How to Obtain a Marriage License
To be married in California, you must obtain a marriage license from the clerk registrar's office in ANY county in California within 90 days of your marriage date and it may be used in ANY county in California.There are no blood test requirements in California, there is no waiting period, and California residency is not a requirement. Each County sets its’ own marriage license fee.
A marriage license may be obtained from certain Clerk/Recorder’s offices within California. Not all such offices issue marriage licenses. For example, the Palm Springs, CA Recorder's office does not issue marriage licenses. The nearest issuing office to Palm Springs is Indio, CA, a distance of about 25 miles.
There are two types of marriage licenses available in the state of California; Public and Confidential. Public Licenses are only available from an office of the clerk registrar in any county. The requirements for a Public Marriage License are listed below. Public Marriage Licenses create a public record and allow anyone access to your marriage information now and in the future. One witness to the marriage is required.
Confidential Marriage Licenses are available at an office of the clerk registrar in any county. In Riverside County, they are also available from qualified Notary Publics after hours. No witness is required.
To obtain a Confidential Marriage License after regular business hours
To obtain a Public or Confidential Marriage License directly from the county and to expedite the process, we suggest that you first complete the Marriage License Application / Worksheet and then call a California Recorder's Office for an appointment. Ask as to the other specific items and/or information they require in order to issue you a license.
The County Clerk's office issues marriage licenses Monday thru Friday (except holidays) from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Licenses are valid for 90 days and may be used in any county in the State of California.
To obtain a marriage license you must meet the following requirements:
1. Both parties MUST be 18 years of age or older.
If one or both parties are under 18, then a court order for the minor must be obtained before a license can be issued. This applies to emancipated minors as well. The minor must bring the original court order.
2. Both parties MUST come into the office TOGETHER to obtain the marriage license.
3. Both parties MUST have a valid, current picture I.D. The I.D. must be government issued. Some examples include: State issued Drivers License or I.D. card; Military I.D.; Alien Registration Card; Naturalization Certificate; Passport. If the applicant is age 18 to 21, a current school I.D. along with a certified copy of a birth certificate is acceptable.
If a person DOES NOT have acceptable I.D., then all of the following is required:
- A CERTIFIED copy of birth certificate.
- At least 2 documents with their name on it that only they would have, such as: Utility bills; pay stub; medical card; insurance policy; school records.
- A third party who has known the applicant for at least two years, who does have valid I.D. and is willing to sign an affidavit of identity under the penalty of perjury.
- If either party has been divorced or has had dissolution of a State Registered Domestic Partnership within 90 days of the issuance of the marriage license, a copy of the FINAL Dissolution IS REQUIRED. We will take a copy of the register of actions showing the written final decree of dissolution has been entered. The divorce paperwork does not need to be certified. A copy of a Minute Order IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.
- If a State Registered Domestic Partnership has been issued the couple in the past, proof of same is necessary.