Marriage License Requirements
Are you planning to tie the knot in the picturesque state of California? If so, it’s essential to know the ins and outs of obtaining a marriage license. This article will guide you through the process of acquiring both public and confidential marriage licenses, ensuring that your special day goes off without a hitch.
Walking down the aisle and saying “I do” is a momentous occasion in anyone’s life. Whether you’re planning an intimate ceremony or a grand celebration, one of the first steps in your journey to marital bliss is obtaining a marriage license.
Types of Marriage Licenses in California
Public Marriage License
A public marriage license in California is accessible for public viewing. It contains personal information about the couple, and copies of this license can be obtained by anyone with valid reason. However, it’s important to note that all information on a public marriage license is available to the public.
Confidential Marriage License
On the other hand, a confidential marriage license offers a level of privacy. This type of license safeguards personal information, making it unavailable for public scrutiny. Only a court order or a notarized application by either spouse can grant access to the information on a confidential marriage license.
Requirements for Marriage License Application
Before a marriage license can be issued, both parties (referred to as First Person and Second Person) must present valid photo identification. This can include a driver’s license, military ID, passport, or green card. In case these forms of identification are not available, a certified copy of the birth certificate along with another acceptable picture ID can be provided.
Residency and Waiting Period
There is no residency requirement for marrying in Placer County, California. Additionally, there is no waiting period for obtaining a marriage license. As soon as the application is submitted, the marriage license is issued immediately.
If either party has been previously married, it’s essential to provide details about the end of the previous marriage, including the specific date and method of termination (death, dissolution, divorce, or nullity).
Marriage License Fee
The cost of a marriage license in California is $57 for a public license and $60 for a confidential license. It’s advisable to bring cash for payment, though some offices may accept other methods like checks, money orders, or debit/credit cards with an additional fee.
The application process involves completing a marriage license application form. For a confidential marriage license, the couple must be living together as a married couple.
Proxy marriages, where one party is absent during the ceremony, are not allowed in California. The parties, marriage officiant, and witnesses must all be physically present together for the marriage to be performed.
California permits first and second cousins to legally marry.
Common Law Marriages
Common law marriages are not recognized in California.
Marriage Blood Test
Unlike some states, a blood test is not required to obtain a marriage license in California.
Getting a marriage license with a new name doesn’t automatically change the name. An online marriage name change kit can help with this process.
Marriage Age Requirement
If either partner is under 18, one parent or legal guardian must be present. The couple may also need to appear before a superior court judge.
Several individuals are authorized to solemnize marriage ceremonies in California, including religious leaders and judges.
Public marriage licenses require the signature of one witness, while confidential licenses do not require witnesses.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Marriage licenses are valid for 90 days from the issuance date. If the marriage doesn’t occur within this period, a new license must be obtained.
Obtaining a marriage license is a crucial step towards your journey as a married couple. Whether you opt for a public or confidential license, understanding the requirements and procedures will ensure a smooth process leading up to your big day.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Can I get a copy of my marriage license after the ceremony?
- You will not automatically receive a copy. You can request and pay for a certified copy from the County Clerk or County Recorder if needed.
- What if I need to change my name after getting a marriage license?
- A marriage license with a new name doesn’t automatically change it. An online marriage name change kit can assist with the process.
- Are proxy marriages allowed in California?
- No, proxy marriages are not permitted. All parties must be physically present for the ceremony.
- Is there a waiting period for marriage licenses in California?
- No, there is no waiting period. The marriage license is issued immediately upon application.
- How long is a marriage license valid in California?
- Marriage licenses are valid for 90 days from the issuance date. If not used within this period, a new license must be obtained.