Getting Your

Marriage License

A license that a couple must obtain prior to getting married. In other words, you will not be legally married by your officiant without it.

  • You do not need to be a California resident or citizen. Yes you could be visiting on vacation and still get married. Keep in mind that it does not give you legal status by getting married in California.

  • The couple must be single (not married to someone else or to each other).

  • Must be 18 years of age or older (for minors, contact the county recorder office)

  • The couple, officiant, and witness (if applicable) must be physically present together in the same location.

  • Blood tests are not required.

  • The couple must appear in person and bring a valid and current government issued picture identification to the County Clerk’s office to apply for a marriage license.

  • Marriage licenses are valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. You must get married within those 90 days in order for your marriage to be valid.

We are not able to issue marriage licenses. You will need to obtain your marriage license separately from your local county’s clerk-recorder office. However, all of my packages include completing and mailing your marriage license after the ceremony.

Below are a list of the local Counties that issue marriage license. Links are provided by selecting the corresponding county.

The county will ask you to provide dissolution of a State Registered Domestic Partnership and a copy of the FINAL Dissolution. In order words, divorce papers. The divorce paperwork does not need to be certified.

Couples will not automatically receive a copy of their certified marriage record after the wedding unless you either paid and requested it in advance. We recommend you wait approximately 2-3 weeks from the date of your wedding in order to request your certificate. Keep in mind that your certificate is only available at the same county of where you obtained it.


You may choose to pick up in-person, request it through the mail (any mail request must be notarized by a notary public) or purchase it online.

Contact your local County Recorder’s office for details. 

Timing is very important. I typically will recommend 2-3 weeks before your wedding date. 

Not all Counties are created equally therefore do not limit yourself to where you live. Some Counties are issuing licenses online through web (such as zoom), by appointment or walk-ins.

If you have any questions about obtaining your license or other legalities, I am happy to assist you in any way I can but your county clerks office is probably your best bet.

Confidential vs Public License. What is the difference

How to Get Married in California