San Luis Obispo County
Marriage License Requirements
If you’re planning to tie the knot in the beautiful state of California, understanding the different types of marriage licenses and associated fees is crucial. Whether you’re opting for a public license or a confidential one, there are important details to consider before you say “I do.”
Planning a wedding is an exciting journey, and securing a marriage license is a pivotal step in the process. California offers two types of marriage licenses: the public marriage license and the confidential marriage license. Each has its own purpose and requirements, and it’s essential to understand the differences before making your choice.
Understanding Marriage License Types
Public Marriage License
A public marriage license is accessible for public viewing and contains all personal information about the couple. Anyone can obtain a copy of this information upon request. However, the parties involved can also choose a confidential marriage license.
Confidential Marriage License
Opting for a confidential marriage license ensures that your personal information remains protected from public access. Only a court order or a notarized application by either spouse can grant access to this information.
To be eligible for a marriage license in California, both parties must be at least 18 years old.
Both parties need to present valid photo identification with their birth dates, such as a driver’s license, military ID, passport, or green card.
Living Together Declaration
For a confidential marriage license, the parties must declare under penalty of perjury that they have been living together as spouses.
Marriage licenses are issued at two offices in California: the San Luis Obispo office and the Atascadero Marriage License Issuing Office.
Upon arriving at the office, the parties will complete the marriage license information on the Marriage Kiosk. Staff will then review the information and request identification.
Marriage License Waiting Period and Residency
There is no waiting period in California for obtaining a marriage license. You don’t need to be a California resident to marry in San Luis Obispo County.
If either party was previously married, certified copies of final dissolution papers are required. If the dissolution was granted within the last 90 days, a copy of the papers is necessary; otherwise, the date of the dissolution suffices.
Marriage License Fees
The fee for both public and confidential marriage licenses is $100. It’s advisable to use cash for payment, but additional payment methods might be available.
Proxy marriages are not allowed in California. First and second cousins are legally permitted to marry, but common law marriages are not recognized.
Marriage Blood Test and Name Change
No blood tests are required for a marriage license. Getting a marriage license with your new name doesn’t automatically change your name; you might need an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirement and Officiants
For parties under 18, additional steps are required. Authorized persons to solemnize marriages include religious figures, judges, and other officials.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Marriage licenses are valid for 90 days from issuance. They can be used throughout the state for public licenses or within the county of purchase for confidential licenses.
Planning a wedding involves numerous decisions, and obtaining a marriage license is a crucial step. Understanding the differences between public and confidential licenses, as well as the associated fees and requirements, will help ensure a smooth journey towards your happily ever after.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I obtain a copy of my marriage license after the ceremony? You can request and pay for a certified copy of your marriage license from the County Clerk or County Recorder.
- Is a marriage license valid outside of California? A public marriage license is valid throughout the state, while a confidential marriage license is only valid in the county where it was purchased.
- Can I appoint someone to perform the wedding ceremony for a day? California offers a Deputy For a Day Program, allowing a chosen person to officiate the wedding ceremony for a fee.
- How many witnesses are required for a marriage license? The public marriage license requires one or two witnesses to sign, while the confidential license doesn’t require witnesses.
- What happens if my marriage license expires? Marriage licenses are valid for 90 days. If you don’t marry within this period, you’ll need to purchase a new license.