California Marriage License

People need a California marriage license to get married in California. Marriage licenses in California are usually issued at any of the county clerk’s offices. If you are getting married in Pismo Beach or anywhere else on the Central Coast, you’ll need a license. If you live in California in a county outside of San Luis Obispo County, you can purchase your marriage license in advance (it is good for 90 days).

If, you want to wait, and you will be in the Pismo Beach area on a week day during business hours, you can get a license in San Luis Obispo at the County offices. The offices are a short 12 miles from Pismo Beach. There are two types of licenses:

Public Marriage License

A Marriage License must be purchased prior to your ceremony.

Application for license to marry

Applicants must be 18 years and older

  • Both parties must be present
  • Documentation required:
    • Valid photo ID, such as a driver’s license, is required to verify age and identity.
    • If either party was previously married, or had a registered domestic partnership with someone other than the other party, a certified copy of the final dissolution papers is required if the dissolution was granted within last 90 days, otherwise the date of the dissolution is sufficient.
  • As of January 1, 1995, blood tests are no longer required .
  • Fee can be found on the Fee Schedule
  • Licenses are issued in both offices and no appointment is necessary.
  • In the Atascadero office, both parties must be present by 3:30 P.M. and in San Luis Obispo both parties must be present in the office by 4:30 P.M.
  • It takes about 30 minutes for the license to be issued. The license can be used immediately, and is valid for 90 days from the date issued and the ceremony can take place anywhere in the State of California.

Applicants under the age of 18:

    If either party is under 18, you must contact the Clerk of Superior Court at 781-5243 prior to coming to this office.

Getting Married:

    After the license is issued, you may be married by a priest, rabbi, minister or other authorized person of your choice.  You must be married within 90 days of the date the license was issued and you may be married anywhere in the state of California.

Application for license to marry

Confidential Marriage License

Application for confidential marriage license

Confidential marriages licenses are available in place of a public marriage license. The cost of a confidential marriage license can be found on the Fee Schedule.  The requirements for having a license issued are the same as those required for a public marriage license with the additional requirement that the parties are stating that they have been living together (Family Code Sect. 500).  As with a public marriage license, it is valid for 90 days from the date it is issued.

If you wish a confidential marriage license it is important to remember the following information:

  • The confidential marriage license can only be used in the County where it is issued.
  • Only the parties can obtain certified copies of the recorded license by either appearing in person or by completing a request for the record and having their signature notarized; the cost for copies can be found on the Fee Schedule.


    • WHO QUALIFIES: All couples who can say that they live together can receive our special California Confidential Marriage License through San Luis Obispo County. 


  • IDENTIFICATION NEEDED: San Luis Obispo County requires that for all marriage licenses you present to us one piece of current government-issued photo I.D. such as a passport, a driver’s license, a state I.D. card, and a green card.  If you are divorced within the last two years, you will need a copy of your divorce decree.
    • PRIVACY– The marriage license is totally confidential and not public record so nobody has access to your information meaning no junk mail, no media, nobody but you and your minister need to know.


    • RESIDENCE:  You do not have to live in San Luis Obispo or be a U.S. citizen in order to have a CA marriage license or a S.L.O. county marriage license issued.


    • NO WAITING PERIOD:  There is none! 


    • NO WITNESSES:  For this type of license, you don’t need witnesses since I can have a notary validate the paperwork in lieu of witnesses.  The wedding ceremony can then just be the bride, the groom and the wedding officiant and a notary or it can be a large wedding with many attendants and guests—it’s your choice.


  • NO BLOOD TEST:  You don’t need a blood test anymore.  This wedding license requirement has been discontinued in California.

Contact Rev Elaine