Monday, March 22, 2010

Making It Legal: CA Marriage License Requirements

Planning your wedding day will probably be the most fun and memorable experiences of your life (especially if you have a fabulous wedding coordinator to guide you through the process)! You get to shop for pretty dresses and nice tuxedos, sample amazing food and yummy wedding cake, look at tons of awesome photos and beautiful flowers, and when it's all over, you get to take an exciting trip to the destination of your dreams! But perhaps the most important task to be taken care of throughout this whole process is obtaining your marriage license. It is, after all, the key to making your union legal.

Each state has specific guidelines, fees and requirements in place for obtaining the legal document. Below, I have outlined all the information you will need when obtaining your marriage license in Los Angeles County:

How to Obtain a Marriage License

  • To obtain a marriage license, which is valid for 90 days, by law both parties must appear together to complete the application and pay the required fee, which is $90 for a public license and $85 for a confidential license. Payments can be made in cash or by check or money order made payable to the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk or RRCC. If paying by check, valid identification i.e. driver's license of the signer is required and must be presented at time of request.
  • Both parties must be present together and produce "Proof of Identity" and age documents, such as a driver's license, passport or alien resident card. Photo and age verification is mandatory. A birth certificate or baptismal record may be presented along with a picture form identification. All documents must be in English. Documents in any other language must be submitted with an English translation by a certified translator. Documents that have expired will not be accepted.
  • A blood test and health certificate are not required to obtain a marriage license.
  • There is no residence or citizenship status requirement.
  • Parties must be unmarried. A previous marriage is valid until the final date of dissolution. Written proof of a divorce or the dissolution of a previous marriage is required, if the event occurred within the last two years or less. If the final dissolution was more than two years, written proof may not be required, but the date of the final dissolution must be provided at the same time the license is requested.
  • Parties who have entered into a State Register Domestic Partnership must provide proof of termination, if the termination occurred within the last two years or less. If the termination was more than two years, written proof may not be required, but the date of the termination must be provided at the same time the license is requested.
  • Parties marrying the same partner, who each entered into a State Register Domestic Partnership must present a copy of the Declaration of Domestic Partnership.
  • Parties living together as spouses who meet the required conditions may request a confidential marriage license that must be used in Los Angeles County.
  • Proxy marriages (when someone stands in for the absent party) are not legal.
  • The marriage license is usually processed in one hour after submitting the application. However, the waiting time will vary depending on the client volume at the location where you are requesting your license.
If you need additional information, you should contact your local county recorder's office.

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