Los Angeles County Marriage License Requirements

Los Angeles County
Marriage License Requirements

Are you planning to tie the knot in Los Angeles? Whether you’re a resident or not, understanding the marriage license fees and requirements is crucial. This article will guide you through the process, ensuring you’re well-prepared for your special day.


Your wedding day is one of the most important events in your life, and obtaining a marriage license is a significant step in the process. This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide to marriage license fees in Los Angeles, including various requirements and essential information.

Types of Marriage Licenses

In California, there are two main types of marriage licenses: public and confidential. A public marriage license is available for public viewing, while a confidential license keeps personal information protected. To obtain a confidential license, the couple must be living together as a married couple.

Marriage License Application

Before obtaining a marriage license, both parties need to bring valid photo identification, such as a driver’s license, military ID, passport, or green card. If these are unavailable, a certified copy of the birth certificate and another acceptable form of picture ID can be provided.

Marriage Waiting Period

Unlike some states, there’s no waiting period to receive your marriage license in Los Angeles. You’ll receive it immediately after submitting your application.

Residency Requirement

You don’t need to be a California resident to marry in Los Angeles. It’s a welcoming destination for couples from all over the world.

Previous Marriages

If you’ve been married before, you’ll need to know the specifics of your previous marriage, including the date and how it ended (death, dissolution, divorce, or nullity).

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Marriage License Fees

The cost of a marriage license in Los Angeles is $91 for a public license and $85 for a confidential license. Cash is the preferred method of payment.

Proxy Marriages and Cousins

California does not allow proxy marriages, and first and second cousins can legally marry.

Common Law Marriages

Common law marriages are not recognized in California.

Marriage Blood Test and Name Change

Unlike some states, blood tests are not required to obtain a marriage license. Getting a marriage license with your new name on it doesn’t automatically change your name.

Marriage Age Requirement

If either partner is under 18, one parent or legal guardian must be present. The couple must also schedule an appointment with a counselor and appear before a court judge.

Marriage Officiants

Various individuals can solemnize marriage ceremonies in California, including priests, ministers, rabbis, judges, and more.

Returning the Marriage License

The person officiating the marriage must return the original license to the County Clerk within 10 days of the ceremony.

Marriage Witnesses

A public marriage license requires the signature of one witness, with a provision for an additional witness. Confidential marriage licenses do not require witnesses’ signatures.

Expiration Date of Marriage License

Marriage licenses are valid for 90 days from the issuance date. If you don’t get married within this period, you’ll need to purchase a new license.


Your journey to a happy marriage begins with obtaining the right marriage license. Understanding the requirements and fees ensures a smooth process, leaving you free to focus on the joyous celebration ahead.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I get a certified copy of my marriage license after the wedding? You can request and pay for a certified copy from the County Clerk or County Recorder.
  2. Can I change my name on the license? Getting a marriage license with your new name doesn’t automatically change it. You’ll need to follow a separate process.
  3. Are blood tests required? No, blood tests are not necessary to obtain a marriage license in California.
  4. Can cousins marry in California? Yes, first and second cousins can legally marry in California.
  5. How long is the marriage license valid? Marriage licenses are valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. If not used within this period, you’ll need to purchase a new license.

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