Marriage in California
Requirements for a public marriage license:
Age requirement: minimum age 18. Person under 18 with written consent of at least one parent (or legal guardian) and permission from a California superior court judge may marry.
Blood test: Not required.
Attendance: Both partners must be present when filing application and issuing license.
Photo I.D.: A picture i.d. card is required from each partner, i.e. passport, drivers license, naturalization form, resident alien cards, military i.d.
Previously married: If you have been married, you will need to know the exact date of when your marriage was finalized. If your marriage was finalized within 90 days, verification of papers is required.
Validity: License is valid for 90 days from date of issuance and is valid anywhere in the state of California.
License fee: $69 - cash, pre-printed California check or money order written out to San Francisco County Clerk only (price subject to change)
Persons authorized to solemnize: Any judge or retired judge, commissioner of civil marriages or retired commissioner of civil marriages; commissioner or retired assistant commissioner of a court of record or justice court in this state; by any judge or magistrate of the U.S. or by any priest, minister, or rabbi of any religious denomination of the age of 18 or over. A marriage may also be solemnized by a judge or magistrate who has resigned from office.
Wedding ceremony: By appointment only. You must purchase your marriage license before an appointment can be granted. Ceremonies are at 10 am, and from 12 noon through 3 pm. Call 415-252-3282. There is a 24-hour notice required to reschedule.
Ceremony fee: $30 - cash, pre-printed California check or money order written out to San Francisco County Clerk only (price subject to change)
Witnesses: One witness is required during your ceremony.
- You do not need to be a California resident to marry in California
- Only an unmarried male and unmarried female may marry in California
- Marriage by proxy is not allowed in California
What is the difference between a public and confidential marriage license?
If public, you can get married anywhere in the state of California, you need at least one witness during your ceremony and the marriage record is made available to the public. If confidential, you must be living together, you have to get married in the county where you purchased your license, no witnesses are required, the marriage record is only available to the husband and wife.
San Francisco Marriage License Bureau:
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 110
San Francisco, CA 94102
Office hours: Monday through Friday 8 am to 4 pm