Marriage License Requirements
Marriage is a significant step in anyone’s life, and obtaining a marriage license is one of the essential elements of this journey. Whether you’re planning a grand celebration or a more intimate affair, understanding the various aspects of marriage licenses in California is crucial. From fees to requirements, this article delves into everything you need to know before tying the knot.
Unveiling the Different Types of Marriage Licenses
In California, there are two primary types of marriage licenses: Public Marriage License and Confidential Marriage License. Each type serves a specific purpose, and understanding the differences is vital.
- Public Marriage License: This type of license is accessible for public viewing, and all the information on it is available to anyone who wishes to see it.
- Confidential Marriage License: Unlike the public license, a confidential marriage license keeps all personal information protected from public view. Access to this information requires a court order or a notarized application from either spouse.
Essential Information Required for Marriage License Application
When applying for a marriage license, several pieces of information are necessary for both parties:
- Valid photo identification, such as a driver’s license, military ID, passport, or green card.
- If valid photo ID is unavailable, a certified copy of your birth certificate and another acceptable form of picture identification will suffice.
The Process of Obtaining a Confidential Marriage License
For couples seeking a Confidential Marriage License, there are specific criteria to be met:
- Party A and Party B must be living together as a married couple.
- The same ID requirements mentioned earlier apply.
No Waiting Period and Residency Requirements
Unlike some states, California does not have a waiting period. Upon submitting your application, you will receive your marriage license immediately. Additionally, you do not need to be a California resident to marry in Sacramento County.
Factors to Consider for Previously Married Individuals
If either party has been married before, certain details need to be considered:
- You must know the specific date your last marriage ended and the manner in which it concluded (Death, Dissolution, Divorce, or Nullity).
- Some counties might require a copy of the final judgment if your previous marriage ended through dissolution or nullity.
Marriage License Fees in California
The cost of obtaining a marriage license varies depending on the type:
- Public License: $84
- Confidential License: $95
It’s advisable to make payments in cash, but it’s wise to inquire about alternative payment methods before arriving at the clerk’s office.
Marriage Officiants and Witnesses
In California, various individuals are authorized to solemnize marriage ceremonies. These include:
- Priests, ministers, or rabbis of any religious denomination.
- Judges, commissioners of civil marriages, and retired judges.
For the ceremony to be legal, the officiant, along with any required witnesses, must be physically present at the same location.
Ensuring Accuracy and Completeness
When completing your marriage license, ensure that all information is legible and unambiguous. Any alterations, white-outs, or cross-outs could lead to the issuance of a duplicate license. If you have any concerns about completing the license, don’t hesitate to reach out to the County Clerk’s Office.
Expiration and Copies of Marriage Licenses
Marriage licenses in California have an expiration date of 90 days from the date of issuance. If you don’t get married within this time frame, you’ll need to purchase a new license. Both types of licenses, public and confidential, can be used throughout the state.
Obtaining a marriage license is a pivotal step in the journey to matrimony. Understanding the types of licenses, required information, fees, and processes ensures that you’re well-prepared for this significant life event. By following the guidelines and fulfilling the necessary requirements, you can embark on your marital adventure with confidence.
- Can I apply for a marriage license online in Sacramento County? Yes, you can apply for a marriage license online before visiting the Sacramento County Clerk’s office.
- What is the difference between a public and a confidential marriage license? A public marriage license is available for public viewing, while a confidential marriage license keeps personal information private.
- Are blood tests required for obtaining a marriage license in California? No, blood tests are not required to obtain a marriage license in California.
- Can cousin marriages take place legally in California? Yes, first and second cousins can legally marry in California.
- What is the validity period of a marriage license in California? Marriage licenses are valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. If not used within this period, a new license must be purchased.