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You do not need to be a California resident to obtain a marriage license or marry within the state of California.
Marriage licenses are valid for 90 days from the date of issuance and may only be used for ceremonies performed within the State of California. If you do not have a ceremony within 90 days, then the marriage license will no longer be valid. If your marriage license expires before there is a ceremony, then you must purchase a new marriage license; there are no refunds issued for unused marriage licenses.
The County of San Diego offers marriage services in English and Spanish; American Sign Language (ASL) translation services are offered for the deaf and hearing-impaired. Both individuals must be able to read, speak, and understand English or Spanish; issuing a marriage licenses or performing a marriage ceremony in any other language is NOT permissible by County Clerk staff. Please contact our offices directly to request ASL interpreter services.
Both parties must appear in person at one of our office locations and present one form of valid picture identification. Valid picture identification is one that contains a photograph, date of birth, and an issue and expiration date. An application for a marriage license must be completed prior to your appointment; printable applications to bring to your appointment are available online. Original signatures are required.
Name Equality Act of 2007 gives specific rights to parties at the time they are applying for a California marriage license in order to choose and list, on the marriage license, the new name that each party will go by after marriage.
A blood test is not required to obtain a marriage license.
A marriage ceremony may be performed at the church or chapel of your choice by persons authorized to solemnize marriage ceremonies in California. The County Clerk may also perform a civil marriage ceremony for an additional fee, if desired.
You will NOT receive a copy of your marriage certificate unless you request and pay for a certified copy. Certified copies may be purchased one week after the marriage license has been received by our office and registered with the Recorder.
Printable applications for a marriage license are available online. If you have additional questions, please call (619) 237-0502. Se habla Español.
Public Marriage License
The fee for a Public Marriage License if $70.00.
You must have at least one witness present at your ceremony for a public marriage license, you may NOT have more than two witnesses sign the official marriage license. There is no age requirement for witnesses; witnesses must be old enough to know that they are witnessing a marriage ceremony AND be able to sign their own name on the official marriage license without assistance.
Confidential Marriage License
The fee for a Confidential Marriage License is $89.00.
Confidential marriage licenses may also be issued by an Authorized Notary Public. An Authorized Notary Public may be available to the public outside of normal business hours and office locations, please confirm availability with the Notary Public directly. Please click for a list of an
Authorized Notary Public in San Diego County.
Couples applying for a confidential marriage license must be living together as spouses at the time that they apply for the marriage license, and must sign under penalty of perjury attesting to that fact.
No witnesses are required to be present at the ceremony AND no witnesses sign on the marriage license
Persons other than the parties to the marriage requesting copies of a confidential marriage certificate may only do so by presenting a court order.
CIVIL MARRIAGE CEREMONIES
A valid marriage license must be purchased prior to solemnizing a marriage ceremony.
A marriage ceremony may be performed at the church or chapel of your choice by persons authorized to solemnize marriage ceremonies in California. If you would prefer to have a friend or relative perform the marriage ceremony at your chosen venue in California, the San Diego County Clerk offers a
Deputy Marriage Commissioner for a Day.
here to watch a brief video on our Deputy Marriage Commissioner for a Day program.
The County Clerk may also perform a civil marriage ceremony for an additional fee, if needed. The fee for a Civil Marriage Ceremony is $88.00.
Appointments for marriage ceremonies performed by the County Clerk are available for indoor and outdoor marriage ceremonies at many of our locations. Outdoor marriage ceremonies are subject to change based on availability.
The County of San Diego offers civil marriage ceremonies in English and Spanish; American Sign Language (ASL) translation services are offered for the deaf and hearing-impaired. Both individuals must be able to read, speak, and understand English or Spanish; performing a marriage ceremony in any other language is NOT permissible by County Clerk staff. Please contact our offices directly to request ASL interpreter services.
An appointment is required to obtain a marriage license and/or civil ceremony.
For a Public Marriage License, at least one witness you will need to be present at your ceremony. You may NOT have more than two witnesses sign on the official marriage license
You will not need a witness to purchase a marriage license
For ceremonies performed by the County Clerk, you may bring your own witness or this office may provide a witness for an additional fee of $18.00
There is no age requirement for a witness in California; witnesses must be old enough to know that they are witnessing a marriage ceremony AND be able to sign their own name on the official marriage license without assistance
For a Confidential Marriage License, no witnesses are required to be present at the ceremony, AND no witnesses sign on the marriage license.
After the Ceremony, Registering the Marriage License
The person solemnizing the marriage must return the original marriage license to our office for recording within ten (10) days.
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.
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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.
The San Diego County Clerk offers various mementos to commemorate this special occasion, including: bumper stickers, decorative keepsakes, and framed digital photos.
"Just Married" bumper stickers are available in Red and Blue from the County Clerk for $4.00.
Wedding Keepsakes with the couples names and wedding date are available for $6.00.
Framed digital photographs are available for $10.00. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of framed digital photographs is given to the Polinsky Children's Center every year.