Marriage License Requirements
Planning a wedding in California? It’s essential to understand the ins and outs of obtaining a marriage license to ensure a smooth and legal union. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the various aspects of getting a marriage license in California, including fees, requirements, and important details.
Getting married is an exciting milestone, and understanding the legal process behind it is crucial. In California, the process involves obtaining a marriage license. Let’s delve into the key aspects of this process.
Types of Marriage Licenses in California
In California, there are two types of marriage licenses available: public and confidential. A public marriage license is accessible for public viewing, while a confidential marriage license keeps personal information protected from public scrutiny.
Before obtaining a marriage license, the first and second persons intending to marry must present valid photo identification, such as a driver’s license, military ID, passport, or green card. If these forms of identification are unavailable, a certified copy of the birth certificate and another acceptable photo ID must be provided.
Confidential Marriage License
For a confidential marriage license, both parties (party A and party B) must be living together as a married couple. The same identification requirements apply as for a public marriage license.
Marriage Waiting Period
California does not impose a waiting period for marriage licenses. Once you submit your application, you’ll receive the license immediately.
You do not need to be a California resident to marry in Madera County or anywhere else in the state.
If you’ve been previously married, you’ll need to provide details about when and how the marriage ended (death, dissolution, divorce, or nullity).
Marriage License Fees
The cost for a public marriage license is $50, while a confidential license is $55. It’s advisable to bring cash for payment. Alternative payment methods may be available upon inquiry.
Unlike some states, California does not allow marriage by proxy. Both parties, the officiant, and any witnesses must be physically present at the marriage location.
First and second cousins can legally marry in California.
Common Law Marriages
Common law marriages are not recognized in California.
Marriage Blood Test
Blood tests are not required to obtain a marriage license in California.
Obtaining a marriage license with your new name doesn’t automatically change your name. If you wish to change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirement
If either partner is under 18, one parent or legal guardian must be present. If this is not possible due to specific circumstances, proper evidence must be provided, including a certified copy of the birth certificate.
Various individuals are authorized to officiate marriage ceremonies in California, including religious leaders, judges, and magistrates.
Returning the Marriage License
The person solemnizing the marriage must return the original marriage license to the County Clerk or County Recorder within 10 days of the ceremony.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Marriage licenses are valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. If not used within this period, a new license must be obtained.
Navigating the process of obtaining a marriage license in California involves understanding the different license types, requirements, and important details. By adhering to these guidelines, you can ensure a smooth and legally sound marriage.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Can I marry my cousin in California? Yes, first and second cousins can legally marry in California.
- Is a blood test required for a marriage license in California? No, California does not require a blood test for a marriage license.
- Can I change my name through a marriage license in California? Obtaining a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your name. You can use an online marriage name change kit for this purpose.
- What is the cost of a confidential marriage license in California? The cost of a confidential marriage license is $55.
- How long is a marriage license valid in California? A marriage license in California is valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. If not used within this period, a new license must be obtained.