San Bernardino County
Marriage License Requirements
Marriage is a joyous union that marks the beginning of a new chapter in life. If you’re planning to tie the knot in the beautiful state of California, understanding the intricacies of obtaining a marriage license is crucial. Whether you’re considering a public marriage license or a confidential one, the process involves specific steps and requirements. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the essential details of securing your marriage license in California.
Embarking on a journey of lifelong companionship is a beautiful and transformative experience. Before you say “I do,” the state of California requires couples to obtain a marriage license, a legal document that grants you permission to marry.
Understanding Marriage Licenses in California
Public Marriage License
A public marriage license in California is openly available for public viewing. This means that all personal information on the license can be accessed by anyone. To obtain a copy of the information, a court order or a notarized application from either spouse is necessary.
Confidential Marriage License
On the other hand, a confidential marriage license ensures the confidentiality of the personal information present on the license. Only court orders or notarized applications from the spouses can provide access to this information. This option is ideal for those who prioritize privacy.
Essential Information for Marriage License Application
To kick-start the application process, certain crucial details need to be considered.
Both parties (referred to as party A and party B) must present valid photo identification with their birth date. Acceptable forms of identification include a driver’s license, military ID, passport, or green card.
Photo ID and Birth Date Verification
A valid photo ID with a birth date is mandatory. This requirement ensures accurate identification and verification.
You don’t need to be a California resident to obtain a marriage license in San Bernardino County. This openness makes it convenient for couples from various locations to tie the knot in this picturesque region.
Applying for a Public Marriage License
For a public marriage license, party A and party B can apply together, and there is no requirement for them to be living together as a married couple.
Applying for a Confidential Marriage License
For a confidential marriage license, party A and party B must be living together as a married couple. The same identification requirements mentioned earlier apply.
Marriage License Fees
Securing a marriage license involves a fee, and the amount depends on the type of license you choose:
- Public License Fee: $89
- Confidential License Fee: $90
It’s important to note that fees are subject to change, so it’s advisable to confirm the current fee before proceeding.
Special Cases and Requirements
If either party has been married before, you’ll need to provide the specific date the previous marriage ended and the manner in which it ended (Death, Dissolution, Divorce, or Nullity).
Waiting Period and Residency
Fortunately, there is no waiting period for obtaining a marriage license in California. You will receive the license immediately after submitting your application. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, California residency is not a prerequisite for marrying in San Bernardino County.
Proxy Marriages and Cousin Marriages
Marriage by proxy is not permitted in California. The individuals involved, the officiant, and any witnesses must all be physically present for the marriage ceremony. Surprisingly, first and second cousins are legally allowed to marry in California.
The individuals authorized to solemnize marriage ceremonies in California are diverse:
- Priests, ministers, or rabbis of any religious denomination
- Judges, commissioners of civil marriages, and retired judges
- Legislators, constitutional officers, or members of Congress representing the state
- And more…
Marriage Witnesses and Expiration
For a public marriage license, one or two witnesses may sign. However, for a confidential marriage license, no witnesses are allowed. Marriage licenses remain valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. If the marriage does not take place within this period, a new license must be acquired.
Securing a marriage license is an essential step on your journey to marital bliss. Whether you opt for a public or confidential license, understanding the nuances of the process is paramount. By adhering to the guidelines and requirements laid out by the state of California, you can ensure a smooth and legal transition into the wonderful institution of marriage.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Can I apply for a marriage license if I’m not a California resident? Yes, you do not need to be a California resident to obtain a marriage license in San Bernardino County.
- Is there a waiting period for receiving the marriage license? No, there is no waiting period. You will receive the license immediately after submitting your application.
- Are proxy marriages allowed in California? No, marriage by proxy is not permitted in the state.
- Can first cousins marry in California? Yes, first and second cousins are legally allowed to marry in California.
- How long is the marriage license valid? Marriage licenses are valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. If the marriage does not take place within this period, a new license must be obtained.