California Marriage License

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A California Marriage License is a legal document that authorizes two individuals to get married within California. It is necessary for any couple wishing to marry in California. The license serves as a marriage record, proving that the state legally recognizes the marriage. Issued by the County Clerk's office where the couple intends to get married, it is valid for 90 days from the date of issuance.

Importance of the California Marriage License

You need a California Marriage License to get legally married within California. The license is a legal requirement that authorizes the marriage and validates it under California law. Without a marriage license, any ceremony or exchange of vows will not be legally recognized.

Furthermore, the California Marriage License is essential because it proves the marriage. It is a legal document that records the marriage and contains important information, such as the names of the individuals getting married, the date and place of the marriage, and the person’s name who officiated the ceremony. This information is important for legal and administrative purposes, such as changing your last name, applying for joint bank accounts, and filing taxes jointly.

Overall, a California Marriage License is a crucial document that ensures your marriage is legally recognized and provides proof of your union.

How to Obtain the California Marriage License

  1. Determine which County You will be Getting Married in. You must apply for a license in the county where you will marry.
  2. Make an Appointment with the County Clerk's Office in that County. You can typically make an appointment online or over the phone.
  3. Gather the Necessary Documents. You need to get a valid government-issued photo identification document, such as a driver's license or passport. You may also need to bring proof of your birth date and social security number.
  4. Complete the Marriage License Application. You can often complete the application online or in person at the County Clerk's office. Be prepared to provide personal information, such as your full legal name, date and place of birth, and your parents' name.
  5. Pay the Fee. There is a fee for the marriage license, which varies by county. You can typically pay with cash, credit card, or cheque.
  6. Wait for the License to be Issued. The County Clerk's office typically issues the license the same day you apply, although it may take several days in some counties.
  7. Get Married! Once you have your marriage license, you can get married within 90 days of the issuance date. Be sure to have the license with you during the ceremony and have it signed by the person who officiates the marriage. After the ceremony, the license must be returned to the County Clerk's office to be recorded.
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Requirements for the California Marriage License

  • Identification

    To prove your identity and age, you and your partner must provide valid government-issued photo identification, such as a driver's license or passport.

  • Age

    Both parties must be at least 18 to marry in California. If you are under 18, you will need parental consent and a court order.

  • Waiting Period

    There is no waiting period to obtain a California Marriage License, meaning you can typically get the license on the same day you apply.

  • Validity

    The license is valid for 90 days from the date of issuance, meaning you must get married within that time frame.

  • Residency

    There are no residency requirements to obtain a California Marriage License. You do not need to be a resident of California to get married in the state.

  • Fees

    There is a fee for the marriage license, which varies by county. You can typically pay with cash, credit card, or cheque.

  • Blood Test

    The state of California doesn't require a blood test for obtaining a marriage license.

  • Witnesses

    California does not require witnesses to be present during the marriage ceremony, but some counties may require one or two witnesses to sign the marriage license.

Key Terms for the California Marriage License

  • Marriage Certificate: A legal document that serves as proof of marriage and contains information about the couple and the marriage.
  • Officiant: The person who performs the marriage ceremony and signs the marriage license.
  • Confidential Marriage License: A type of marriage license that allows couples to keep their marriage records private and not accessible to the public.
  • Common-Law Marriage: A type of marriage recognized in some states but not in California, in which a couple is legally married after living together for a certain period.
  • Domestic Partnership: A legal recognition of a relationship between two individuals who live together and share domestic responsibilities but are not married.

Final Thoughts on the California Marriage License

In conclusion, obtaining a California marriage license is necessary for couples planning to marry in the state. The process involves filling out an application, providing required documentation, and paying a fee. The license lasts 90 days and allows couples to marry legally in California. It is important to carefully follow the instructions and requirements the county clerk's office provides to ensure a smooth and successful application process.

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