Applying for a Marriage License

Overview

Applying for a Marriage License

Marriage License Requirements

Marriage licenses must be obtained in person at the San Mateo County Clerk Division. The County Clerk is located at:

555 County Center, First Floor
Redwood City, CA 94063-1665
650.363.4500

Office hours for marriage licenses are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. We do not make appointments to obtain marriage licenses. The process for a marriage license may take 30 minutes depending on several factors, such as whether you have completed the online form prior to coming into the office or if you do this process in our office.  Also, there may be other people in line.  Please allow yourself enough time.

  • The couple must both be present to obtain the license. Both individuals must present a government issued picture identification. Please note that blood tests are no longer required in the state of California.
     
  • Click here for marriage license fee information. The fee must be paid by CASH or credit/debit card (Visa or Mastercard only)
     
  • The fee for a certified copy of the marriage is not included in the fee for the marriage license.
     
  • You must be married within 90 days of the date the license was issued and you may be married anywhere in the state of California. 
     
  • You may be married by a priest, rabbi, minister or other authorized person of your choice, or by a Deputy Marriage Commissioner in a civil ceremony in the County Clerk’s Chapel.  
     
  • After the ceremony, the completed marriage license must be returned to the County Clerk Office for recording within 10 days. A certified copy of the marriage certificate cannot be created if the marriage license is not returned. 

Domestic Partners 

If the applicant is in a State Registered Domestic Partnership (SRDP), he/she may not enter into a marriage with someone other than their registered domestic partner unless the most recent domestic partnership has been terminated or a final judgment of dissolution or nullity has been entered, or the domestic partnership terminated due to death of one of the domestic partners.

Marriage Laws regarding name change

The Name Equality Act of 2007 changes California’s marriage laws on January 1. Couples will have to give some thought to what their married legal name will be – and it will be important do so before applying for a license.

Fact sheet about The Name Equality Act of 2007 issued by the California Association of Clerks and Chief Elections Officers

Post

Applicant Cannot Physically Appear in Person

Procedure when One or Both Applicant(s) Cannot Physically Appear in Person to Apply for a Marriage License

If, for acceptable reason, one or both of the parties to be married are physically unable to appear in person before the County Clerk, a marriage license may be issued by the County Clerk to the person solemnizing the marriage.

Acceptable reason includes proof of hospitalization, incarceration, or any other reason proved to the satisfaction of the County Clerk (FC Sections 426(d) and 502(d)).