California Marriage license: The Steps to Get a Marriage License in California!
You want to get married in California, do you? Okay then. Here's all the information you will need to hold a wedding in California. You don't need to be a resident of the state to get married here. As long as you're above the age of 18, you're eligible for marriage in California. You will need to apply for a marriage license at any of the 58 County Clerk offices.
There is no waiting period, and you will receive the license on-spot. The marriage license fees usually differ from county to county. The license is valid for 90 days within which you are expected to officiate your marriage. California offers two kinds of marriage licenses – public and private. A private or confidential marriage license protects all information on the marriage license from public view. To access this information, a spouse will need to furnish a court order or notarized application.
The procedure of Getting a California Marriage License
The following steps will guide you through the process of applying for and obtaining a marriage license in the State of California –
- Verify that you meet the eligibility requirements governing state marriage laws. Neither party can be married at the time of applying for the marriage license. Minors cannot apply for a private marriage license. They may do so for a public license however with parental and consent from a California Superior Court Judge.
The license allows you to marry in any county, as long as it is in California. An overseas stationed member of the National Armed Forces can be wedded with the help of a stand-in attorney. A witness is required to testify for a public marriage. Couples who wish to apply for a confidential marriage can do so given they co-sign an affidavit attesting that they’ve been cohabiting as spouses at the time of application.
- Present necessary documents such as valid photo IDs, divorce decrees (if previously married) and a copy of your birth certificate (required by some counties).
- Download the marriage license application form beforehand or ask for it at the county clerk’s office. The form will ask for basic details and other information like your Social Security number.
- If you’re mulling a name change, you may have to enter this into your application form. Of course, you will require a court order after that to officiate it.
- The application fee for obtaining a marriage license will vary over counties. Find out the amount and hand it over along with the application form and other required documentation to receive your marriage license.
- Now, you can get married. The marriage license issued to you is valid for 90 days, and you will have to get married within this period if you don’t want to have to go through the hassle of purchasing a new one.
- As the final step, you will have to return the completed wedding license within ten days from the date of marriage to the county recorder. In case the marriage license is confidential, it has to be returned to the county clerk’s office for registration purposes.
Breathe a sigh of relief. You and your beloved are married. There is nothing to do but wait for your official marriage certificate to arrive. In the meanwhile, soak in your newly wedded glory and enjoy your spouse's company. The difficult part is over. Plan your honeymoon maybe. Sure, the legal procedure for officiating a marriage can be hassled, but isn't it all worth it in the long run? You and your partner are recognized as being together in the eyes of the law. What more could you possibly want?
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