Marriage License & Ceremony
To be married in California you must obtain a marriage license prior to the marriage ceremony. To get a license:
- Parties (both over 18 years of age) must appear in person in our office.
- Parties must have valid, government issued identification such as a driver’s license or passport.
- Parties must provide all the information requested on the Marriage License Application including parents' full names and places of birth.
- If either party was married previously, the way the marriage ended (divorce, annulment, death, termination of state registered domestic partnership) and the date the marriage ended are required.
A public license can be obtained from any of California's 58 county clerks and once issued is valid for 90 days. The ceremony can be performed anywhere in the State of California. If either party is under the age of eighteen, a license cannot be issued without a court order. The Name Equality Act of 2007 (PDF) went into effect on January 1, 2009 and allows either or both parties to choose the name that each party will go by after the marriage.
Fees & Payment
The fee for a regular license is $83. It is suggested, but not required, that a certified copy also be paid for at the time the license is issued for an additional $15. You can pay by check drawn on a California bank, cash, money order, travelers' check, and all major debit/credit cards. An additional $2.50 processing fee is charged by our vendor if a debit/credit card is used for payment.
Our office issues marriage licenses between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. No appointment is needed to purchase a marriage license.
You can make an appointment to have your ceremony held in our office for a $51 fee. We schedule our ceremonies between 8:30 and 11:30 a.m. and between 2 and 4 p.m. Call 707-253-4247 to reserve a time for your ceremony.
If possible, we ask that the couple have at least one witness for the ceremony. If needed, our office can provide a witness for no charge. The room where ceremonies are held seats 14 people. Up to a maximum 20 guests can be accommodated if some guests stand.
Marriage Commissioner for the Day
It is possible to have a friend or relative deputized as a Deputy Marriage Commissioner for the Day, so he or she can perform your ceremony. The person must be over 18 years of age and must appear in person in our office to be deputized as a Deputy Marriage Commissioner. Once the oath is taken, the deputy commissioner can perform one ceremony for that specific couple on the date specified in the application.
Please complete the Deputy Marriage Commissioner application (PDF) prior to coming to our office to be deputized. The fee is $63. No appointment is needed to be deputized. We deputize between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. We accept checks drawn on a California bank, cash, money orders, travelers' checks, and all major debit/credit. An additional $2.50 processing fee is charged by our vendor if a debit/credit card is used for payment.