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 photo identification, give information, and take an oath at the County Clerk/Recorder office. A regular marriage license may be used in any county in California. A confidential marriage license may only be used in the county of issue.

2. Solemnize the Marriage (The Ceremony):

The license must then be used within 90 days of issuance. One witness is required on the regular license. The person solemnizing the marriage will endorse the license as required.

3. Authenticate the Marriage:

No later than 10 days after the ceremony, The person solemnizing the marriage shall return the marriage license (endorsed as required)to the county recorder of the county where the license was issued, not later than 10 days after the ceremony, for registration.

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 or the address below. The application must be submitted with a certified copy of the marriage certificate by mail or in person to:

825 Riverside Parkway, Suite 1000
West Sacramento, CA 95605

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