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Video:How to Apply for a Marriage License in California

with Nadia Chapman

Obtaining a marriage license in California can be easy, as long as you have your paperwork ready and are well-organized. Here are some tips for applying for a marriage license in California.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Apply for a Marriage License in California

Hi, I'm Nadia Chapman for About.com. You fall in love, you decide to get married, you set a date, and spend months planing your special day. Between the cake, the flowers and the dress, you also have to think about the legal aspect of getting married in California. Here's a few tips on obtaining your California marriage license.

Where to Go to Apply for a Marriage License in California

First of all, congratulations! Second, you will have to go to your county's city clerk's office in order to apply for the license. County clerk offices are usually at the courthouse. It is a great idea to call first to see if you need an appointment. In some large cities you can wait quite a while, so plan ahead.

Paperwork Needed to Apply for a Marriage License in California

Here's what both of you will need! Bring your partner; yes some people do show up by themselves, but you can't apply for a marriage license alone! Both of you should bring a valid ID. A valid ID is one with a photograph, a date of birth, and an expiration date, and that is issued by the state, such as a driver's license, a passport, or a military ID.

Some counties may request your birth certificate, so ask prior to applying for your license. You will also have to provide your parents' names, and place of birth, and your mother's maiden name too. You do not need to be a California resident to apply for a license.

If you've been married before, you will have to show proof of divorce, death of your spouse, or annulment of previous marriage. Bring a copy of your final divorce decree if you have been divorced within 90 days.

Required Fees When Applying for a Marriage License in California

You can spend between $45.00 and $84.00 depending on the county. Remember that all fees, and hours of operation can vary form county to county. Some offices only accept cash, so bring enough money with you.

California does not require a blood test. If you, or your partner is under 18, at least one parent, or one legal guardian of the minor getting married needs to be present at the time you apply. You will also need certified copies of the birth certificates, and you will be asked to schedule an appointment with a counselor. Also, you will have to appear in front of a superior court judge.

What to Do After Applying for a Marriage License in California

A California marriage license is valid for no more than 90 days. After that, you will have to re-apply, and pay the cost again. Within those 90 days, you will have to get married, and you will have to get your wedding recorded too.

That means that all paperwork needs to be filled up after the wedding, and send back to the county. Don't hesitate to call you county clerk's office, or log onto your county's website for more information about the marriage license requirements of your area.

Have fun, and thanks for watching. For more information, please visit us on the web at About.com.
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