California confidential marriage license regulations

The license allows you to have the ceremony anywhere within the State of California and you are required to have at least one witness present during the ceremony. The license allows you to have the ceremony anywhere within the State of California and witnesses are not required during the ceremony. The marriage record is only made available to the parties to the marriage. Both types of marriage licenses are legally valid. Certified copies of confidential marriage licenses are restricted to the parties to the marriage upon proof of identity, sworn statement, and payment of the search fee.

If requesting by mail, sworn statement, acknowledgement by a notary public, record search fee, and self-addressed stamped envelope are required. For more information, visit our website at Certified Copy - Marriage. Do I need a birth certificate to apply for a marriage license? For example, if your legal photo ID shows a middle initial instead of your full middle name, you would be required to present a certified copy of your birth certificate, passport, or social security card displaying the full middle name.

Marriage Confidential

Please visit our webpage Marriage: General Information for information on the requirements for obtaining a marriage license through our office. Are non-U. It is important that you visit our webpage: Marriage: General Information to review the requirements for applying for a marriage license from our office. The requirements apply to both U. There are no additional requirements for non-citizens. We do not expedite the processing of certified copies. It is your responsibility to check your country's requirements for recognizing a foreign marriage in your country.

If an apostille is required by your country, you must purchase a certified copy of your marriage license to submit to the Secretary of State for preparation of an apostille. It is important that you visit our visit our webpage: Marriage: General Information to review the requirements for applying for a marriage license from our office.

Marriage Officiant

Our office does not have any information or answers to questions related to immigration issues. To be legally married, do we need to have a marriage ceremony or can we just apply for the marriage license? California law requires an unmarried couple to purchase a California issued marriage license and have a marriage ceremony performed anywhere in the State of California. The ceremony must be performed by a person who is authorized by law to solemnize marriages in California within 90 days from the date the license is issued.

You may find categories of authorized persons to solemnize marriage in California Family Code, Section Are we required to have our marriage ceremony in City Hall? If you purchased a marriage license, California law requires you to have a marriage ceremony performed anywhere in the State of California. How many guests may we bring to our marriage ceremony performed through your office? Six 6 guests are allowed per couple. Included in the 6 guests are your witnesses, children, photographer, etc Are witnesses required for the ceremony? If your ceremony is being performed by our office, our office does not provide witnesses.

It is your responsibility to provide a witness. There is no age requirement in California for witnesses; however, they must be old enough to know that they are witnessing a marriage ceremony AND be able to sign their name on the official marriage license. Unfortunately not. The ceremonies are conducted by the Deputy Marriage Commissioner of the Office of the County Clerk are civil ceremonies and standard civil ceremony vows can only be used.

In order to ensure that all couples are able to begin their ceremony on time, a ceremony is restricted to being only 10 minutes long, which allows time for the check-in process, the standard civil ceremony vows, and photo opportunities. May I bring a professional photographer to my ceremony? You may bring a professional photographer. Please note, however, that each ceremony is allotted a maximum of 10 minutes only. Your photographer may take photos during the ceremony. You are welcome to take pictures in other parts of the building. Please respect each couple's ceremony and their enjoyment of the space during their ceremony.

We are a married couple and would like to renew our vows. Can we make a ceremony appointment and renew our vows? A civil marriage ceremony may only be performed for two unmarried persons who present a valid California marriage license for the ceremony. I am getting married in another county but live in San Francisco. Can I purchase the marriage license in San Francisco? You may purchase a marriage license for a ceremony taking place anywhere in the State of California. Or you may purchase a marriage license from any California county. Please note that your marriage record will be a permanent record in the county where the marriage license was purchased.

I am getting married in another country. Can I come to your office to get a statement of marital status, certificate of non-impediment, certificate of no impediment to marriage, proof of freedom to marry, or certificate of residence, etc.? Our office does not issue statement of marital status, certificate of non-impediment, certificate of no impediment to marriage, proof of freedom to marry, or certificate of residence, etc. For a fee, we will conduct a search of San Francisco County Confidential Marriage records and issue a certificate confirming the existence or non-existence of a confidential marriage record.

The search fee is non-refundable. How do I change my legal name after marriage? Pursuant to Family Code Section Parties may adopt any of the following middle names: the current last name of either spouse; the last name of either spouse given at birth; a hyphenated combination of the current middle name and the current last name of the person or spouse; a hyphenated combination of the current middle name and the last name given at birth of the person or spouse. Parties may adopt any of the following last names: the current last name of the other spouse; the last name of either spouse given at birth; a name combining into a single last name all or a segment of the current last name or last name of either spouse given at birth; a hyphenated combination of last names.

NOTE: The first name of the parties may not be changed on the marriage license. Other name changes are handled through the Superior Court in your county of residence. How do I correct an error on my marriage certificate? Please review the Marriage guidelines for parties who are hospitalized and physically unable to appear. I recently got married and I still have not received a certified copy of my marriage license.

A certified copy of your marriage license is NOT sent to you automatically. If you no longer have or did not receive the request form and wish to purchase a certified copy of your marriage record, please go to the following link Certified Copy - Marriage. How do I purchase a certified copy of my marriage license? Please visit the following link for information and instructions on purchasing Certified Copy - Marriage.

We got married in a foreign country.


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How do we register our marriage in California? If you need to establish a record of the marriage in California, you may file a petition in Superior Court to establish a "Court Order Delayed Certificate of Marriage". If I am deputized to perform marriages for a day, do I have to perform the marriage in the county I was deputized in?

The authority of a commissioner or deputy commissioner of civil marriages to solemnize marriages extends throughout the State of California.

Applying for a Marriage License

The deputy for a day program varies and may not be available in all counties. Does a deputized commissioner of civil marriages have to be a California resident? Family Code, Section contains no requirement that a deputized commissioner of civil marriages be a California resident. Out-of-state or out-of-country priests, ministers, or clergy persons may perform marriages in California if they are ordained or invested by a denomination. Where do I register to perform marriages in California? The laws of the State of California make it unnecessary for persons performing marriages to file credentials with the clerk of the court or with anyone else.

It is possible to have a friend or relative deputized as a Deputy Marriage Commissioner for the Day, so he or she can perform your ceremony.


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  7. The person must be over 18 years of age. Personal appearance is required in our office at First Street Ste. A Napa CA our building is across the alleyway behind 2nd St. Parking Garage to be sworn in as a Deputy Marriage Commissioner. Once the oath is taken, the deputy commissioner can perform one ceremony as specified in the oath.

    California Marriage License, Registration and Ceremony Information

    No appointment is needed to be deputized. We deputize between a. Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays.

    Skip to Main Content. Sign In. The County Clerk issues public and confidential marriage licenses. The County Clerk maintains a permanent index of all confidential marriages registered. The marriage officiant, e. The County Recorder is the local registrar of public marriages which includes declared and non-clergy marriages under the direction of the State Registrar Health and Safety Code, Sections and The local official is required to see that a complete and acceptable certificate is filed for each marriage and that each entry on the certificate is clear and unambiguous.

    Once reviewed for proper completion, the local official collects the certificates of marriage filed and transmits them to the state office not less than quarterly Health and Safety Code, Section