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Marin County Marriage License Information

It usually takes 20 to 30 minutes to issue a marriage license

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To obtain a regular public marriage license, the couple must appear together at the County Clerk's office with a valid photo identification such as a state driver's license, state ID card, or passport. If either partner does not speak English, someone who can translate must accompany the couple.

It usually takes 20 to 30 minutes to issue a marriage license, but you may have to wait longer if there are other couples ahead of you. We ask that you arrive at the office in plenty of time to complete the paperwork prior to the office closing at 4:00 p.m. You can print the application now, and bring it in with you. You must print out the completed application and just appear at the County Clerk’s office.

You may also apply for the marriage license through our Online Application process.

You will not receive a valid marriage license until you have appeared in person, signed and paid for the license.

If either party was married before, the couple will need to know the date the previous marriage ended. If either party was divorced within the last six months, we ask that a copy of the final judgment be brought.

The public (regular) marriage license is effective the day it is issued and may be used anywhere in the State of California within 90 days of the issue date.

After the public license is issued you may be married by a priest, rabbi, minister or other authorized person of your choice. If you prefer, you may be married at the County Clerk's Office. You must be married within 90 days of the issue date, and may be married anywhere in California. The person who performs the ceremony will return the certificate to the Marin County Recorder's Office, Room 232. You may obtain a certified copy from that office: (415) 473-6094.

Confidential Marriage Licenses

Couples who are living together may obtain a confidential marriage license. If a confidential license is purchased in Marin County, the marriage ceremony must be performed in Marin County. Confidential marriage licenses are available in all counties statewide and must be used in the county in which they are issued.

Confidential marriage licenses cannot be issued to minors.

In order to obtain a confidential license, the couple must appear together at the County Clerk's Office with a valid photo identification. The couple will be required to swear or affirm that they are living together as husband and wife. You can print the application now, and bring it in with you.

You may also apply for the marriage license through our Online Application process. You must print out the completed application and appear at the County Clerk’s office.

You will not receive a valid marriage license until you have appeared in person, signed and paid for the license.

The confidential marriage license is effective the day it is issued and must be used within Marin County within 90 days of the date issued. You may be married by a priest, rabbi, minister or other authorized person of your choice.

After the confidential marriage ceremony is performed, the license will be returned and filed with the County Clerk in the same county where it was issued. The license cannot be viewed by anyone except the couple without a court order. Certified copies may be purchased after filing and the couple may show them to anyone requiring proof of the marriage.

Civil Ceremonies

Civil wedding ceremonies are performed in the Marriage License Division of the County Clerk's office by a deputy commissioner of civil marriages. Ceremonies cost $56.00 and are performed by appointment only at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. If you are using your public (regular) marriage license, you must bring one witness with you to the ceremony. No witnesses are required if you have a confidential marriage. For safety's sake, nothing is to be thrown in or around the Civic Center. To make an appointment for a ceremony at the Civic Center, please call (415) 473-6152 during business hours.

Marriage Commissioner for a Day

You may have anyone you know who is 18 years old or older sworn in as a Deputy Commissioner of Civil Marriages for a day for a $60.00 fee. The marriage license must have already been purchased in Marin County. They should appear in person any weekday prior to the ceremony. They will provide their full name, the date of the ceremony, and the city and county in California where the ceremony will take place. They will be sworn in by an oath of office for this specific event. We will provide a sample ceremony that they may use or rewrite and instructions on how to complete and return the marriage license.

Under 18 Years Old

If either party is under 18, one or both of the minors' parents must appear with the couple. You will have to make an appointment with a counselor and appear before a Superior Court judge before obtaining your license. Please contact Marin Superior Court for more information at (415)473-6407 during business hours.

Additional Questions?

If you have additional questions, please call The Marin County Clerk at (415) 473-6152 between 9:00-4:00, Monday through Friday.

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Photos copyright by Jay Graham Photographer