Marriage License Information – Each County in the State of California issues Public and Confidential Marriage Licenses however, each County may have different rules on how to obtain and fees. Please check with your local California County Clerk for this information.
Update: A State of California confidential (non-public) marriage license may be issued in any County and used in any County in the State.
As a courtesy, Southern California County Clerk websites are linked below. If your County is not listed, simply search for “County Clerk of (Name of County)” for more information. If you find one of the links below is broken, please let us know to help future Brides and Grooms.
Orange County Clerk and Recorder
Marriage License Information – The information below can be found on the San Diego County Marriage license website.
MARRIAGE LICENSE INFORMATION
- You must obtain a marriage license prior to having a ceremony.
- A ceremony must take place within 90 days of the license issuance and within the State of California.
- No extensions are authorized.
- If you do not have a ceremony within 90 days, you must purchase a new marriage license.
- After the ceremony, the marriage license must be signed by your officiant and returned to our office for recording, preferably by mail.
- After the license is recorded, you may request and purchase a copy of your marriage certificate.
- Our office only records licenses issued in San Diego County.
- A license issued by our office can be used for a ceremony anywhere in California.
- Licenses are non-refundable.
- Appointments fill up quickly so please plan accordingly.
- Both parties must appear together to their in-person appointment.
- Both parties must present valid, government-issued photo ID.
- Appointments are required. Schedule an appointment for your license and/or ceremony prior to submitting the Marriage License Online Application.
- Complete the Marriage License Online Application (recommended).
- OR fill out the Marriage License Printable Application and bring it to your appointment.
- Both parties must be able to read, speak, and understand English or Spanish.
- Issuing a marriage license in any other language is not permissible by County Clerk staff.
- American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation services are available upon request. Please contact us directly at (619) 237-0502.
- Both parties must be 18 years old or older.
- If either party is under 18, please contact us directly at (619) 237-0502.
- Both parties must be unmarried at the time the license is issued.
- If either party was previously married and the dissolution is not yet final, even if it will be final before the wedding date, you will not be issued a marriage license.
- If the dissolution was final within the past 90 days, please provide a copy of the final judgment.
- If you are in a State Registered Domestic Partnership (SRDP), you may not enter into a marriage or be issued a license with someone other than your registered domestic partner, unless the most recent domestic partnership has been terminated or a final judgment of dissolution or nullity has been entered.
- You do not need to be a U.S. Citizen or California resident.
- A blood test is not required.
- A marriage ceremony may be performed at the venue of your choice by persons authorized to solemnize marriage ceremonies in California. The County Clerk may perform a civil marriage ceremony for an additional fee, if desired.
- You will NOT receive a copy of your marriage certificate unless you request and pay for a certified copy. Certified copies may be purchased approximately 10 business days after the marriage license has been received by our office and registered with the Recorder.
- An active-duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is stationed overseas serving in a conflict or a war AND is unable to appear for the issuance of a license and solemnization of the marriage may enter into the marriage by the appearance of a military proxy, commissioned and empowered in writing for that purpose through a power of attorney. For more information, please contact our offices at (619) 237-0502.
- The Name Equality Act of 2007 gives specific rights to parties at the time they are applying for a California marriage license in order to choose and list, on the marriage license, the new name that each party will go by after marriage.
- Public Marriage License fee is $70.00.
- This is the most common type of marriage license.
- Must have at least one witness present at the ceremony.
- No more than two witnesses may sign the official marriage license after the ceremony.
- No age requirement to be a witness in California; but must be old enough to know that they are witnessing a marriage ceremony AND must be able to sign their own name on the official marriage license without assistance.
- Confidential Marriage License fee is $89.00.
- No witnesses required to be at the ceremony.
- No witnesses sign the official marriage license.
- Couples must be living together as spouses at the time they apply for the marriage license and must sign under penalty of perjury attesting to that fact.
- Persons other than the married couple requesting copies of a confidential marriage certificate may only do so by presenting a court order.
- Confidential marriage licenses may also be issued by an Authorized Notary Public. An Authorized Notary Public may be available to the public outside of normal business hours and office locations. Please confirm availability with the Notary Public directly. Please click to find an Authorized Notary Public in San Diego County.
- A valid marriage license must be purchased prior to solemnizing a marriage ceremony.
- A marriage ceremony may be performed at the venue of your choice by persons authorized to solemnize marriage ceremonies in California.
- If you would like a friend or relative to perform the marriage ceremony at your chosen venue in California, the San Diego County Clerk offers a Deputy Marriage Commissioner for a Day program. Click here to watch a brief video on our Deputy Marriage Commissioner for a Day program.
- The County Clerk may also perform a civil marriage ceremony for a fee of $88.00.
- Appointments for civil marriage ceremonies performed by the County Clerk are available for indoor and outdoor ceremonies at many of our locations.
- Outdoor marriage ceremonies are subject to change based on availability; including, but not limited to: weather, obstructions, Waterfront Park events or maintenance. For a list of scheduled dates impacting the County Administration Center’s west arbor ceremony location, click here. This list is also subject to change.
- Both parties must be able to read, speak, and understand English or Spanish.
- Performing a ceremony in any other language is not permissible by County Clerk staff.
- American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation services are available upon request. Please contact us directly.
- Appointments are required to obtain a marriage license and/or civil ceremony. Appointments fill up quickly so please plan accordingly.
- No witnesses are required when only purchasing a marriage license (not having a civil marriage ceremony).
- For a Public Marriage License, you must have at least one witness present at your ceremony. And no more than two witnesses sign the official marriage license.
- For a Confidential Marriage License, no witnesses are required to be at your ceremony. And no witnesses sign on the marriage license.
- No age requirement. Witness must be old enough to know that they are witnessing a marriage ceremony AND must be able to sign their own name on the official marriage license without assistance.
- For civil marriage ceremonies performed by the County Clerk, you may bring your own witness.
- Our office may provide a witness for an additional fee of $18.00.
- The person solemnizing the marriage must complete, sign, and return the original marriage license to our office for recording within ten (10) days, preferably by mail.
- If a marriage license is lost, damaged, or destroyed after the marriage ceremony, or if there are errors or alterations on the marriage license that are deemed unacceptable for registration by the County Recorder, then the person solemnizing the marriage will be required to purchase and obtain a duplicate marriage license.
- Framed Digital Photograph – $10.00 (Portion of proceeds benefit the Polinsky Children’s Center)
- Wedding Keepsake Certificate – $6.00
- “Just Married” Bumper Sticker – $4.00
- Wedding Ring – $10.00
Marriage License Information above is found on the San Diego County Website for Marriage License Information