• You do not need to be a California resident.
  • The couple must not already be married.
  • 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 valid 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. If you do not get married within 90 days, the license will no longer be valid.

Public Marriage License

  • You must be at least 18 years old. Persons under 18 with written consent from at least one parent (or legal guardian) and permission from a California Superior Court Judge may marry.
  • The marriage license is registered at the County Recorder’s Office in the county where the license was purchased, and is a public record. Anyone may request copies of the marriage certificate by submitting the required fee to the County Recorder.
  • The ceremony can take place anywhere within the state of California
  • You must have at least one witness present at your ceremony.

Confidential Marriage License

  • The two parties to the marriage must be at least 18 years old to apply for a confidential marriage license. Minors may NOT purchase a confidential marriage license.
  • The couple must be living together.
  • Beginning January 1, 2015, the ceremony may take place anywhere in the state of California
  • No witnesses are required.
  • The marriage license is a confidential record and is registered at the County Clerk’s Office in the county where it was purchased. Only the couple may purchase copies of the marriage certificate and must present valid picture identification together with the required fee to the County Clerk in order to do so.

Where to Go

Laws and specific county requirements change from time to time. Please visit the county website in which you plan to obtain your license for the most accurate information.

Please note: If you need your certified marriage records quickly, you may want to obtain your license from Ventura, Santa Barbara or Orange counties.

Los Angeles County (562) 462-2137
Ventura County (805) 654-2263
Santa Barbara County (805) 568-2250
Orange County (714) 834-2500
Riverside County (951) 955-6200
San Bernardino County (855) 732-2575
San Diego (619) 237-0502

Certified Marriage Records

Click HERE to learn how to obtain certified marriage records after you are married.

Name Change After Marriage

Click HERE to learn how to change your name after you have certified copies of your marriage record.