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Obtaining a Marriage License: Where Do You Even Start?

Updated: May 25



We are addressing one of the most popular questions for engaged couples:

Where do you start when trying to obtain a marriage license?


STEP 1: Apply for a marriage license. When applying for a marriage license current photo identification such as a driver’s license or passport; proof of citizenship and/or residence; a birth certificate to show your age; proof of parental consent and/or court consent if underage; a death certificate if you are widowed or divorce decree if you are divorced; and sometimes blood test results.


STEP 2: Make an appointment at the local county clerk in the city in which you will be getting married. To complete an application for a marriage license, both spouses must appear in person at a courthouse, city hall, or town office and sign the marriage license application in the presence of the clerk (along with payment of a fee). The marriage license is either mailed or picked up by the couple.


STEP 3: Get legally married within 90 days of obtaining 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. You must purchase a new license.


STEP 4: Hand deliver OR mail in your signed marriage license. The person solemnizing the marriage shall return the marriage license, endorsed as required, to the county recorder of the county in which the license was issued within 10 days after the ceremony.


General Public Marriage License:

  • License fee: $82.00

  • Marriage can be performed anywhere in California

  • One witness is required at the ceremony

  • Minors can only obtain a license with a Court order 

  • Contact Superior Court Family Law Division at (707) 521-6630 for more details.

  • License is a matter of public record 

  • License is recorded at County Recorder's Office of county issuing license (in Sonoma County the Clerk's Office provides this service for Recorder). See Certified Copies of Marriage Licenses



Certified Copies of Marriage Licenses

  • A certified copy of the registered license as proof of marriage may be required for legal purposes.

  • A certified copy is not automatically provided; it must be requested and paid for after the ceremony is performed and the license is registered.

  • See the Marriage Certificates page for more information 


How to Request a Certified Copy of a Marriage Certificate

  • The County Clerk has marriage records for events occurring in Sonoma County from 9/23/1846 to the present

  • We are unable to issue marriages certificates for marriages where the license was purchased someplace other than Sonoma County

  • Fee: $15.00

  • We cannot take payments over the phone

  • A certified copy of the registered license as proof of marriage may be required for legal purposes.

  • A certified copy is not automatically provided; it must be requested and paid for after the ceremony is performed and the license is registered. 


More questions? Click here.



X O X O,

Maryssa Souza

Owner | Lead Planner

Save the Date! Weddings & Events

www.savethedatesonoma.com

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