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Marriage Licenses


Requirements

  • No blood tests are required
  • One does not have to be a California resident to marry in California
  • There is no waiting period between receipt of a marriage license and the ceremony
  • No particular format for a marriage ceremony is required
  • First cousins may marry in California
  • Only unmarried persons may purchase a license to marry in California
  • If in a State Registered Domestic Partnership and marriage will be to someone other than the registered domestic partner, the domestic partnership must first be terminated.
  • "Common-Law" marriage and marriage by "Proxy" are not allowed in California

License Fees

  • Public Marriage: $65.00
  • Confidential Marriage: $73.00

Public Marriages

  • Minimum age is 18 years. Persons under 18 years of age with written consent of at least one parent (or guardian) AND permission from a California Superior Court may marry.
  • Marriage License is required. The public marriage license may be purchased from any County Clerk's office in California. The license is valid for 90 days from the date of issue.
  • Marriage may be solemnized by any judge or retired judge; commissioner or retired commissioner of civil marriages; commissioner, retired commissioner, or assistant commissioner of a court of record or a justice court in this state; by any judge or magistrate of the United States; by a priest, minister, or rabbi of any religious denomination of the age 18 years or over.* A marriage may also be solemnized by a judge or magistrate who has resigned from office.
  • One witness is required.
  • Anyone may purchase from the County Clerk in the county in which the license was issued a certified copy of the marriage certificate. The cost is $15.00 as of January 2014, and is subject to change.
  • Marriage can take place in any California county even if the license is purchased in San Joaquin County.
  • If either party was divorced or terminated a State Registered Domestic Partnership within the last year, a divorce or domestic partnership termination certificate must be presented when applying for a license.
  • To purchase a license, both parties must come in together with valid identifications.

Confidential Marriages

  • Minimum age is 18 years. Minors may not purchase a confidential marriage license.
  • Marriage License is required. The confidential marriage license must be purchased from the County Clerk's office in the county in which the ceremony is to take place. The license is valid for 90 days from the date of issue.
  • Marriage may be solemnized by any judge or retired judge; commissioner or retired commissioner of civil marriages; commissioner, retired commissioner or assistant commissioner of a court of record or a justice court in this state; by any judge or magistrate of the United States; by a priest, minister, or rabbi of any religious denomination of the age 18 years or over.* A marriage may also be solemnized by a judge or magistrate who has resigned from office.
  • No witnesses are required.
  • Only the parties to the marriage may purchase copies of the marriage certificate from the County Clerk in the county in which the license was issued. The cost is $15.00 as of January 2014, and the fee is subject to change.
  • Marriage must take place in the county in which the license was purchased.
  • If either party was divorced or terminated a State Registered Domestic Partnership within the last year, a divorce or domestic partnership termination certificate must be presented when applying for a license.
  • To purchase a license, both parties must come in together with valid identifications.

* Members of a religious society or denomination not having clergy for the purpose of solemnizing the marriage must purchase a "License and Certificate of Marriage for Denominations Not Having Clergy" (VS 115)


NOTE: Applicants for a confidential marriage license must sign a statement attesting to the fact that they have been living together as spouses. The law does not specify a minimum duration of time living together. 


Click here for information regarding the Name Equality Act of 2007, which allows the applicant to change the middle and/or last name.





Recorder/County Clerk Office

44 North San Joaquin Street
Second Floor Suite 260
Stockton, CA 95202
Phone: (209) 468-3939
Fax: (209) 468-8040