In order to be married anywhere in the State of California, the couple must purchase a marriage license from any California County Clerk's office.
A marriage license is valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. If the ceremony does not take place wihin 90 days, the license expires and a new license is required. The ceremony can take place anywhere in California.
The Name Equality Act of 2007 went into effect on January 1, 2009 and allows either or both parties to choose the name each party will go by after the marriage. If either party wants to change their name, that new name MUST be entered on the marriage license BEFORE purchase.
Both parties must be at least 18 years old. Persons under 18 require permission from a California Superior Court. Contact the County Clerk's office for additonal requirements. NOTE: Minors may not purchase a Confidential License.
- Both parties to the marriage must:
- Appear together, at the same time, in the County Clerk's office when applying for the license.
- Present valid government issued photo ID.
If either party had a previous marriage or State Registered Domestic Partnership end within the previous 90 days, a copy of the document ending the marriage/SRDP must be provided.
- Applicants for a confidential marriage license must attest to the fact they have been living together as spouses.
- Online Marriage License Application - You can enter your license information prior to coming to the County Clerk's Office.
Marriage licenses are issued Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. They can only be issued after 4:30 by appointment, schedule permitting.
- The marriage ceremony must be performed during the 90 days the marriage licensed purchased is valid and take place in California.
- Public License: One witness is required to be present at the time the ceremony is performed.
- Confidential License: No witnesses are required.
- Certified copies of a public marriage certificate may be purchased after the license has been registered. There is a separate fee for each certified copy. FEES
Civil marriage ceremonies are performed Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and again between 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Appointments are accepted, but not required, and can be made by calling (530) 749-7851. Ceremonies are performed after 4:00 p.m. by appointment only, schedule permitting.