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Marriage Licenses and Ceremonies are by Appointment Only


CIVIL MARRIAGE CEREMONY

The County Clerk may perform civil marriage ceremonies by appointment only during regular business hours. As you prepare for your civil ceremony, please keep the following in mind:

  • Appointments are required. Appointments fill up quickly, so please plan accordingly. Available locations are found on the appointment booking page.
  • A valid marriage license must be purchased prior to solemnizing a marriage ceremony. You may do this during one appointment by selecting a “License and Ceremony” appointment type. 
  • Outdoor civil ceremonies are subject to change based on availability; including, but not limited to: weather, obstructions, Waterfront Park events or maintenance.  For a list of scheduled dates impacting the County Administration Center’s west arbor ceremony location, click here. This list is also subject to change.
  • Both parties must be present. 
  • Both parties must present valid, government-issued photo ID. 
  • Ceremonies are performed in English or Spanish. If the commissioner feels that either party does not comprehend the marriage process, he/she may refuse to perform the ceremony and offer other options.
  • Performing a ceremony in any other language is not permissible by County Clerk staff. 
  • Prior to booking an appointment online, couples requiring American Sign Language (ASL) for marriage services must notify our office in person, by phone at (619) 237-0502, or by email at arccsdmarriagehelp.fgg@sdcounty.ca.gov to make arrangements. Please allow a minimum of two weeks' advance notice for all sign language bookings.
  • Civil Marriage Ceremony fee is $88.00. 
  • For outdoor ceremonies, there is no limit to the number of guests you may have. 
  • For indoor ceremonies, please see guest limits on our FAQs here
  • For the health and safety of staff and the public, we ask that if either the couple or the witness are feeling sick, please refrain from obtaining services. 

Witness Requirements
  • No witnesses are required when only purchasing a marriage license (not having a civil marriage ceremony). 
  • For a Public Marriage License, you must have at least one witness present at your ceremony. And no more than two witnesses sign the official marriage license.
  • For a Confidential Marriage License, no witnesses are required to be at your ceremony. And no witnesses sign on the marriage license. 
  • No age requirement. Witness must be old enough to know that they are witnessing a marriage ceremony AND must be able to sign their own name on the official marriage license without assistance. 
  • For civil marriage ceremonies performed by the County Clerk, you may bring your own witness. 
  • Our office may provide a witness for an additional fee of $18.00. 

After the Ceremony, Registering the Marriage License
  • The person solemnizing the marriage must complete, sign, and return the original marriage license to our office for registration within ten (10) days, preferably by mail.
  • If a marriage license is lost, damaged, or destroyed after the marriage ceremony, or if there are errors or alterations on the marriage license that are deemed unacceptable for registration by the County Recorder, then the person solemnizing the marriage will be required to purchase and obtain a duplicate marriage license. 
  • You will NOT receive a copy of your marriage certificate unless you request and pay for a certified copy.  Certified copies may be purchased approximately 10 business days after the marriage license has been received by our office and registered with the Recorder. 

DEPUTY MARRIAGE COMMISSIONER
The San Diego County Deputy Marriage Commissioner for a Day program offers a unique way for couples to make their special day even more memorable. For a fee of $80.00, a couple may choose a friend or relative to be deputized to perform their wedding ceremony at their chosen venue.  Anyone who wishes to be deputized to perform a wedding ceremony must submit an application to the County Clerk in person or by mail. For office hours and availability, click here.  
Click here to watch a brief video on how to be a Deputy Marriage Commissioner for a Day.

We encourage applicants to apply in person at least 3 weeks before the ceremony date at the office of the County Clerk and take the Oath of Office before the wedding can take place.  The Oath of Office will be given in English.  If the applicant cannot appear in person, a notarized application should be submitted to the County Clerk by mail at least one (1) month before the ceremony date.  Upon completion of the application for a Deputy Marriage Commissioner and payment of the fee, the applicant will receive sample vows, instructions for the completion of the marriage license, and the commission.
  
Payment may be made using cash, check, and credit or debit card.  Payments by check or money order should be made payable to "San Diego Recorder/County Clerk".  When using a credit or debit card, a $2.50 surcharge per transaction will apply.

Click here for an application: 
  • DMC Application packet to apply in person  
  • DMC Application packet to apply by mail

COMMEMORATIVE KEEPSAKES
  • Framed Digital Photograph - $10.00 
    • Portion of proceeds benefit to the Polinsky Children’s Center
  • Wedding Ring - $10.00
  • Wedding Keepsake Certificate - $6.00
  • “Just Married” Bumper Sticker - $4.00

If you have additional questions, please call (619) 237-0502. Se habla Español.