Couples wishing to marry in the Golden State do not have to submit to a blood test, but what else do they need to know before they can get married? In order to have a successful start to married life, the bride and groom must contact the local county clerk or marriage license office to make sure they follow through on the most current California marriage laws before they can legally say “I do”.
California Marriage License
A California marriage license is valid for 90 days once it is issued. Make sure that you plan to marry within the 90 days; otherwise you will need to apply for a new marriage license.
Fortunately, couples wishing to marry in California do not need to be residents to apply for a marriage license to get married in California. As there is no waiting period, couples are free to marry as soon as they receive their marriage license, or within 90 days of the issuance of their marriage license. Bring along a valid form of photo ID and certified copies of your birth certificates. In addition, the bride and groom must state where each of their parents were born, along with their names and the name of each mother’s maiden name.
California Marriage License Fees
California marriage license fees vary from county to county, from around $45.00 to well over $80.00 in other counties. Call ahead of time to find out exactly how much it will cost to purchase a California marriage license and be sure to carry enough cash, as some counties only accept cash payment for marriage licenses.
Proxy Marriages in California
California allows proxy marriages, but these are very limited and only allowed for military personnel planning to marry. Military personnel who are stationed abroad are permitted to apply for a proxy marriage. This involves giving their power of attorney to their representative to stand in for them during the ceremony.
Adults over the age of 18 are not prohibited from marrying in California, as long as they are legally free to marry, they are not closely related (cousins can marry) or of the same sex. However, minors under the age of 18 require the consent of their parents or guardians and must have at least one of their parents or guardians with them when they apply for a California marriage license. The bride and groom must present certified copies of their birth certificates, see a counsellor and appear before a California superior court judge before they are given permission to marry.
Make sure all of your information has been verified and is in order with the local marriage license office or county clerk’s office before you make any firm plans. To find the location of the County Clerk with jurisdiction over the county where you plan to marry, click here for a full list of California county clerk’s office phone numbers.
U.S. Marriage Laws