State California Getting Married Inback to States


California recognizes both straight and same-sex unions.

Current Legislation:

As of June 28, 2013, both straight and same-sex marriages are recognized in the state.


Do I have to reside in California to get married there?

You do not have to be a resident of California to get married there.

How can I apply for a marriage license?

Both parties must apply for a marriage license together at California county clerk offices.

What are the fees?

The cost for a marriage license varies from county to county, averaging at around $35–$100. For a straight domestic partnership, the filing fee is $10.

Is there a waiting period?

There is no waiting period but the marriage license will expire 90 days after it is issued.

What documentation do I need?

Both parties must present government-issued photo identification, such as a driver’s license, passport, or military ID, to the county clerk when applying for a marriage license. Some counties also require a certified copy of a birth certificate. In cases of remarriage, you must provide the date that the last marriage or domestic partnership ended as well as the reason (for example, divorce or death), with some counties requiring divorce decrees.

Is a blood test required?


Who can marry us and are witnesses required?

A priest, minister, or rabbi of any religious denomination, current or retired judges, county clerks, magistrates, and state legislators and members of California’s Congress who are in office. One witness is required.

How can I change my name?

Obtain several certified copies from the county clerk’s office where your license was filed, as you will need these throughout the name changing process. Fill out an application for a new Social Security card (which can be found here) and go to your local Social Security Administration office (be sure to get there before it opens) with a certified copy of your marriage license, photo proof of identity such as a driver’s license and original proof of citizenship, such as a passport or birth certificate. Be sure to change it with the DMV, your employer, your bank, etc.

Will my same-sex marriage be legal in other states?

Unfortunately, same-sex marriages are only recognized in the 35 states that they can legally be performed in— Alaska, Ariz., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., Hawaii, Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kan., Maine, Mass., Md., Minn., Mont., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.M., N.Y., N.C., Okla., Ore., Penn., R.I., S.C., Utah, Va., Vt., Wash., W.Va., Wis., Wyo., as well as Washington, D.C.

**Disclaimer: Requirements and protocols are subject change. Please regard the above information as a guide only, not professional legal advice. It is important to confirm the information with your specific county and state of residence before the wedding.