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If you're getting married in the state of California you must first apply for a wedding license at any in-state county clerk office. These offices, some of which are referred to as the "marriage license bureau," are usually located in the county probate court or circuit court. This document outlines the requirements you must adhere to in order to get a valid marriage license that can be used statewide.


Waiting Period

After I submit my application how long do I have to wait before I receive my marriage license?

There is no waiting period. You will receive your marriage license immediately after you submit your application.

Is there a waiting period from the moment the license is given to me to the date I'm allowed to actually marry?

No, you can get married immediately after your marriage license is issued.

License Expiration

How long will my marriage license remain valid once it's been issued?

Your license will expire 90 days from the date it is issued. Once it expires, it can no longer be used to get married.

What happens if my marriage license expires before I get a chance to use it?

Unfortunately, you'll just have to get a brand new one as your expired one will no longer be recognized as valid by the state nor by the person who will be responsible for officiating your marriage.

Age Requirement

How old must I be to get married?

You must be at least 18 years of age or older to marry without parental consent. A birth certificate may be necessary to show proof of age.

What if one or both of us is younger than 18?

If either partner is under 18, one parent or legal guardian must be present. If a parent can not be present, due to death, separation, divorce or other circumstances, proper evidence must be presented for verification. You will need a certified copy of your birth certificate. The couple must schedule an appointment with a counselor and then appear before a superior court judge.

Blood Test

Are blood tests and physical exams required?

No blood test or physical exam is required.

Divorced or Widowed Applicants

What if one or both partners have been divorced or have had a spouse die?

If you were previously married, the date of your divorce or the date of your spouse's death must be provided. If the divorce or spouse's death had taken place within the last 90 days, bring a certified copy of the divorce decree or death certificate. If necessary, a copy of your divorce records or spouse's death certificate can be ordered from your local vital records office and mailed to you.