Marin County Marriage License Requirements

Marin County
Marriage License Requirements

Marriage is a significant milestone in anyone’s life, and if you’re planning to tie the knot in California, understanding the differences between a public and a confidential marriage license is crucial. With the help of this guide, you’ll be better informed about the choices available to you for obtaining a marriage license in the Golden State.


Preparing for your wedding involves many decisions, including the type of marriage license you need. In California, couples have the option of obtaining either a public or a confidential marriage license. Each comes with its own set of benefits and considerations. This article will help you make an informed choice that aligns with your preferences.

Types of Marriage Licenses in California

Public Marriage License

A public marriage license is accessible for public viewing, making all the information on it available to anyone who wishes to see it. This type of license is suitable for couples who don’t mind their personal details being open to scrutiny.

Confidential Marriage License

On the other hand, a confidential marriage license ensures that the personal information on the license remains private. It’s only accessible through a court order or by notarized application from either spouse. This option is ideal for couples who value their privacy.

Information Required for Marriage License Application

To apply for a marriage license, both parties (referred to as First Person and Second Person) need to present valid picture identification. This can include passports, driver’s licenses, California ID cards, or other acceptable forms of photo ID. If either partner doesn’t speak English, a translator must accompany them.

See also  Santa Cruz County Marriage License Requirements

Process of Obtaining a Confidential Marriage License

For a confidential marriage license, both parties must be living together as a married couple. The application process involves appearing together at the County Clerk’s Office, signing the application, and paying the necessary fee.

Marriage License Fees

Obtaining a marriage license in California comes with a fee. A public marriage license costs $85, while a confidential marriage license is priced at $93. Payment options include cash, check, debit/credit cards (with an additional processing fee), and it’s payable to the “Marin County Clerk.”

Who Can Officiate Marriages in California

Several individuals are authorized to officiate marriage ceremonies in California. This includes religious figures like priests, ministers, and rabbis, as well as judges, retired judges, and magistrates.

Validity and Expiration of Marriage Licenses

Marriage licenses in California are valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. This means you must get married within this timeframe; otherwise, you’ll need to purchase a new license. Both public and confidential licenses can be used throughout the state.


Choosing between a public and a confidential marriage license is an important decision that involves considering your preferences for privacy and accessibility. By understanding the requirements, fees, and options available in California, you’ll be well-equipped to embark on this exciting journey towards marital bliss.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can out-of-state residents marry in Marin County?
    • Yes, you don’t need to be a California resident to marry in Marin County.
  2. Are blood tests required for obtaining a marriage license?
    • No, blood tests are not required for a marriage license in California.
  3. Can first cousins marry in California?
    • Yes, first cousins are legally allowed to marry in California.
  4. Is marriage by proxy allowed in California?
    • No, marriage by proxy is not permitted in the state.
  5. What is the process for changing my name after marriage?
    • Obtaining a marriage license with a new name doesn’t automatically change your name. An online marriage name change kit can help you with the process.

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