If you're getting married in the state of California you must first apply for a wedding license at any in-state county clerk office. These offices, some of which are referred to as the "marriage license bureau," are usually located in the county probate court or circuit court. This document outlines the requirements you must adhere to in order to get a valid marriage license that can be used statewide. Let's begin…

Cost of Your License

How much does a marriage license cost?

The marriage license fee is $50.00 to $80.00 dollars. Accepted forms of payment are cash.

Residency Requirement

Are there any special residency conditions for in-state or out-of-state residents?

There are none. You do not have to be a previous or current resident of California to obtain a marriage license that will be valid statewide.

Waiting Period

After I submit my application how long do I have to wait before I receive my marriage license?

There is no waiting period. You will receive your marriage license immediately after you submit your application.

Is there a waiting period from the moment the license is given to me to the date I'm allowed to actually marry?

No, you can get married immediately after your marriage license is issued.

License Expiration

How long will my marriage license remain valid once it's been issued?

Your license will expire 90 days from the date it is issued. Once it expires, it can no longer be used to get married.

What happens if my marriage license expires before I get a chance to use it?

Unfortunately, you'll just have to get a brand new one as your expired one will no longer be recognized as valid by the state nor by the person who will be responsible for officiating your marriage.

Age Requirement

How old must I be to get married?

You must be at least 18 years of age or older to marry without parental consent. A birth certificate may be necessary to show proof of age.

What if one or both of us is younger than 18?

If either partner is under 18, one parent or legal guardian must be present. If a parent can not be present, due to death, separation, divorce or other circumstances, proper evidence must be presented for verification. You will need a certified copy of your birth certificate. The couple must schedule an appointment with a counselor and then appear before a superior court judge.

Blood Test

Are blood tests and physical exams required?

No blood test or physical exam is required.

Divorced or Widowed Applicants

What if one or both partners have been divorced or have had a spouse die?

If you were previously married, the date of your divorce or the date of your spouse's death must be provided. If the divorce or spouse's death had taken place within the last 90 days, bring a certified copy of the divorce decree or death certificate. If necessary, a copy of your divorce records or spouse's death certificate can be ordered from your local vital records office and mailed to you.

Marriage Name Change

How do I legally change my name before or after I get married?

When you are married, you will receive a marriage certificate, which is a piece of paper proving that you are legally married. This document will serve as evidence of your marriage, which you'll need to complete the process of notifying several government agencies about your name change, as well as any non-government institutions that you do business with (ie, banks, employers, credit cards, memberships, etc).

There is an online marriage name change kit that you can use and complete before or after your marriage takes place. It's applicable for California or any other state in the union. Completing all the necessary name change documentation prior to your wedding is recommended in order to expedite the name change process.

Proxy Marriage

What is a proxy marriage?

A proxy marriage, also known as a "proxy wedding," is when one or both partners to be married are unable to physically attend the ceremony. The missing person, or persons, will have someone "stand in" for them and serve as their "proxy."

Can I get married by proxy if I'm unable to to be present for the ceremony?

Yes. California is one of only five states that does allow marriage by proxy to be legally performed. Bill SB 7 was sponsored by Republican Sen. Jim Brulte of Rancho Cucamonga and Senate President Pro Tem John Burton, D-San Francisco and signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on September 10, 2004.

Common Law Marriage

What is a common law marriage?

The term "common law marriage" refers to an informal marriage, based upon cohabitation and a mutual understanding by both partners, rather than getting married through a civil or religious ceremony. The latter, more common approach, would require an actual California marriage license.

Is a common law marriage a legal option for me instead of undergoing a conventional marriage?

No, common-law marriages are not allowed in California. This is unsurprising as only one-fifth of the country currently recognizes common law marriage.

Cousin Marriage

Can I get married to my cousin?

Yes, cousin marriages (first, second, etc) are allowed to take place.

Same Sex Marriage

Are same sex marriages legal?

Yes, same-sex marriages are allowed and legally recognized in California.

Where to Go

Where do I physically need to go to get my marriage license?

California has 58 offices where a marriage license can be acquired. Simply choose a location below to visit. Phone numbers as well as map and accompanying driving direction links are provided for every address.

