Marriage License Requirements
When it comes to tying the knot in the beautiful state of California, there are a few important details you need to know about marriage licenses. Whether you’re planning an elaborate wedding or a simple vow renewal ceremony, understanding the differences between a public marriage license and a confidential marriage license can make a significant impact on your special day. In this article, we’ll dive into the key aspects of each license type, their requirements, and what you need to consider before saying “I do.”
California offers couples a range of options when it comes to marriage licenses. Whether you prefer to share your joyous occasion with the world or keep it more private, understanding the nuances of the two main license types will help you make an informed decision for your big day.
Types of Marriage Licenses in California
Public Marriage License
A public marriage license is open for public viewing, meaning that the information on the license is accessible to anyone. This type of license is suitable for couples who are comfortable with sharing their personal details. However, it’s important to note that anyone can obtain a copy of the information on a public marriage license.
Confidential Marriage License
On the other hand, a confidential marriage license provides a level of privacy. The personal information on the license is protected from public view. Only a court order or a notarized application by either spouse can grant access to the information. This option is ideal for couples who value their privacy and wish to keep their details confidential.
Both types of marriage licenses require valid photo identification for both parties. This can include a driver’s license, military ID, passport, or green card. If you don’t have any of these forms of identification, a certified copy of your birth certificate along with another acceptable form of picture ID will suffice.
Confidential Marriage License Eligibility
To obtain a confidential marriage license, the couple (referred to as party A and party B) must be living together as a married couple. The same identification requirements apply to confidential licenses.
Marriage License Requirements
Valid photo ID is essential for both types of licenses. Ensuring you have the proper identification is a crucial step in obtaining your marriage license smoothly.
Waiting Period and Residency
Unlike some states, California does not have a waiting period for marriage licenses. You’ll receive your license immediately after submitting your application. Additionally, you don’t need to be a California resident to marry in Yuba County.
Previous Marriages and Name Change
If you’ve been married before, you’ll need to provide specific details about your previous marriage, including the date it ended and the reason (death, dissolution, divorce, or nullity). Some counties may require a copy of the final judgment if your previous marriage ended through dissolution or nullity.
Marriage License Fees
The cost of a marriage license varies depending on the type you choose. A public license carries a fee of $65, while a confidential license costs $70. It’s advisable to bring cash for payment, and if you need information about alternative payment methods, contact the relevant authorities in advance.
Proxy Marriages, Cousin Marriages, Common Law Marriages
In California, proxy marriages (marriage by proxy) are not permitted. Both parties, the marriage officiant, and any witnesses must be physically present during the ceremony. Cousin marriages and common law marriages are also not recognized in the state.
California law outlines the individuals authorized to officiate marriage ceremonies. These include priests, ministers, rabbis, judges, magistrates, and certain officials. It’s essential to choose an authorized officiant to ensure your marriage is legally valid.
Returning the Marriage License
After the ceremony, the person solemnizing the marriage must return the original marriage license to the County Clerk or County Recorder within ten days. This step is crucial to finalize your marriage and ensure you receive the necessary documentation.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Marriage licenses are valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. If you don’t marry within this period, the license becomes invalid, and you’ll need to purchase a new one. Both public and confidential licenses can be used throughout California.
As you embark on the journey of marriage, understanding the differences between a public marriage license and a confidential marriage license is essential. Your choice will impact the level of privacy you maintain throughout the process. Remember to fulfill all requirements and consult the relevant authorities to ensure a smooth and memorable wedding experience.
- Can anyone access the information on a confidential marriage license? Only a court order or a notarized application by either spouse can grant access to the information on a confidential marriage license.
- Is there a waiting period for marriage licenses in California? No, California does not have a waiting period for marriage licenses.
- Can I change my name on the marriage license? Getting a marriage license with your new name on it does not automatically change your name. You’ll need to follow the appropriate legal procedures.
- Who can officiate a marriage ceremony in California? Authorized officiants include priests, ministers, rabbis, judges, and various other officials specified by California law.
- What happens if I don’t use my marriage license within 90 days? If you don’t marry within 90 days of issuance, the license becomes invalid, and you’ll need to purchase a new one.