Get a marriage license

Before you get married in California, you must have a marriage license issued in the past 90 days.

What to do

1. See if you can get married

You can get married if you:

  • are not currently married
  • are 18 or older
  • have unexpired, government-issued photo ID

2. Decide on type of marriage license

For a public license:

  • you need at least one witness at the ceremony
  • is a public record

For a confidential license:

  • you must be living together
  • no witnesses are required at the ceremony
  • marriage record is only available to the couple

3. Decide on name changes

We can not give legal advice, so talk to a lawyer if you have questions on name changes.

Learn more about name changes.

4. Make an appointment

You need an appointment to get a marriage license.  You must pay for the license when you make the appointment.

5. Go to your appointment

Both people getting married must go to the appointment and bring:

  • unexpired, government-issued photo ID (like a passport, driver's license, resident alien card, or military ID)

If your ID doesn't have your full legal name, bring a certified copy of your birth certificate or social security card that shows your full legal name.

If either of you have been married or in a domestic partnership before, see below. 

6. Get married within 90 days

Once you get a marriage license, you can get married anywhere in California. Your license is valid for 90 days.

Special cases

Previous marriage or domestic partnership

Previous marriage or domestic partnership

If either of you have been married or in a State Registered Domestic Partnership (SRDP) before, you need to know the exact date the marriage or Domestic Partnership ended. We only need information on the most recent date for each of you. 

If the marriage ended less than 90 days before your appointment, you must bring a certified copy of the divorce, annulment, termination or death record with you.

The certified copy must have an original court seal and the signature of the court clerk.

Certified Copies in a foreign language must be translated into English by a Court certified translator or American Translators Association (ATA) certified translator and must be presented along with the translation. 

Under 18

Under 18

If you or the person you are marrying are under 18 years old, you must have both:

  • written consent of at least one parent (or legal guardian) 
  • written permission from a San Francisco Juvenile Court Judge

You are only eligible for a public marriage license. 

Canceling your appointment

Canceling your appointment

You can not reschedule an appointment for a marriage license. You must cancel your appointment in person or through the online booking system.

You will not get your money back.  

Get help

Office of the County Clerk

City Hall, Room 160
1 Dr. Carlton B Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102

Mon to Fri, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Processing Hours

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Phone

Last updated November 17, 2022