A California marriage license can be issued from any California county, as long as your marriage ceremony is planned to take place somewhere in the State of California, the license is valid for 90 days. (Info regarding your Certified Copy is at the end)
I encourage you to research the specific county’s website that you are choosing to obtain your California marriage license.
To obtain a California marriage license, you can pre fill an application online, offered through the county website and then you set up an appointment to visit that county office prior to your ceremony, even the day before your marriage ceremony is ok. Some counties do not require an appointment, it is best to read the website of the selected California county.
Following the ceremony, the officiant and a witness signs (public marriage), then the officiant submits the license to the county where it was purchased within 10 days of the ceremony. .
The cost ranges between $60-$110, depending on the county. Forms of payment allowed also differ county to county, depending if they accept cash, debit card, credit card, money orders and personal checks.
Marriage licenses are issued to applicants on the spot. There are no citizenship or residency requirements, nor are blood tests required to obtain a marriage license. Applicants must be over 18 years old. Couples can begin the process for submitting an application for a marriage license online.
To complete the process for a marriage license, a couple must:
Appear together in person.
Each present one form of a valid non-expired, government issued, photo identification (such as a driver's license or passport).
If divorced within the last 90 days, you need a certified copy of the divorce decree. If spouse is deceased within the previous 90 days, you provide a certified copy of the death certificate.
Select the name each wishes to use after marriage, to be listed on the marriage license. Couples are not required to change their names nor are they required to take the same name. However, if a name change is desired, it must be correctly reflected before the marriage license is signed. Once the license is signed, names can only be changed by a court order.
Both individuals must be able to read, speak and understand English. If not, the couple must bring a third party translator to obtain a license. Most county departments do not provide translation services.
Public Marriage License
A public marriage license becomes a public record and anyone can request an informational copy. This license can be used anywhere in the State of California.
Confidential Marriage License
A confidential marriage license becomes a confidential record, and the only people able to obtain information about it are the couple, except by special court order. The fee is slightly higher, about $15, and there are no witnesses required to sign.
Tahoe Clerk Office Locations
North Tahoe, Carnelian Bay, Placer County office
South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County office
Truckee, Nevada County
Truckee office does not issue marriage licenses, you need to go to Nevada City or Grass Valley for Nevada County.
Certified Copy of your Marriage License
You do not receive a copy of your marriage license automatically
It takes about 2 weeks for the county to process your marriage license once they receive it, you will then send the county a request for your certified copy of the marriage license. It's an additional step, below is the link for the directions from Placer County. Though you will want to go to your county website to use their application and read their specific details to obtain your copy and apply within that county.
Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions :)