Marriage License Requirements
If you’re planning to tie the knot in California, you’ll need to navigate through the process of obtaining a marriage license. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about marriage licenses in the Golden State, from requirements to fees and beyond. Whether you’re a resident or not, California offers different types of licenses to suit your preferences and circumstances.
Getting married is a significant life event, and obtaining a marriage license is an essential step in the process. In California, the process is straightforward, but there are different options to consider based on your preferences and needs.
To begin the application process for a marriage license, you’ll need to visit the County Government Center in Ventura at the County Clerk’s Office. It’s highly recommended to schedule an appointment by calling 805.654.2263. Both parties must be present during the application process, and a valid photo I.D. is required. If you need accommodations due to a disability, contact the office beforehand.
Types of Marriage Licenses
Public Marriage License
A public marriage license is available for public viewing and contains personal information that can be accessed by anyone. This type of license is suitable for couples who are comfortable with their information being publicly accessible.
Confidential Marriage License
The confidential marriage license, on the other hand, protects personal information from public view. Only court orders or notarized applications by the spouses can obtain a copy of this information. This option is ideal for couples seeking greater privacy.
Both parties will need to provide a valid photo I.D., such as a driver’s license, military I.D., passport, or green card. In cases where you don’t have these documents, a certified copy of your birth certificate and another acceptable form of picture I.D. will be required.
Fees and Payment
The marriage license fee in California is $98, payable by cash, check, or credit card. Additional fees might be necessary for special processing.
California does not allow marriages by proxy. Both parties, along with the marriage officiant and any applicable witnesses, must be physically present during the ceremony.
Yes, first and second cousins are legally allowed to marry in California.
Common Law Marriages
Common law marriages are not recognized in California.
Marriage Age Requirement
Persons under the age of 18 can marry, but they need parental and judicial consent. The Youth Services Center handles these cases and can provide further information.
Authorized Marriage Officiants
Several individuals are authorized to solemnize marriage ceremonies in California, including priests, ministers, rabbis, judges, and more.
Returning the Marriage License
After the marriage ceremony, the officiant must return the original marriage license to the County Clerk or County Recorder within 10 days of the ceremony.
Expiration and Validity
Marriage licenses are valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. If the marriage doesn’t take place within this period, a new license will need to be purchased.
Obtaining a marriage license in California is a crucial step in preparing for your big day. Whether you opt for a public or confidential license, the process is designed to make it as convenient as possible for you and your partner. Remember to follow the guidelines provided by the County Clerk’s Office to ensure a smooth experience.
- Can I apply for a marriage license online?
- Yes, online marriage license applications are available. However, both parties still need to visit the County Government Center in person to obtain the license.
- How much does a confidential marriage license cost?
- The cost for a confidential marriage license is the same as a public license, which is $98.
- Is there a waiting period to receive the marriage license?
- No, you’ll receive your marriage license immediately after submitting your application.
- Can out-of-state residents marry in Ventura County?
- Yes, you do not need to be a California resident to marry in Ventura County.
- What happens if I need to change my 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 to update your name legally.