Marriage Licenses & Ceremonies

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Does purchasing a marriage license make us married?

No. A ceremony must be performed after purchasing a marriage license for you to be legally married.

How can I get married if I am under the age of 18?

If one or both parties requesting a marriage license are under the age of 18, then a court order and judge/parental consent for the minor must be obtained and filed with the county clerk before a license can be issued. This applies to emancipated minors as well. For additional information please click here

Who is authorized to solemnize a marriage ceremony?

  1. California’s Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, Superintendent of Public Instruction
  2. A Member of Congress currently representing a district in California
  3. An elected member of the California Senate or Assembly
  4. A current California County Supervisor, city mayor, or the City Clerk of a charter city
  5. The County Clerk and appointed Deputy Commissioners
  6. Any priest, minister, rabbi, or authorized person of any religious denomination authorized to solemnize marriages by their denomination
  7. Captains and Majors of the Salvation Army
  8. Religious leaders such as a Shaman or Medicine Man
  9. Any US Supreme Court justice, US appeals court or district court judge, judge of a bankruptcy court or tax court, and US magistrates; whether serving or retired
  10. A judge, a commissioner of civil marriages, a commissioner, or assistant commissioner of a court of record in this State whether serving or retired; also a judge or magistrate who has resigned from office

I was married in another country, do I need to get married in the U.S.A. to make it legal?

No. As long as you were legally married in the other country, the United States should recognize/accept your marriage. However, you may need to provide proof of your marriage. You should always have at least one certified copy of your marriage record.

Is there a waiting period between purchasing the license and the ceremony?

No. Not since January 1, 1995, when the State of California stopped requiring blood tests.

What are acceptable forms of identification?

  1. Driver’s license
  2. State issued I.D. card
  3. Passport
  4. Military service or military dependent I.D. card
  5. Alien registration card (formerly known as “Green” card)
  6. I.D. card issued by the U.S. Government

If a form of identification which includes both a photograph and birth date is not available, the use of two other identification documents will be necessary to prove identity and age (one with a photograph and one with a birth date). Some examples of these types of documents are:
Photograph:

  • School identification card
  • Employee identification card

Birth Date:

  • Certified copy of a birth certificate
  • Baptismal certificate
  • Adoption records

If you do not have a government-issued, picture identification, contact the County Clerk’s Office at (909)387-8334 to discuss your options.

What is the difference between a “Regular” and a “Confidential” marriage license?

There are a number of differences. A regular marriage license is a public record. A license and certificate of confidential marriage is only accessible by a spouse or by decree signed by a superior court judge. At least one witness is required to observe the solemnization for a regular, public ceremony. No witnesses are required to observe a confidential marriage ceremony. A regular license may be used throughout the state. However, the confidential license may only be used in the county of issue. The confidential license fee is $2.00 more than the regular license.