What do I need to do to get married?
Congratulations! You and your significant other have decided to get married! There might be a wedding to plan, but you also need to make sure your marriage will be legal in California. What do you need to do?
- Be over the age of 18. With some limited exceptions, only adults (those over the age of 18) may get married in the State of California.
- Be single. You may not get married if you are still married to someone else or still in a domestic partnership with someone else.
- Get a marriage license. You can get a marriage license from a county clerk in any county. You do not have to get your license from the county where you are getting married, however, the license must be returned to the county where it was purchased. You will both need to appear in person and provide your full names, dates of birth, and mailing addresses. You should bring photo ID with you. The marriage license will expire 90 days after being issued, so don’t get it too far before your wedding. The fees for marriage licenses vary by county. If you were married before, you will need to know the date your marriage ended, the way it ended (divorce, annulment, or death) and may need to provide a copy of your divorce judgment or annulment judgment.
- Have the marriage solemnized by an authorized person. In California, there are a variety of people who may perform the solemnization for you, including a religious official of any religious denomination and most judges and magistrates (retired or not). The county clerk’s office will also generally have someone in the office who can perform the solemnization for you.
In California, you have a right to get married whether you are a same sex couple or an opposite sex couple. Certain couples are also able to choose to register a domestic partnership rather than a marriage.
The person solemnizing the marriage is responsible for returning the marriage license to the county clerk or county recorder (depending on the county) within 10 days of the ceremony.
If you want a copy of your marriage license, you must request it and pay for it through the county clerk or recorder (depending on the county). You will not automatically receive a copy of your marriage license.
Have questions about getting married? Considering a premarital agreement? Contact Romanovska Law to learn more.