Marriage License Requirements
When it comes to tying the knot in the Golden State, there are a few important details you need to keep in mind. From the types of marriage licenses available to the application process and requirements, this comprehensive guide will ensure you’re well-prepared for your journey down the aisle.
Planning a wedding can be an exciting yet daunting task, and one of the most essential components is obtaining a marriage license. This legal document is required for your marriage to be recognized, and the process can vary from state to state. In California, there are two primary types of marriage licenses to choose from: the public marriage license and the confidential marriage license.
Types of Marriage Licenses in California
Public Marriage License
The public marriage license is accessible to anyone interested in viewing it. This means that the information contained within the license, including personal details of the couple, can be accessed by the public. If privacy isn’t a major concern, this may be the license for you.
Confidential Marriage License
On the other hand, the confidential marriage license is designed to protect the personal information of the couple. Only a court order or a notarized application by either spouse can grant access to the information on this license. This option is great for those who value their privacy.
Required Information for a Marriage License Application
To obtain a marriage license, both parties (Party A and Party B) need to appear together at the County Clerk & Recorder’s Office. You’ll need a valid driver’s license, DMV-issued ID, or other acceptable photo identification. If none of these are available, a certified copy of your birth certificate along with another form of picture ID will suffice. If you’re applying for a confidential license, you’ll also need to prove that you’re living together as a married couple.
Application and Waiting Period
Fortunately, there’s no waiting period for your marriage license in California. You’ll receive it immediately after submitting your application. Additionally, you don’t have to be a California resident to marry in Tehama County.
If you or your spouse has been granted a dissolution of marriage within 90 days of applying for a new marriage license, you’ll need to present a copy of the final dissolution decree during the issuance of the license.
Unfortunately, California does not allow marriages by proxy. This means that both parties, the marriage officiant, and any witnesses must be physically present in the same location during the ceremony.
Cousin Marriages and Common Law Marriages
Yes, first and second cousins can legally marry in California. However, the state does not recognize common law marriages.
Marriage Blood Test and Name Change
Unlike some states, California does not require blood tests to obtain a marriage license. If you plan to change your last name after marriage, getting a marriage license with your new name doesn’t automatically change it. You’ll need to use an online marriage name change kit.
Age Requirements and Consent
If either Party A or Party B is under 18 years old, a court order, counseling, and consent are required before a license can be issued. Contact the County Recorder’s office for more information.
Authorized Marriage Officiants
California has a broad range of individuals authorized to solemnize marriage ceremonies. This includes priests, ministers, rabbis, judges, magistrates, and more. Make sure to return the original marriage license to the appropriate authorities within 10 days after the ceremony.
Returning and Recording the Marriage License
It’s important to return the original marriage license to the County Clerk or County Recorder as applicable within 10 days of the ceremony. You can request a certified copy of the license if needed.
Witnesses and Expiration
A public marriage license requires one or two witnesses to sign, while a confidential marriage license does not require any witnesses. Marriage licenses are valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. If you don’t get married within this time frame, you’ll need to purchase a new license.
Using Marriage Licenses Across California
Both public and confidential marriage licenses are valid throughout the state. A public license can be accessed by the public, while a confidential license keeps personal information private.
Obtaining a marriage license in California involves understanding the different types of licenses available, meeting the necessary requirements, and adhering to the various rules and regulations. By following this guide, you’ll be well-prepared to navigate the process and ensure your marriage is officially recognized.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Can I apply for a marriage license if I’m not a California resident? Yes, residency in California is not a requirement for obtaining a marriage license in Tehama County.
- Can I change my name through the marriage license? No, getting a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change it. You’ll need to follow the appropriate legal procedures.
- Are blood tests required for a marriage license in California? No, California does not require blood tests as part of the marriage license application process.
- Can I have a proxy marriage in California? No, marriages by proxy are not allowed in California. Both parties and the officiant must be physically present.
- How long is a marriage license valid? Marriage licenses are valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. If you don’t marry within this period, you’ll need to obtain a new license.