Santa Barbara County
Marriage License Requirements
When it comes to tying the knot in California, understanding the nuances of marriage license fees and requirements is essential. Whether you’re planning an elaborate wedding or an intimate ceremony, obtaining the right license is a crucial step. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about public and confidential marriage licenses, application procedures, eligibility criteria, and more.
Getting married is a momentous occasion that marks the beginning of a lifelong journey together. In California, the process of obtaining a marriage license involves several steps and considerations. From choosing between a public and confidential license to meeting the identification requirements, we’ll cover it all.
Understanding Marriage License Types
In California, there are two main types of marriage licenses: public and confidential. A public marriage license is available for public viewing, while a confidential marriage license protects personal information from public access. Only a court order or a notarized application by either spouse can obtain a copy of the information from a confidential license.
Before a marriage license can be issued, both parties (First Person and Second Person) must apply together at one of the designated offices. The process involves submitting valid photo identification (such as a driver’s license, military ID, passport, or green card) and inputting information into marriage license application kiosks. After submitting the information, the license is typically issued within 30 minutes.
Personal Identification Requirements
Valid photo identification is a crucial requirement for obtaining a marriage license. A driver’s license, military ID, passport, or other government-issued photo ID is accepted. If these forms of ID are not available, a certified copy of the birth certificate and another acceptable form of picture ID can be used.
Confidential Marriage License
A confidential marriage license has specific requirements, including proof that both parties are living together as a married couple. Valid driver’s licenses with the same address or bills addressed to both parties at the same address can serve as proof. This type of license can only be used within Santa Barbara County.
Marriage Waiting Period and Residency
California does not have a waiting period for obtaining a marriage license. Once the application is submitted, the license is issued immediately. Applicants do not need to be U.S. citizens or residents of California or Santa Barbara County to apply, but valid photo identification is required.
Previous Marriages and Divorces
Applicants who have been divorced or terminated a state-registered domestic partnership within the last 90 days must provide a certified copy of the final dissolution of marriage or termination of domestic partnership.
Marriage License Fees
The cost of a marriage license in California varies. A public license fee is $100, while a confidential license fee is $110. It’s advisable to use cash as the preferred method of payment, though other options may be available.
Marriage by Proxy and Cousin Marriages
Marriage by proxy is not allowed in California. First and second cousins are legally allowed to marry in the state.
Common Law Marriages and Blood Tests
Common law marriages are not recognized in California, and blood tests are not required to obtain a marriage license.
Name Change After Marriage
Obtaining a marriage license with a new name does not automatically change the name. Individuals seeking a name change can use an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirement
Applicants under the age of 18 must make arrangements with the Santa Barbara Superior Court. Minors can only purchase a regular marriage license after approval from a judge.
Authorized Marriage Officiants
Various individuals are authorized to solemnize marriage ceremonies in California, including religious leaders, judges, magistrates, and other specified officials.
Returning the Marriage License
The person solemnizing the marriage must return the original marriage license to the County Clerk or County Recorder within 10 days of the ceremony.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
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 purchased.
Navigating the intricacies of marriage license fees and requirements in California ensures a smooth and legally sound union. By understanding the different license types, application process, identification requirements, and other essential details, you can embark on your marital journey with confidence.
Q1: Can I apply for a marriage license if I’m not a U.S. citizen?
A1: Yes, applicants do not need to be U.S. citizens to apply for a marriage license in California.
Q2: What is the difference between a public and a confidential marriage license?
A2: A public marriage license is available for public viewing, while a confidential marriage license protects personal information from public access.
Q3: How long does it take to obtain a marriage license?
A3: The marriage license is typically issued within approximately thirty (30) minutes after the application process is completed.
Q4: Can I change my name immediately after obtaining a marriage license?
A4: Obtaining a marriage license with a new name does not automatically change your name. You may use an online marriage name change kit if you wish to change your name.
Q5: Are blood tests required to obtain a marriage license in California?
A5: No, blood tests are not required to obtain a marriage license in California.