San Joaquin County Marriage License Requirements

San Joaquin County
Marriage License Requirements

Marriage is a beautiful journey, and obtaining a marriage license is the essential first step on this path of love and commitment. In California, this process comes with distinct options, public and confidential licenses, each catering to different preferences and needs. In this article, we’ll delve into the specifics of marriage licenses in the Golden State, shedding light on requirements, fees, and other essential information.

Types of Marriage Licenses in California

When embarking on the journey of marriage in California, couples have two options: the public marriage license and the confidential marriage license.

Public Marriage License

A public marriage license is available for public viewing and offers transparency regarding the couple’s union. The information contained within this license can be accessed by anyone interested.

Confidential Marriage License

In contrast, a confidential marriage license offers discretion. Personal information within this license is protected from public view, accessible only through a court order or a notarized application by the spouses.

Marriage License Application Requirements

Before a marriage license is issued in California, there are certain requirements that must be fulfilled.

Identification Requirements

Both parties must provide valid photo identification, such as a driver’s license, military ID, passport, or green card. If these are unavailable, a certified copy of the birth certificate and another acceptable form of picture ID must be provided.

Residency Requirement

Unlike some states, California does not require couples to be residents of the state or the specific county where they intend to marry.

Confidential Marriage License Conditions

For those opting for a confidential marriage license, certain conditions apply.

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Cohabitation Requirement

Parties opting for a confidential marriage license must already be living together as a married couple.

Marriage License Fees

The cost of a marriage license varies depending on the type of license you choose.

Public License Fee

For a public marriage license, the fee is $65.

Confidential License Fee

Opting for a confidential marriage license comes with a fee of $73.

Additional Marriage License Information

Waiting Period

Unlike some states, there is no waiting period in California. You’ll receive your marriage license immediately after submitting your application.

Previous Marriages

If either party has divorced or terminated a State Registered Domestic Partnership within the last year, the relevant certificates must be presented during the application process.

Marriage Officiants

California allows various individuals to officiate marriage ceremonies, including priests, ministers, judges, and even legislators. The authorized persons are listed in the California Family Code.


Securing a marriage license is the initial step towards a lifelong journey of love and companionship. California offers couples the choice between public and confidential licenses, each catering to different levels of privacy. Whether you’re seeking transparency or discretion, the state ensures that your commitment is legally recognized.


Q1: What is the difference between a public and confidential marriage license? A: A public license is open for public viewing, while a confidential license offers privacy, with personal information protected from public access.

Q2: Can I marry my first cousin in California? A: Yes, first cousins are legally allowed to marry in California.

Q3: Is a blood test required for obtaining a marriage license in California? A: No, California does not require a blood test for obtaining a marriage license.

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Q4: How long is a marriage license valid in California? A: A marriage license is valid for 90 days from the date of issuance.

Q5: Can I change my name on the marriage license? A: Getting a marriage license with a new name doesn’t automatically change your name. If you wish to change your last name, you’ll need to follow the appropriate legal process.

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