Marriage License Requirements
Planning a wedding can be an exciting but sometimes overwhelming experience. One of the essential steps in the process is obtaining a marriage license. In the beautiful state of California, there are different types of marriage licenses available, each with its own set of requirements and procedures. Whether you’re a California resident or looking to tie the knot in the Golden State, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the ins and outs of obtaining a marriage license. So, let’s dive in!
Marriage is a beautiful journey, and getting married in California comes with its own unique set of requirements and regulations. Whether you’re a resident or just dreaming of a California wedding, understanding the process of obtaining a marriage license is crucial.
Types of Marriage Licenses in California
Public Marriage License
A public marriage license is accessible to the general public and contains personal information that can be viewed by anyone. This type of license is ideal for those who don’t require additional privacy.
Confidential Marriage License
On the other hand, a confidential marriage license is designed for couples who value their privacy. Personal information on this license is protected from public view, and only authorized individuals can access the details.
Requirements for Obtaining a Marriage License
Both parties must present valid photo identification that includes their date of birth. This can include a driver’s license, military ID, passport, or other acceptable forms of identification.
Living Together Requirement
For a confidential marriage license, both parties must be living together as a married couple. This requirement does not apply to a public marriage license.
Age and Residency Requirements
Applicants must be at least 18 years old to apply for a marriage license. There are no residency requirements, meaning you don’t need to be a California resident to marry in the state.
If either party has been divorced or had an annulment within the last 6 months, a copy of the final judgment is required.
Waiting Period and Residency
California does not have a waiting period for obtaining a marriage license. Once your application is submitted, you’ll receive your license immediately.
Public Marriage License Application
To obtain a public marriage license, both applicants must complete the Public Marriage License Application. Both parties must be present during the application process.
Confidential Marriage License Application
For a confidential marriage license, applicants must complete the Confidential Marriage License Application. Both parties must be present during the application process.
Authorized Persons to Solemnize Marriages
Several individuals are authorized to officiate marriage ceremonies in California, including priests, ministers, rabbis, judges, and more.
Responsibilities of the Officiant
The person officiating the marriage must return the original marriage license to the appropriate county office within 10 days of the ceremony.
Witnesses and Expiration
For a public marriage license, one witness must sign the license, with space for an additional witness. A confidential marriage license does not require witnesses.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Marriage licenses are valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. If the marriage does not occur within this period, a new license must be purchased.
Marriage License Fees
The fee for a public marriage license is $85, while a confidential marriage license costs $95. Cash is the preferred payment method.
Changing Your Name
Obtaining a marriage license with your new name doesn’t automatically change your name. If you wish to change your last name, you’ll need to follow the appropriate legal procedures.
Navigating the process of obtaining a marriage license in California is an essential step on your journey to happily ever after. Whether you opt for a public or confidential license, meeting the requirements and understanding the regulations will ensure a smooth and joyous celebration of your love. So, get ready to say “I do” and embark on this beautiful adventure together.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: What is a public marriage license? A1: A public marriage license is a type of license that is accessible to the general public. It contains personal information that can be viewed by anyone.
Q2: Can I obtain a confidential marriage license if I’m under 18? A2: No, confidential marriage licenses require both parties to be at least 18 years of age. Underage applicants are not allowed to obtain a confidential license.
Q3: Are blood tests required to obtain a marriage license? A3: No, blood tests are not required to obtain a marriage license in California.
Q4: Can I have a proxy marriage in California? A4: No, marriage by proxy is not allowed in California. Both parties, the marriage officiant, and any witnesses must be physically present for the marriage to be performed.
Q5: How do I request a copy of my marriage certificate? A5: To request a copy of your marriage certificate, you can contact the County Clerk or County Recorder’s office where your marriage license was issued.