BRIDES Northern California: How to Get a Marriage License in San Francisco

Lisa Lefkowitz Photography

If you're getting married in the City by the Bay, you may be totally overcome by booking a stunning San Francisco venue, finding the perfect dress and tasting all that the local caterers have to offer. But, before you say "I do" in San Francisco, you need to get your marriage license. Here's a step-by-step guide to getting that all-important piece of paper.

1. What to do first

Make a reservation to obtain a marriage license; reservations are available Monday–Friday beginning at 8:15 a.m. and every half hour between 8:30 a.m. through 3:30 p.m. You can make reservations online or in person at the San Francisco County Clerk's office Monday–Friday from 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Book the appointment for your marriage license no more than 90 days before your wedding. And remember: both the bride- and groom-to-be must be present at the appointment.

2. Where to go

San Francisco County Clerk

City Hall, Suite 168

1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

San Francisco, CA 94102-4678

(415) 554-4950

See more: Need to Book Your Wedding Music? Browse Through San Francisco's Wedding Bands and DJs

3. What to bring

•One valid photo identification card for each person showing a photograph, full legal name, date of birth, date of issue, and date of issue. For example: a driver's license, passport, naturalization certificate, resident alien card, or other government-issued identification. If the legal picture I.D. card does not contain your full legal name you must also present a certified copy of birth certificate or social security card, showing your full legal name.

•Know your Social Security number for forms.

•$103 processing fee (we recommend bringing it in cash)

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. Things to remember

•No witnesses are needed to obtain a marriage license.

•No blood test is required in California.

•Anyone under 18 must obtain a court order through the Juvenile Court system.

•Who can marry you: Any judge or retired judge of California; Commissioner of Civil Marriages or retired Commissioner of Civil Marriages; Commissioner or retired Assistant Commissioner of a Court of Record or Justice Court of California; any judge or magistrate of the U.S.; any priest, minister, or rabbi of any religious denomination of the age of 18 or over; a legislator or constitutional officer of California or a member of congress who represents a district within California.

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