Getting hitched? Here’s what you need to know

We want to make sure your wedding is perfect! In order to issue a marriage license, make sure you have the following:

1.) PHOTO ID

The following forms of identification are examples of documents generally meeting the photo, birth date, and gender requirement:

  • US State Driver’s License
  • US State Identification Card In California, this card is issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Identification cards issued by other states may be issued by an agency or department other than their Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • Military Service or Military Dependent Identification Card
  • Naturalization Certificate
  • Passport
  • Alien Registration Card (Form 1551) Form 1551 was previously referred to as a “Green Card.”
  • Identification Card issued by the US Government or Identification Card issued by another country. Employee identification cards not accepted even if employee works for a government agency.

All names on the form of identification must be the full, legal name (e.g. name acquired by birth, adoption, court-ordered name change, or by naturalization). Other proof of identity, such as a certified copy of a court-ordered name change document, may be required. Any identification presented which is in a language other than English must be translated into English by an ATA certified translator or Court certified interpreter.

2.) DIVORCE PAPERWORK 

A certified copy of the divorce decree or death certificate is required if applicable.  The date of the final judgment must be PRIOR to the date a new license is issued. If date is unknown, and it has been more than 2 years, estimate date.

3.) FULL NAME OF FATHER/MOTHER

This should be the birth name, prior to any marriage. Legally adopted children MUST enter adoptive parents’ names. Only if the stepparent legally adopted the individual is the stepparent’s name to be entered.

4.) US STATE OR COUNTRY OF PARENTS’ BIRTH

5.) NAME CHANGE CRITERIA

The couple has the option to change their middle and/or last name using the following criteria:

Parties may adopt any of the following middle names:

  • The current last name of either spouse
  • The last name of either spouse given at birth
  • A hyphenated combination of the current middle name and the current last name of the person or spouse
  • A hyphenated combination of the current middle name and the last name given at birth of the person or spouse
Parties may adopt any of the following last names:
  • The current last name of the other spouse
  • The last name of either spouse given at birth
  • A name combining into a single last name all or a segment of the current last name or last name of either spouse given at birth
  • A hyphenated combination of last names
  • A segment is a contiguous portion of the name; it is an identifiable match of a portion of the current last name or the last name given at birth of either spouse. The segment may not omit or add new letters and the letters may not be changed around to create an entirely different segment that does not match a portion of the current last name or the last name given at birth of either spouse.
  • Hyphenated middle and/or last names may or may not include an actual hyphen.

CALIFORNIA MARRIAGE LICENSE INFORMATION
California has four types of marriage licenses available: Public, Confidential, Non-Clergy and Declaration of Marriage.

All on demand weddings will be issued the Confidential License.

IF PUBLIC:

  • You may marry anywhere in the State of California
  • At least one witness is required during your ceremony
  • Authorized person (Family Code 400) must perform the ceremony
  • After the marriage license is registered, the record is available to the public.

IF CONFIDENTIAL:

  • First Person and Second Person must be living together
  • The ceremony must take place in San Francisco
  • Authorized person (Family Code 400) must perform the ceremony
  • No witnesses are required; and
  • After the marriage license is registered, the record is confidential and is only available to the parties to the marriage.

IF NON-CLERGY:

  • The religious denomination does not have clergy to perform the ceremony
  • You may marry anywhere in the State of California
  • Two witnesses are required during the ceremony
  • After the marriage license is registered, the record is available to the public.

IF DECLARATION:

  • California marriage license was purchased
  • Marriage event took place (couple is married)
  • Record was not registered with the County where it was issued
  • First Person, Second Person establishes the facts of the marriage in the County where they currently reside
  • Two witnesses must sign the certification they witnessed the marriage event
  • One year has elapsed since the date the marriage license was issued.

We realize that’s a lot of information, but this is a big day! We want to make sure that everything is in place for you to leave that wedding married to the person you love.

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