Marriage License Requirements
Marriage is a beautiful union that brings two people together in love and commitment. If you’re planning to tie the knot in California, it’s essential to understand the intricacies of obtaining a marriage license. One of the key factors to consider is the marriage license fee. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of public and confidential marriage licenses, their differences, and the associated fees.
As you prepare for your wedding day, understanding the legal aspects of obtaining a marriage license is crucial. California offers two main types of marriage licenses: public and confidential. Each type has its own unique features and requirements, including specific fees.
Types of Marriage Licenses in California
In California, couples have the option to choose between a public marriage license and a confidential marriage license. Let’s explore the differences between these two options:
Public Marriage License
A public marriage license is accessible to the general public for viewing. This means that all the information on the marriage license is available for anyone to see. If you choose a public marriage license, your personal information will not be protected from public scrutiny.
Confidential Marriage License
On the other hand, a confidential marriage license offers a higher level of privacy. With a confidential marriage license, all the personal details on the license are kept confidential and are not available for public viewing. To access the information, a court order or a notarized application by either spouse is required.
Required Information for Marriage License Application
When applying for a marriage license, both parties must provide certain information. This includes a valid driver’s license or a DMV-issued identification card. If neither of these options is available, a certified copy of the birth certificate along with another acceptable form of photo identification is necessary.
Obtaining a Confidential Marriage License
To obtain a confidential marriage license, both parties (referred to as party A and party B) must be living together as a married couple. The same identification requirements mentioned earlier apply to this type of license as well.
Marriage Waiting Period and Residency Requirement
Unlike some states, California does not have a waiting period for obtaining a marriage license. Once you submit your application, you will receive your marriage license immediately. Additionally, you do not need to be a California resident to marry in Lake County.
Previous Marriages and Proxy Marriages
If either party has been divorced within the past 90 days, a copy of the final judgment must be provided. Proxy marriages, where one party is absent and represented by another person, are not allowed in California. Both parties, the marriage officiant, and any witness must be physically present for the ceremony.
Marriage Licenses for the Incarcerated
Couples with an incarcerated spouse can obtain a confidential marriage license. An Affidavit of Inability to Appear must be completed for the incarcerated spouse. The person solemnizing the marriage must file the original record with the County Clerk within 10 days of the ceremony.
Cousin Marriages and Common Law Marriages
California permits first and second cousins to legally marry. However, common law marriages are not recognized in the state.
Marriage Blood Test and Name Change
Unlike some states, California does not require blood tests to obtain a marriage license. It’s important to note that getting a marriage license with your new name on it does not automatically change your name. If you wish to change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirement and Officiants
For information about minor marriages, specific details can be obtained by contacting 707.263.2311. The persons authorized to solemnize marriage ceremonies in California include religious officials, judges, magistrates, and certain elected officials.
Returning the Marriage License and Witnesses
After the ceremony, the person officiating the marriage must return the original marriage license to the County Clerk or County Recorder within 10 days. Witnesses are required for a public marriage license but are not permitted for a confidential marriage license.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Marriage licenses in California are valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. If the marriage does not occur within this timeframe, a new license must be purchased. Both public and confidential marriage licenses can be used throughout the state.
Obtaining a marriage license is an essential step in the journey to marriage. Understanding the differences between public and confidential licenses, as well as the associated fees and requirements, ensures a smooth and informed process. With this knowledge, you can focus on celebrating your love and commitment to each other.
- Can I choose between a public and confidential marriage license? Yes, California offers both public and confidential marriage licenses, each with its own characteristics.
- What information is required for a marriage license application? Both parties must provide a valid photo identification with birth date. If unavailable, a certified birth certificate and another form of picture ID are required.
- Is there a waiting period for obtaining a marriage license in California? No, California does not have a waiting period. You will receive your license immediately after submitting your application.
- Can I change my last name on the marriage license? Obtaining a license with your new name does not automatically change your name. To change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
- Who can officiate a marriage ceremony in California? Religious officials, judges, magistrates, and specific elected officials are authorized to officiate marriage ceremonies in California.