How to Get a Marriage License

You got the groom, the dress, the venue, and all the other fabulous wedding details to have the most perfect day. All those details are wonderful and fun, and you can not wait to see it all come together. But do you have a marriage license? With all the fun of planning a wedding, sometimes couples may forget the one item that is needed to legally be married. Without a marriage license, you can not be announced Mr. and Mrs. So, just before you check off all the wedding items off your list, make sure to add, “get a marriage license”. So how do you get one?

We asked, Alan Katz, Presiding Officiant of Great Officiantsto tell us how to get a marriage license.  Alan Katz is a well known officiant who serves Southern California. He has a local wedding chapel and provides a marriage license service.

Here is what Alan shared with us:

In order to be legally married you must first obtain a marriage License. This is your permission to get married. There are 2 types of marriage licenses Public and Confidential. Both are equally valid forms of your marriage record.


  • You can get from any county clerk’s office in California and get married anywhere in California;
  • You need one or two witness to sign the license
  • The Marriage Record is recorded and made available to the public. Anyone can access these records.


  • You must state you are living together as a couple;
  • You have to get married in the county where the license is issued
  • No witnesses are required
  • The Marriage record is recorded but is confidential and is only available to the two married parties.

There are two ways to get obtain a Marriage License.

1.     Go to the County Clerk’s office and stand in line for up to an hour and a half and obtain your license. Most are open Monday thru Friday from 830am to 3pm. You must apply online for LA and OC before you go down.

2.     If you are getting married in LA County… You can utilize an LA County approved specialized notary service that issues licenses on their behalf. They can either issue it to you at their offices or deliver it to you personally.

You will need to bring a valid ID such as a Driver’s License, State ID card or Passport.They must be current and not expired. If in the last two years you were previously married or in a domestic partnership, a copy of your divorce decree, annulment decree or death certificate or SDRP termination will be required. No blood tests are required.

Once you obtain the Marriage license you have 90 days from the issue date to get married.

Each county has their own prices and hours. Check their websites.

Here are the links to the Local County Clerk’s Office to apply on line:

Los Angeles County

Orange County

Here is a local service that issues the LA County Confidential Marriage license outside of the clerk’s office

Try to get your license about a month before your ceremony. Remember it is illegal to get married without a marriage license.

Alan Katz from runs a local wedding chapel and marriage license service and provides Wedding Officiants for ceremonies across So Cal.

For more information and questions please contact:

Alan Katz
Presiding Officiant
Great Officiants
(855) Wed-Vows  / (855) 933-8697



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