Alameda County Recorder
1106 Madison St
Oakland, CA 94607
Alpine County Recorder
P.O. Box 266
Markleeville, CA 96120
Amador County Recorder
108 Court St
Jackson, Ca, CA 95642
Butte County Recorder
25 County Center Drive
Oroville, CA 95965
Calaveras County Recorder
Government Center
San Andreas, CA 95249
Colusa County Recorder
546 Jay St
Colusa, CA 95932
Contra Costa County Recorder
P.O. Box 350
Martinez, CA 94553
Del Norte County Recorder
457 F St
Crescent City, CA 95531
El Dorado County Recorder
360 Fair Lane
Placerville, CA 95667
Fresno County Clerk
2221 Kern St
Fresno, CA 93721
Glenn County Clerk
P.O. Box 391
Willows, CA 95988
Humboldt County Recorder
825 5th St
Eureka, CA 95501
Imperial County Recorder
P.O. Box 1560
El Centro, CA 92243
Inyo County Records
P.O. Box F
Independence, CA 93526
Kern County Clerk
1655 Chester Ave
Bakersfield, CA 93301
Kings County Clerk
1400 West Lacey Blvd.
Hanford, CA 93230
Lake County Clerk
255 North Forbes St
Lakeport, CA 95453
Lassen County Recorder
220 South Lassen St
Susanville, CA 96130
Los Angeles County Registrar Records/County Clerk
12400 East Imperial Hwy
2nd Floor, Room 2207

Norwalk, CA 90650
Madera County Clerk
209 West Yosemite Ave
Madera, CA 93637
Marin County Recorder
Civic Center, Room 290
San Rafael, CA 94903
Mariposa County Recorder
P.O. Box 35
Mariposa, CA 95338
Mendocino County Clerk
P.O. Box 148
Ukiah, CA 95482
Merced County Recorder Administration Building
2222 "M" St
Merced, CA 95340
Modoc County Clerk
204 Court St, Suite 107
Alturas, CA 96101
Mono County Recorder
P.O. Box 537
Bridgeport, CA 93517
Monterey County
240 Church St,Rm 305
Salinas, CA 93901
Napa County Clerk
P.O. Box 298
Napa, CA 94559
Nevada County Clerk
950 Maidu Ave
Nevada City, CA 95959
Orange County Recorder County Recorder
P.O. Box 238
Santa Ana, CA 92702
Placer County Clerk
11960 Heritage Oaks Place, #15
Auborn, CA 95604
Plumas County Recorder
P.O. Box 10706
Quincy, CA 95971
Riverside County Clerk
2724 Gateway Drive
Riverside, CA 92502
Sacramento County Clerk
P.O. Box 839
Sacramento, CA 95812
San Benito County Clerk
440 5th St, Room 206
Hollister, CA 95023
San Bernardino County Recorder Hall of Records
222 West Hospitality Lane
San Bernardino, CA 92415
San Diego County Marriage Licenses
P.O. Box 121750
San Diego, CA 92112
San Francisco County Recorders
City Hall, #167
San Francisco, CA 94102
San Joaquin County Clerk
P.O. Box 1968
Stockton, CA 95201
San Luis Obispo County Recording Dept
City Government Center
Room 102
San Luis Obispo, CA 93408
San Mateo County Clerk
401 Marshall St, 6th Floor
Redwood City, CA 94063
Santa Barbara County Clerk
P.O. Box 159
Santa Barbara, CA 93102
Santa Clara County Recorder
70 West Hedding
San Jose, CA 95110
Santa Cruz County Recorder
701 Ocean St, Rm 230
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Shasta County Marriage License
Courthouse, Suite 102
Redding, CA 96001
Sierra County Recorder Courthouse Square
P.O. Box D
Downieville, CA 95936
Siskiyou County Clerk
P.O. Box 8
Ureka, CA 96097
Solano County Recorder
580 Texas St
Fairfield, CA 94533
Sonoma County Clerk
P.O. Box 6124
Santa Rosa, CA 95406
Stanislaus County Clerk-Recorder
912 11th St
Modesto, CA 95354
209- 525-5265
Sutter County Recorder Hall of Records
466 2nd St
Yuba City, CA 95991
Tehama County Recorder
633 Washington
Red Bluff, CA 96080
Trinity County Recorder
101 Court St
Weaverville, CA 96093
Tulare County Marriage License
County Civic Center, Room 203
Visalia, CA 93291
Tuolumne County Clerk
2 South Green St
Sonora, CA 95370
Ventura County Recorder Office Lower Plaza, Admin Bldg L#1210
800 South Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93009
Yolo County Clerk
P.O. Box 1820
Woodland, CA 95695
Yuba County Marriage License
215 5th 4
Marysville, CA 95901