STATE OF CALIFORNIA Marriage License Information

STATE OF CALIFORNIA Marriage License Information

To get married in California, you must purchase a License in this State by the County Clerks Office.  The two types of Marriage Licenses offered are Regular and Confidential.
All marriage licenses are good for 90 days from the time of purchase.

The Regular Marriage License is of public record and requires one Witness.
The couple MUST be over 18 and both must apply together, in person, at the county clerks office.  This license may be purchased in one county and used in another county. It is Open for public viewing and is published in newspapers.

AConfidential Marriage License may ONLY be issued to unmarried partners who are both 18 years or older, are living together as a married couple, and must sign an affidavit on the application & license attesting to those facts.

The couple MUST be married in the county where the license is issued. No witnesses are required to be at the ceremony, AND no witnesses sign on the marriage license.

If previously married, they must know MONTH, DAY & YEAR the judgment of dissolution of marriage, court order or annulment was made final (there is a specific date stated on face of judgment that indicates the date the marital status ended).

If judgment was made final within the last 90 days, the Office of the Clerk-Recorder requires notary ministers to request proof, by way of documentation.

Minors may NOT purchase a confidential marriage license.
Emancipated minors CAN NOT purchase a confidential marriage license.


This marriage license is a confidential record and is registered at the County Clerk’s Office in the county where it was purchased. Only the marriage partners may purchase copies of the marriage license and must present valid picture identification together with the required fee to the County Clerk in order to do so. Persons other than the marriage partners requesting copies of a confidential marriage license may only do so by presenting a court order to the County Clerk in the county where the license is registered.
This license is not open for public viewing & it takes the marriage partners or a Court Order to get a copy of it.


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