Jaimie MackeyJaimie Mackey was the real weddings editor at Brides from 2013 to 2015" /> Jaimie MackeyJaimie Mackey was the real weddings editor at Brides from 2013 to 2015" />

How To Get A California Marriage Licensing

Jaimie Mackey was the real weddings editor at nhatroso.com from 2013 to 2015. She also worked as a luxury wedding planner và produced over 100 high-end weddings and events in Colorado" data-inline-tooltip="true">Jaimie Mackey

Jaimie Mackey was the real weddings editor at nhatroso.com from 2013 to 2015. She also worked as a luxury wedding planner và produced over 100 high-end weddings & events in Colorado


nhatroso.com / Michela Buttignol

Step 1: phối a Date & Place for Your Wedding

Before you can apply for a marriage license, you need khổng lồ know where và when you"ll be getting married. Why? Because you typically have to tệp tin your marriage license application in the county in which you"ll be getting married. Furthermore, marriage licenses expire. Some, for example, expire after 90 days. If you"re planning your wedding one year in advance of the date, then you have to lớn wait to lớn apply for the marriage license until you"re within the deadline. Otherwise, you"ll end up having khổng lồ apply all over again, which is the last thing a couple wants to bởi vì when they"re busy wedding planning.

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On the other hand, you can"t wait until the very last minute either. According lớn Hanes, "There"s typically a few day waiting period from filing to getting your license. You should plan to file at least one week before your wedding khổng lồ make sure everything works out." In Texas, for example, you must wait at least 72 hours before getting married after you apply for a marriage license to lớn actually get married, meaning that if you put this off until two to three days before the wedding, the license wouldn"t be valid.

Step 2: Visit the County Clerk

The easiest place khổng lồ go for your marriage license is the county clerk's office. "If all documentation is in order, you can plan to spend about an hour there," says Hanes. You can even try to make an appointment beforehand so that you don't have khổng lồ wait too long.

Generally, you & your significant other must both be present at the time of the marriage license application.

Make sure you don"t show up empty-handed, as you"ll both need to show proof of your identity. Each state"s requirements are a little different, so be sure to check with your county clerk before heading in to find out what they specifically require. Typically, however, you"ll need a driver"s license or passport, but you may also need a birth certificate.Some states even require a witness for the marriage license application, so be prepared lớn ask a family thành viên or friend (who has known you at least six months) lớn tag along. They should be asked khổng lồ join you a few days in advance to lớn ensure they"re free.You will also need lớn know some information about your parents. You will likely need both your parents" full birth names, birthdates, birth states, & dates of passing, if applicable.If you"re under 18, you"ll likely need permission from a parent or both parents to wed (the size this takes varies depending on the state, with some requiring a court order).There is a fee to lớn apply for a marriage license, typically between $35 and $150, depending on your state & county (yet another expense to địa chỉ to your wedding budget). "People often forget to lớn bring kiểm tra or cash to lớn their appointment và most offices don"t take credit cards. Make sure you show up prepared with proper payment," warns Hanes.Once you"ve proven your identity, turned in your paperwork, & paid your fee, you"ll be granted a marriage license. Some states will hand you the marriage license right then & there, but others will mail it out khổng lồ you within a few days.

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You can hyphenate your maiden name with your partner's last name. Another common option is lớn replace your middle name with your maiden name.

Step 3: Get Signatures from Your Officiant và Marriage License Witnesses

Now that you have your marriage license, it"s time to gather up some signatures. While the requirements for signing a marriage license vary from state khổng lồ state, most require signatures from the following people:

The Couple

Naturally, the couple must be present when it's time khổng lồ sign the marriage license post-ceremony. It's better lớn get this taken care of early on before the tiệc nhỏ gets going & the drinks start flowing. This is one wedding detail you bởi not want lớn forget.

The Officiant

Whoever legally performed your ceremony, whether it was a judge, a religious leader, or a friend ordained for the day, must also sign the license. There will be a line for them to sign their name, as well as specify their title or ordination. But note: There are a few states (Colorado, Wisconsin, the District of Columbia, and parts of Pennsylvania) where you can self-unite or self-solemnize your marriage, which means that not only does the officiant not need khổng lồ sign your marriage license, you don"t have khổng lồ have one in the first place.

Two Witnesses

These could be your parents, your maid of honor and best man, or any other friends you nominate for the honor. They must be physically present, watch the two of you sign the marriage license, và sign the license themselves. In most states, the marriage license witnesses must also be over the age of 18. Typically you will need two witnesses, but in some states, you only need one. It's important khổng lồ select your witnesses before the big day and ensure they arrive on time.

Step 4: The Officiant Turns in the Completed Marriage License to lớn the County

After the ceremony, it's the officiant's responsibility lớn return the marriage license khổng lồ the county clerk, either by mail or in person. After that, you're all set. Depending on where you live, you will either be mailed a certified copy, or you will need lớn go in person to lớn pick up certified copies (in which case, prepare yourself for another fee).

You might be wondering, though, why you even need these copies if it"s all official. You"ll need certified copies of your marriage certificate for a number of things. For example, you may need to lớn send copies of it khổng lồ change your marital status for insurance (car, health, etc.), Social Security (if you"re changing your name), your credit cards, your bank accounts, và the IRS, just to name a few. "Obtaining three copies of the certified marriage certificate for these tasks should be sufficient," notes Hanes. "You can always liên hệ the local county clerk to order more certified copies of your certificate if you need them at any time down the line."