Marriage License Requirements
In the state of California, the process of obtaining a marriage license is an essential step for couples looking to tie the knot. Whether you’re planning a grand wedding ceremony or a quiet elopement, understanding the details of marriage license fees and requirements is crucial. This article will walk you through the ins and outs of acquiring a marriage license in California, helping you navigate the process smoothly.
Marriage is a cherished institution that brings two individuals together in a lifelong commitment. To make this union legally valid, obtaining a marriage license is a necessary step. In California, the process involves a few key steps, including choosing the right type of license and meeting specific requirements.
Types of Marriage Licenses in California
Public Marriage License
A public marriage license is available for public viewing and provides essential information about the couple. It’s a popular choice for those who wish to publicly declare their union.
Confidential Marriage License
On the other hand, a confidential marriage license keeps personal information private, and access is restricted. It can only be accessed through a court order or a notarized application by one of the spouses.
Proof of Age and Identification
Both parties, referred to as the First Person and Second Person, must appear together in person to apply for a marriage license. They need to provide proof of age and identification, ensuring the legality of the union.
Valid Forms of Identification
Accepted forms of identification include a valid driver’s license, military ID, passport, or green card. In cases where the provided identification doesn’t display the full legal name, a certified copy of the birth certificate is required.
Obtaining Different Types of Licenses
Requirements for a Confidential Marriage License
To obtain a confidential marriage license, the couple must be living together as a married couple. The same ID requirements apply as for a public marriage license.
Conditions for a Public Marriage License
A public marriage license is open for public viewing, making it suitable for those who want to publicly announce their commitment.
Marriage License Application Process
The application process for a marriage license involves completing the necessary forms, presenting valid identification, and paying the required fees.
Waiting Period and Residency Requirement
No Waiting Period
California does not have a waiting period for obtaining a marriage license. Couples receive their license immediately after submitting their application.
Couples do not need to be California residents to marry in Trinity County.
Previous Marriages and Divorce Records
If either party has recently been divorced, a certified copy of the final divorce decree must be presented during the application process.
Registered Domestic Partnership
A registered domestic partnership does not need to be dissolved before obtaining a marriage license if the parties are the same for both the partnership and the marriage.
Marriage License Fees
The fee for a public marriage license is $49, while a confidential marriage license costs $54.
Preferred Payment Method
Cash is the preferred method of payment for marriage license fees, but other payment options may be available.
Marriage by proxy is not allowed in California. All parties involved must be physically present for the marriage ceremony.
California allows first and second cousins to legally marry.
Common Law Marriages
Common law marriages are not recognized in California.
Marriage Blood Test
California does not require a blood test to obtain a marriage license.
Getting a marriage license with a new name does not automatically change the individual’s name. A separate name change process is required.
Marriage Age Requirement and Guardianship
If either partner is under 18, one parent or legal guardian must be present. Proper evidence, such as a certified copy of the birth certificate, must be provided for verification.
Authorized Marriage Officiants
The individuals authorized to solemnize marriage ceremonies in California include religious officials, judges, magistrates, and specific governmental representatives.
Marriage License Witnesses
A public marriage license requires the signature of one witness, with the option to add a second witness. Confidential marriage licenses do not require witness signatures.
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 obtained.
Acquiring a marriage license is a pivotal step on the journey to marriage. Understanding the nuances of the process, from different license types to application requirements, ensures a smooth and legally valid union. Whether you opt for a public or confidential license, knowing the details will help you start your married life on the right foot.
- Can I obtain a marriage license if I am not a California resident?
- Yes, residency in California is not required to obtain a marriage license in Trinity County.
- What is the cost of a public marriage license?
- The fee for a public marriage license is $49.
- Can I change my name through the marriage license process?
- Obtaining a marriage license with a new name does not automatically change your name. A separate name change process is needed.
- Are blood tests required for a marriage license in California?
- No, California does not require blood tests for a marriage license.
- How long is a marriage license valid?
- A marriage license is valid for 90 days from the date of issuance.