Marriage License Requirements
When it comes to getting married in California, one of the important aspects to consider is the marriage license fee. Whether you’re planning a grand wedding or a private affair, understanding the differences between a public and a confidential marriage license can make your wedding planning process smoother. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of these licenses, the requirements, fees, and other essential information to help you make an informed decision for your special day.
Understanding Marriage License Types
Public Marriage License
A public marriage license in California is accessible to the general public. This means that the information on the license is available for viewing by anyone. It’s a traditional option for couples who want to share their joyous occasion openly. However, it’s important to note that all personal information on this license can be seen by anyone, and obtaining a copy of this information might not require special authorization.
Confidential Marriage License
On the other hand, a confidential marriage license provides a higher level of privacy. The personal information on this license is protected from public view, and access to this information requires either a court order or a notarized application from either spouse. This option is suitable for couples who value their privacy and want to keep their personal details more discreet.
The Marriage License Application Process
To apply for a marriage license in California, there are certain requirements that need to be fulfilled:
- Both parties, referred to as the First Person and Second Person, must appear together in person with valid proof of age and identification.
- A valid photo ID with the birth date, such as a driver’s license, military ID, passport, or green card, is required. If the ID does not reflect the full legal name, a certified copy of the birth certificate should be presented as well.
- For a confidential marriage license, the couple must be living together as a married couple. The same ID requirements apply in this case as well.
Additional Requirements and Considerations
California does not impose a waiting period. You’ll receive your marriage license immediately after submitting the application.
You do not need to be a resident of California to marry in Tulare County.
If either party has been granted a divorce within 90 days of applying for a new marriage license, a certified copy of the final divorce must be presented at the time of issuance.
Marriage License Fees
The marriage license fee in California varies based on the type of license you choose:
- Public License Fee: $93 (subject to change)
- Confidential License Fee: $95 (subject to change)
Preferred payment method is cash. For alternative payment options, it’s recommended to call ahead for guidance.
Choosing Your Marriage Officiant
In California, several individuals are authorized to solemnize marriage ceremonies, including:
- Priests, ministers, or rabbis of any religious denomination.
- Judges, retired judges, commissioners of civil marriages, and more.
- Legislators, constitutional officers, and members of Congress representing the state.
The person solemnizing the marriage must return the original marriage license to the County Clerk or County Recorder within 10 days of the ceremony.
Marriage Witnesses and Expiration
For a public marriage license, one witness signature is required, with space for an additional witness. Confidential marriage licenses do not require witnesses to sign.
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 process of obtaining a marriage license in California involves understanding the differences between public and confidential licenses, meeting the necessary requirements, and considering the fees involved. Whether you prioritize privacy or openness, knowing your options will help you plan your wedding day with confidence.
1. Can non-residents of California get married in Tulare County? Yes, California residency is not required to marry in Tulare County.
2. What’s the difference between a public and a confidential marriage license? A public license is accessible to the public, while a confidential license protects personal information from public view.
3. Is there a waiting period for marriage licenses in California? No, there is no waiting period. You’ll receive your license immediately upon application.
4. Can cousins marry in California? Yes, first and second cousins are legally allowed to marry in California.
5. Can I change my last name using the marriage license? Getting a marriage license with a new name doesn’t automatically change your name. You’ll need a separate process for a name change.