Merced County, CA Marriage License Information
If you plan to get married in Merced County, CA, or elsewhere within California, you must complete a marriage license application. You can get your marriage license in Merced County or any other county throughout the state. Locations that distribute marriage licenses are typically located in the County Clerk office. Marriage licenses issued from Merced County can be used throughout the state of California.
Where Can I Get a Marriage License in Merced County, California?
Address and Phone Number:
Merced, CA 95340
Cost of Marriage License
How much is a marriage license in Merced County?
A Merced County marriage license can be bought for $50.00 to $80.00 dollars.
Do in-state or out-of-state residents have different requirements?
No, whether you live in Merced County or are just visiting, the standard is the same. You do not have to be a prior or active Merced County or California resident to get issued a usable marriage license.
Once my application is submitted, when will I get my marriage license?
There's no wait to get your marriage license. Once your application is received, your marriage licensed will be issued immediately.
Once I get my license, do I have to wait to get married?
There is no extra waiting period once your marriage license is issued. You can go and get married in Merced County, or anywhere else within the state.
License Expiration Dates
How long will my license be good for after I get it?
Your Merced County marriage license will eventually expire if not used. You have 90 days to use it once it's been issued.
My marriage license expired before I got a chance to use it. Now what?
Your expired marriage license is no longer valid. You can get it reissued from the same Merced County office you submitted your original application to.
How old do I have to be to get legally married?
You have to be at least 18 years old in order to marry without getting consent from a parent or legal guardian within Merced County.
What if I want to get married, but I'm under 18 years old?
If you're below the age of 18 then you must bring at least one parent or legal guardian must accompany you. Bring a certified copy of your birth certificate too.
Keep in mind that if you were not born in California, you'll have to order your certified copy from your state or country of birth. If you were born in Merced County, CA, order your certificate from this county. Otherwise, order it from the CA county of your birth.
Do I have to get a blood test?
No, blood tests are not a requirement for getting a marriage license in Merced County.
Divorced or Widowed
What if I've been divorced or am a widower?
If you were married before, provide the date of your divorce or the date your spouse died. Have a certified copy your divorce decree or death certificate in hand when you arrive to complete your application.
As with birth certificates, divorce and death certificates can be gotten from your local vital records office where the divorce or death was recorded. If it occurred in Merced County, get it from there. Otherwise, get it from the proper location in whichever state it took place in.
Marriage-Related Name Change
How do I change my name due to marriage?
When you get married, you'll be provided a marriage certificate (filed in Merced County) which provides proof of marriage and is the primary document used to facilitate the name change process. You'll use it to complete your name change across various government and non-government institutions.
You can make use of an online marriage name change service to get the process started, before or after you get married in Merced County or elsewhere in California.
What exactly is a proxy marriage?
Getting married by proxy means you'll have someone stand-in for you at the marriage ceremony. If one or both partners to the marriage aren't able to attend the ceremony, another person (known as the proxy) can take your place.
So, can I get proxy married in Merced County?
Yes, California is one of the few states that still allow for proxy marriages to take place.
Common Law Marriages
What does common law marriage mean?
A common law marriage is an informal marriage that doesn't hold the same legal authenticity of a standard marriage. It's based on an accepted understanding between the partners that you're basically cohabitating.
Is a common law marriage a legal option for me instead of undergoing a conventional marriage?
No, Merced County will not issue marriage licenses for common law marriages. California does not recognize common law marriages. Not even if you were common law married in another state. Very few states still do.
Can I legally marry my cousin?
Yes, in California, cousin marriage are permissible.
Same-Sex Marriage Recognition
Are same sex marriages legal?
Yes, Merced County will issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. California recognizes same-sex marriages as valid as any other marriage.