Marriage License Requirements

Marriage License Requirements

To get married in a foreign land or in your own country or a different state, you would need to know what the marriage requirements are to ensure that you and your partner meets the requirements.

This is not a full list of requirements as the requirements may change over time. Do check out the official authorities pages to get the updated requirements. Below information serves as a guide only.

California Marriage Requirements

There are 2 types of marriage license in California – public / confidential marriage license.

General information:

  • Both partners must be at least eighteen (18) years old and single to obtain a California marriage license.

  • You do not need to be a resident of California.

  • Both applicants must appear in person and provide a picture identification with the date of birth shown, such as a driver’s license or passport. You may be asked for your birth certificate. It is advisable to bring copies of your birth certificates.

  • Previous marriages: Proof of divorce, dissolution or annulment or death of spouse for the previous marriage is required. You must know the exact date on when your previous marriage ended.

If death or divorce occurs within the past 90 days, a certified copy for the divorce decree or death certificate is required. (varies)

  • The marriage license is issued at the time of application and is valid for 90 days.

  • Cost of the marriage license fee is around $70 – 80 (Subjected to change). Do bring cash to pay though some counties may allow credit cards.
  • There is no waiting time.

Public Marriage License:

  • You may apply for the license in any county and get married in any county but must filed the marriage in the county where the license was purchased.

Confidential Marriage License:
  • You can apply for a confidential marriage license if you have lived together as husband and wife. There will be no public records of your marriage. Both must sign an affidavit on the license attesting to those facts.
  • You can only get married in the county where your license is obtained.
  • No witnesses are required to be at the ceremony, AND no witnesses sign on the marriage license.


For those Under 18:

  • One of the minor’s legal guardian or parent must be with the couple. In addition, the couple must schedule an appointment with a counselor and then appear before a California superior court judge.

Note: Information might be subjected to change by the authorities and should be used as a guide only.

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