Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a REGULAR marriage license, and a CONFIDENTIAL marriage license?

There are a number of differences. A regular marriage license is a public record and requires at least one witness to the ceremony. A regular license may be only used throughout the State of California. A Confidential license requires both parties to be 18 years of age or older and who have been living together as spouses. No witnesses are required to observe a confidential marriage ceremony. The confidential license can be used in any county in California and the cost of a confidential marriage license is $109.00.
Who is authorized to solemnize a marriage ceremony?

Family Code Section 400 reads as follows: Authorized persons – Marriage may be solemnized by any of the following who is 18 years of age or older:
(a) A Priest, minister, or rabbi of any religious denomination.
(b) A judge or retired judge, commissioner of civil marriages or retired commissioner of civil marriages, commissioner or retired commissioner, or assistant commissioner of a court of record in this state.
(c) A judge or magistrate who has resigned from office.
(d) Any of the following judges or magistrates of the United States:

  1. A justice or retired justice of the United States Supreme Court.
  2. A judge or retired judge of a court of appeals, a district court, or a court created by an act of Congress, the Judges of which are entitled to hold office during good behavior.
  3. A judge or retired judge of a bankruptcy court or a tax court.
  4. A United States magistrate or retired magistrate.
  5. A Elected City Mayor.

(e) A legislator or constitutional officer of this state or a member of Congress who represents a district within this state, while that person holds office.

What are acceptable forms of identification?

A government-issued, picture identification that is acceptable to the County Clerk is required in order to obtain a marriage license. If you do not have a government-issued, picture identification, contact the County Clerk’s Office at (805) 654-3788 to discuss your options.
What documentation do I need to bring when applying for a marriage license?

Bring certified copies of any and all applicable documents in order to reduce the possibility of delays. The following list of documents MAY be required when applying for a marriage license:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Adoption Decree
  • Naturalization Certificate
  • Final Judgement of Divorce
  • Superior Court Change of Name Decree
  • Ex-parte Restoration of Wife’s Former Name
  • Previous Marriage Certificate

Upon obtaining a marriage license, is there a waiting period or can we get married right away?

There is NO WAITING PERIOD. The license is good on the date of issue.
Are blood tests required?

No. As of January 1, 1995, the State of California has stopped requiring blood tests.
I am getting married in Los Angeles County (or some other county in California). Can I obtain a marriage license from Ventura County?

Yes you may. However, you need to remember that the license MUST be returned to Ventura County for registering.
I was married in another country. Do I have to get married in the United States to make our marriage legal in the United States?

No. As long as you were legally married in the other country, the United States should recognize/accept your marriage. However, you may need to provide proof of your marriage. You should always have at least one certified copy of your marriage record.
Does your office perform marriage ceremonies?

Yes. Our office performs marriage ceremonies, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The cost of the ceremony is $50.00. Appointments are highly recommended. To schedule an appointment or for more information, please contact our office at (805) 654-2263.


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If you have a question not listed above, please call our office at (805) 654-2263 for assistance.