In order to get married in California you must first obtain a marriage license, then your marriage must be solemnized by an authorized wedding officiant. After your wedding ceremony, your completed and signed marriage license and certificate must be returned to the Los Angeles County Recorder to be recorded.
Marriage License Requirements in Los Angeles
1. Proof of Age
A valid California I.D., driver's license, passport or alien resident card must be presented as proof of age. A certified birth certificate or baptismal record and a picture form of identification issued by a government agency will also be accepted for that purpose. These documents must be in English. If the document is in another language, it must be accompanied by a certified English translation. Documentation which has expired is not acceptable. Anyone under 18 must also provide a notarized parent or guardian consent statement and a Superior Court Order granting the minor permission to marry.
2. Proof of Divorce, Dissolution or Death: Any person previously married must present a copy of divorce/annulment papers if the event occurred within two years or less. If you are widowed for less than 2 years you must provide a copy of your spouses death certificate.
3. Marriage License Fee
A. Regular Marriage License Fee: $90
A. A public marriage license is valid for 90 days from the date it was obtained at the county clerk's office. The marriage license can be used only within the State of California. Upon return to the Los Angeles County Recorder, it is recorded and made public record for anyone to access.
B. Confidential Marriage License Fee: $85 (not minors) must be living together as a married couple (i.e. not roommates). A Confidential Marriage License is valid for 90 days and must be used in the county where it is issued. A confidential marriage license is legal, but it is not a public record. Information pertaining to the facts of marriage can only be obtained by the couple or by court order.
4. Marriage to a First Cousin - In California marriage to a first cousin is legal.
5. Marriage License Application
To apply for and obtain a Los Angeles marriage license both applicants must appear together during business hours at the Office of the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk in Norwalk or at a district office or locate a specialized notary to issue a marriage license.
*The processing time at the Los Angeles County Clerk's office to complete the license is at least 1 hour - -the wait in line is dependant on the day and can range from 1 to 3 hours- -so it can be a 2-4 hour wait, this does not count the traffic and parking problems. For same day service we recommend that you be at the office by noon. When applications are submitted after 4 p.m. at Norwalk or 3:30 p.m. at the District Offices, the couple may pick up the license together on the following business day.
*With an authorized notary the marriage license information can be filled out online and he can then notarize and verify your marriage license information usually within 15 minutes and it can be arranged for the notary to come to you before your wedding ceremony. For a notary to issue your license it is arranged on your schedule.