Marriage License & Ceremony

Overview

In order to be married anywhere in the State of California the couple must purchase a marriage license from any California County Clerk’s office.

A public license is valid for 90 days from the date of issuance.  If the ceremony does not take place within those 90 days, the license expires and a new license is required. The ceremony can take place anywhere in the State of California.  

The Name Equality Act of 2007 (PDF) went into effect on 01/01/2009 and allows either or both parties to choose the name each party will go by after the marriage. If either party wants to change their name, that new name MUST be entered on the marriage license BEFORE purchase. 

Please read the information at the link carefully before you complete the marriage license application.

To purchase a license: 

  • Parties (both over 18 years of age) must appear in person in our office at 1127 First Street Ste. A Napa, CA 94559 (our building is across the alleyway behind 2nd St. Parking Garage) between 8:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays.
    • If either party is under the age of eighteen, a license cannot be issued without a court order. Please contact Family Court Services (FCS) of a California Superior Court to learn more about the process.  The Napa County FCS can be reached at 707-299-1130.
  • Parties must have valid, government issued photo identification such as a driver’s license or passport.
  • Parties must provide all the information requested on the Marriage License Application  (use this link to access the application) including parents' full birth 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. Napa County does not require documentation regarding the date the marriage ended.
  • There is no waiting period, blood test nor residency requirements to be married in California.

Fee & Payment

The fee for a public license is $83.00. You do not receive proof of your marriage automatically; it is suggested but not required, that a certified copy be pre-paid for at the time the license is issued for an additional $15.00.  We do not accept checks with an out of state address but do accept cash, money orders, travelers' checks and all major debit/credit cards. There is an additional $2.50 processing fee charged by our vendor if a debit/credit card is used for payment.

Hours

Marriage licenses are issued between 8:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. No appointment is needed to purchase a marriage license. No more than two weeks prior to your arrival, please complete the on-line marriage license application. The application is at this link: Marriage License Application

Ceremony

You can make an appointment to have a civil ceremony in our office, performed by our staff, for a $51 fee. We schedule our ceremonies between 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and between 2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. Please call (707) 253-4247 to reserve a time for your ceremony.  NOTE: Couples who will be purchasing their license the same day of their scheduled ceremony should arrive 30 minutes prior to the scheduled time of the ceremony to allow our staff time to complete the license process prior to the ceremony. As a courtesy to other couples and to our staff, if you arrive late, please be prepared to wait until after the couple who arrived first has been married.  If your ceremony is scheduled for late in the day and you do not arrive on time, we may not be able to accommodate you and you may need to reschedule. 

We ask that couples bring at least one witness for the ceremony. If needed, our office can provide a witness for a fee of $35.00.

The marriage room seats 14 people. Up to a maximum of 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.  Personal appearance is required in our office at 1127 First Street Ste. A Napa CA 94559 (our building is across the alleyway behind 2nd St. Parking Garage) to be sworn in as a Deputy Marriage Commissioner. Once the oath is taken, the deputy commissioner can perform one ceremony as specified in the oath.

Please complete the Deputy Marriage Commissioner application (PDF) (use this link to access the application) prior to coming to our office to be deputized. The fee is $63. No appointment is needed to be deputized. We deputize between 8:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. We do not accept checks with an out of state address but do accept cash, money orders, travelers' checks and all major debit/credit cards. There is an additional $2.50 processing fee charged by our vendor if a debit/credit card is used for payment.