Wedding Tips and Tricks

How to Obtain a Marriage License

Hello All! The below information is from my experience and I am in no way affiliated with the California State therefore things may change that are not listed here.

Here are some general steps and guidelines for obtaining a marriage license:

  1. Gather Information. You will need:
    • Your social security number, DOB, and proof of identity (Drivers’ License or Passport).
    • Both of your parents’ full names, DOB, birth states, Social Security number, and date of passing (if applicable).
  2. Fill out the application online.
    • By filling out the application online before you go into the county clerk’s office you will save yourself time and hassle.
  3. Visit the County Clerks’ Office
    • We recommend going right when the clerk’s office opens in the morning (maybe even 15 minutes before opening). Tuesday and Wednesday are the best days of the week to go.
    • Both persons getting married must be present. You will sign and legally bind your license there in front of the clerk.
  4. The signing of the License
    • After your wedding ceremony, your officiant and two witnesses will sign the marriage license.
    • For those using a Universal Life Church Officiant or similar (someone who received their license online), your officiant does not need to have their officiating license with them. They just need to note the mailing address they signed up with.
    • You only need one witness signature to make this legal but two are allowed.
    • Double check the form is filled out correctly! Make sure everyone put their full mailing address, including zip code.
  5. Submitting the License
    • Scan your license before sealing the envelope in case anything happens in transit.
    • The manila envelope your license comes in requires three stamps and then you can drop it off in any mailbox.
    • The turnaround time for getting your official marriage certificate back is usually 8-12 weeks.
    • You can also bring it in yourself but I don’t have experience with this and am not sure of the procedure. 


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