Marriage License Requirements
Are wedding bells ringing in your near future? If you’re planning to tie the knot in the picturesque Napa Valley, there are a few essential steps you need to take to make your marriage official. From understanding the different types of marriage licenses available to meeting the necessary requirements, this guide will walk you through the process of obtaining a marriage license in Napa County, California.
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Before you embark on this beautiful journey of love and commitment, you’ll need to navigate the process of obtaining a marriage license. In Napa County, California, this process is straightforward, but it’s important to be well-informed to ensure a smooth experience.
Types of Marriage Licenses
Public Marriage License
A public marriage license is available for public viewing. All the information on this type of license can be accessed by anyone. However, only court orders or notarized applications from either spouse can obtain a copy of this information.
Confidential Marriage License
Opting for a confidential marriage license keeps your personal information private. This type of license safeguards your data from public view. To access the information on a confidential marriage license, a court order or notarized application by either spouse is required.
Required Information for Marriage License Application
To kickstart the application process, both parties (referred to as party A and party B) must provide certain information.
For both parties, a valid photo ID with birth date is necessary. Accepted forms of identification include a driver’s license, military ID, passport, or green card. If these options are unavailable, a certified copy of the birth certificate and another acceptable form of picture ID can be used.
The Marriage License Application requires detailed personal information, including parents’ full names and places of birth. This data ensures the accuracy of the marriage record.
Before a marriage license can be issued, party A and party B must visit the designated location together. Upon submission, a marriage license will be issued immediately.
Marriage Waiting Period and Residency Requirements
There is no waiting period in Napa County, meaning you’ll receive your marriage license right after submitting your application. Additionally, being a California resident is not a requirement to marry in Napa County.
Previous Marriages and Their Impact
If either party has been previously married, the details of the previous marriage, such as how it ended (divorce, annulment, death, termination of state registered domestic partnership), are essential.
Marriage License Fees
The fee for a regular marriage license is $83.00. It’s also recommended, though not mandatory, to pay an extra $15.00 for a certified copy of the license. Payment methods include checks drawn on a California bank, cash, money order, travelers’ check, or major debit/credit cards.
Proxy Marriages, Cousin Marriages, and Common Law Marriages
California does not allow marriage by proxy, but it does permit first and second cousins to marry. However, common law marriages are not recognized in the state.
Marriage Blood Test and Name Change
Unlike some states, California does not require a blood test to obtain a marriage license. It’s important to note that acquiring a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your name.
Marriage Age Requirement
For individuals under the age of eighteen, a marriage license cannot be issued without a court order.
Authorized Marriage Officiants
Several individuals are authorized to solemnize marriage ceremonies in California, including priests, ministers, rabbis, judges, retired judges, and more.
Returning the Marriage License
The person officiating the marriage must return the original marriage license to the County Clerk or County Recorder within ten days of the ceremony.
Ensuring Accuracy on the Marriage License
It’s crucial to maintain legibility, clarity, and accuracy on the marriage license. Any alterations, white-outs, or changes may require a duplicate license.
Witnesses and Expiration Date
A public marriage license requires one witness’s signature, with an option for an additional witness. The license is valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. If not used within this timeframe, a new license must be purchased.
Obtaining a marriage license is a significant step on your journey to wedded bliss. Navigating the requirements and processes involved ensures that you can focus on celebrating your love without any legal hiccups.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I obtain a marriage license without a waiting period in Napa County? Yes, there is no waiting period, and you’ll receive your license immediately after application.
- 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 on the marriage license? Getting a marriage license with your new name doesn’t automatically change your name; you’ll need to follow the appropriate procedures.
- Who can officiate marriage ceremonies in California? Authorized officiants include priests, ministers, rabbis, judges, and other designated individuals.
- What happens if I don’t use the marriage license within 90 days? If the license isn’t used within 90 days, it becomes invalid, and you’ll need to purchase a new one.