Photo: Stephen K. Schuster
Getting married in Los Angeles County? Before you say "I do," you need to obtain a marriage license to make your union official. Here's everything you need to know about getting that all-important piece of paper in L.A.
1. What to do first
In Los Angeles County, there are two ways to apply for a marriage license: online and in-person at the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk branch offices (full list of offices is below). If a couple opts to apply for a license in person, both people must be present and have valid IDs. If you decide to apply online, both parties still must go to the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk branch to pay for and pick up the license. Book the appointment for your marriage license no more than 90 days before your wedding.
2. Where to go
Within 15 days of applying for the marriage license, you and your future spouse both need to pick up the marriage license from any one of the seven Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Branch Offices, listed below.
9355 Burton Way, 1st Floor
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
East Los Angeles
4716 E. Cesar Chavez Ave., Building B
Los Angeles, CA 90022
7807 S. Compton Ave., 1st Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90001
11701 S. La Cienega Blvd., 6th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90045
44509 16th St. West, Suite 101
Lancaster, CA 93534
Norwalk (Main Office)
12400 Imperial Hwy., 2nd Floor, Room 2001
Norwalk, CA 90650
14340 W. Sylvan St.
Van Nuys, CA 91401
3. What to bring
- One valid photo identification card for each person showing a photograph, full legal name, date of birth and date of issue. For example: a driver's license, passport or alien resident card. Documents in any other language must be submitted with an English translation by a certified translator; translations must be notarized. Documents that have expired will not be accepted.
- $85 for a confidential license, $91 for a public license (confidential licenses do not require witnesses, but the couple must get married in the county where the license is issued. Public licenses require witnesses, become part of the public record, and allow couples to get married in any county in California).
4. What to do next
Keep planning! Your marriage license expires after 90 days (immediately following the date it was issued) if you haven't tied the knot within that period.
5. After the wedding
Once you are married, you must return your marriage license to the Norwalk office to be recorded.
6. Things to remember
- No witnesses are needed to obtain a marriage license.
- No blood test is required in California.
- Both of you must be unmarried. If you were previously married, you must provide a copy of dissolution/annulment papers.
- Anyone under 18 must provide a Notarized Parent or Guardian Consent Statement and an order from the Superior Court granting the minor permission to obtain a marriage license.
- Who can marry you: A priest, minister or rabbi of any religious denomination who is 18 years of age or older; an active or retired Judge, Commissioner, or Assistant Commissioner of a court in California; an active elected mayor of a city in California, a Deputy Commissioner of Civil Marriages, or a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.