and confidential marriage licenses. Each has its unique attributes and serves different purposes.

Essential Information for Marriage License Application

Before you proceed with obtaining a marriage license, it’s essential to gather the necessary information. Both parties need to bring valid photo identification, such as a driver’s license, military ID, passport, or green card.

The Difference Between Public and Confidential Marriage Licenses

A public marriage license is available for public viewing, whereas a confidential marriage license ensures that personal information remains protected from public scrutiny. To obtain a copy of the information from a confidential license, a court order or a notarized application by either spouse is required.

Detailed Requirements for Marriage License Application

For both parties seeking a marriage license, the following information is necessary:

  • Valid photo ID with birth date (e.g., driver’s license, military ID, passport, or green card)
  • In the case of lacking the above, a certified copy of the birth certificate along with another acceptable form of picture ID

Marriage Waiting Period and Residency Requirement

Fortunately, there is no waiting period once you submit your marriage license application. Additionally, California does not require residency for marriage.

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Previous Marriages and Marriage License Fee

If you’ve been married before, you’ll need specific details about your previous marriage, including the date and how it ended. The marriage license fee in California is $58 for a public license and $69 for a confidential license. The preferred method of payment is cash, though other methods are accepted.

Proxy, Cousin, and Common Law Marriages in California

Marriage by proxy is not allowed in California. However, first and second cousins are legally permitted to marry. Common law marriages are not recognized in the state.

Dispelling the Myth: Marriage Blood Test Not Required

Unlike in some other states, California does not require a blood test to obtain a marriage license.

Navigating Name Change After Marriage

Obtaining a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your name. For changing your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.

Marriage Age Requirement and Officiants

If either partner is under 18, one parent or legal guardian must be present. Authorized persons to officiate marriage ceremonies in California include priests, ministers, rabbis, judges, and various other officials.

Returning the Marriage License and Witnesses

The person solemnizing the marriage must return the original marriage license to the County Clerk or County Recorder within 10 days of the ceremony. Witnesses are required for a public marriage license, while confidential licenses do not necessitate witnesses.

Expiration Date of Marriage License

Marriage licenses are valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. After this period, the license becomes invalid, and you must obtain a new one.

See also  Merced County Marriage License Requirements

Obtaining a Copy of the Marriage Certificate

In case you need a copy of your marriage certificate, you can contact Vital Statistics in Fresno, CA.

In conclusion, obtaining a marriage license in California involves several critical steps and considerations. Whether you opt for a public or confidential license, ensure that all requirements are met to make your special day legally recognized. By understanding the nuances of marriage licenses, you can pave the way for a smooth and joyous wedding experience.


1. Can I get a marriage license if I’m not a California resident? Absolutely! California does not require residency to obtain a marriage license.

2. Is a blood test necessary to obtain a marriage license in California? No, a blood test is not required to get a marriage license in California.

3. Can I change my name on the marriage license immediately? No, obtaining a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your name. You’ll need to follow the appropriate legal procedures.

4. Are proxy marriages allowed in California? No, marriage by proxy is not permitted in California. Both parties, along with the officiant and witnesses if applicable, must be physically present during the marriage ceremony.

5. How long is a marriage license valid in California? A marriage license is valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. If you don’t get married within this timeframe, you’ll need to obtain a new license.

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