Marriage Steps

Steps 1 through 3 below must be completed in the proper order for a valid marriage.

1. OBTAIN A MARRIAGE LICENSE:

For regular and confidential marriage licenses, both parties must appear together, show authentic government issued photo identification, give information, and take an oath at the County Clerk/Recorder office. Both the regular marriage license and the confidential marriage license may be used in any county in California. 

2. SOLEMNIZE THE MARRIAGE (THE CEREMONY):

The license must then be used within 90 days of issuance. No particular form for the ceremony of marriage is required, except that the parties shall declare, in the presence of the person solemnizing the marriage and necessary witnesses, that they take each other as lawful spouses. 

3. AUTHENTICATE THE MARRIAGE:

The person solemnizing the marriage shall return the marriage license to the county of issuance, not later than 10 days after the ceremony for registration. The marriage license will be void if there are any alterations, erasures, strikeovers, or correction fluids on the document.

4. OPTIONAL:

If a party wishes to change their name with social security, they will need to complete an application. Applications can be obtained from www.socialsecurity.gov or the address below. The application must be submitted with a certified copy of the marriage certificate by mail or in person to:

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
825 Riverside Parkway, Suite 1000
West Sacramento, CA 95605
916-373-3850
800-772-1213

At request; the Clerk/Recorder's Office offers wedding ceremonies performed in languages of English, Spanish & Tagalog.