Getting a Marriage License

Here’s what you need to know:

• You and your spouse-to-be must both be present at the County Recorder’s Office (1101 Anacapa St.). The process takes about half an hour.

• Both of you must bring your current, government-issued photo IDs, and $87 to cover the fee.

• Both of you must be 18 years of age or older. If one or both parties is divorced, the divorce must be final for at least three months. If the divorce is final for fewer than three months, you must also bring the final divorce decree.

• A marriage license issued anywhere in California can be used anywhere in California, but the records will be kept in the office it was issued.

• A confidential marriage license costs $95 and must be used in the county in which it is issued.

• Important: Don’t get it too far in advance! The license is valid from an hour beforehand to 90 days after it is issued. For more about a marriage license application, visit

• After your ceremony, the officiant and a witness must sign the license. The license must then be turned in to the County Recorder, in person or by mail. It will be entered into the public record in one to two weeks.

• Now couples can indicate the new married name on the marriage license, thanks to the implementation of the Name Equality Act. Changing one’s name through this process can only be done at the time of the marriage license application. For more info, visit

• Privacy laws for the marriage index changed as of January 1, 2010.

For complete information regarding marriage licenses, call the County Clerk’s Office at 568-2250, or visit

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