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marriage license

  • types of licenses
  • how to obtain
  • filing the license and getting copies
  • name change service

types of licenses

standard / non-confidential license:

  • Fee in San Diego County is $70. Note that pricing is different in each California county.
  • Effective immediately (there is no waiting period in California).
  • Valid for 90 days. May be married anywhere in the State of California.
  • No residency requirement in California.
  • Blood Test not required
  • If under 18 years of age, must contact Juvenile Court.
  • Witness required for ceremony (one witness is required, but there is space on the license for two witnesses).
  • Certified copies of the marriage certificate available approximately one to two weeks post-filing.
  • Certified copies of the marriage certificate may be obtained, for a $15 fee, by only specific authorized individuals with proper identification. Written requests must have the signature of either party notarized.
  • A public record.

confidential license:

  • Fee in San Diego County is $89. Note that pricing is different in each California county.
  • Effective immediately (there is no waiting period in California).
  • Valid for 90 days. May be married anywhere in the State of California.
  • No residency requirement in California.
  • Blood Test not required
  • Parties must be at least 18 years of age and living together as a married couple.
  • No witness required for ceremony.
  • Certified copies of the marriage certificate available approximately one to two weeks post-filing.
  • Certified copies of the marriage certificate may be obtained, for a $15 fee, ONLY by either spouse with proper identification. Written requests must have the signature of either party notarized.
  • Not a public record. Clerk can only verify existence of marriage.

how to obtain

A marriage license may be obtained from one of the San Diego County Clerk's five offices (details below). The two parties getting married must appear together with valid photo identification, and be at least 18 years old. If you have gotten a divorce within the last 90 days, you must also bring in your final divorce decree. And, no, you do not need to bring your witnesses with you to get the license - they only need to be present when we actually marry you.

You may download the application from the San Diego County Clerk's website to complete it prior to going to the County Clerk's office (and we highly recommend you do so, to save yourself time), or from the links here:

  • The fee for a non-confidential marriage license is $70.00. 
  • The fee for a confidential marriage license is $89.00.
  • Click here for an Application.  **Note that it's now the same application to be use for both types.

Payment may be made with cash or by check/money order made payable to the "San Diego Recorder/Clerk." American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa Debit card payments are also accepted at any of the office locations with a $2.50 surcharge per transaction.

*** NOTE ***

The San Diego County Clerk's website states that "An appointment is required to obtain a marriage license and/or civil ceremony."

  • Appointment line hours are from 8:00am - 4:00pm, Monday through Friday.
  • To schedule an appointment for the Downtown, San Marcos, Chula Vista, El Cajon, and Kearny Mesa offices, please call (619) 237-0502
  • Walk-in marriage license services are not available. Couples must have an appointment.

County Clerk's office locations:

  • County Administration Center
    1600 Pacific Highway, Room 273
    San Diego, CA 92101-2480
    (619) 237-0502
    Monday - Friday
    Appointments Only: 8:00 - 4:30
  •  
  • San Marcos Branch Office
    141 East Carmel St.
    San Marcos, CA 92078
    (619) 237-0502
    Monday - Friday
    Appointments Only: 8:00 - 4:30
  •  
  • El Cajon Branch Office
    200 S. Magnolia Ave.
    El Cajon, CA 92020
    (619) 237-0502
    Monday - Friday
    Appointments Only: 8:00 - 4:30
  •  
  • Chula Vista Branch Office
    590 Third Ave.
    Chula Vista, CA 91910
    (619) 237-0502
    Monday - Friday
    Appointments Only: 8:00 - 4:30
  • Kearny Mesa Branch Office
    9225 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
    San Diego, CA 92123
    (619) 237-0502
    **Every Third Saturday only**
    Appointments Only: 9:00 - 2:30

Here is a link to their Frequently Asked Questions: San Diego County Clerk's Office - FAQs

filing the license and getting copies

***MARRIAGE CERTIFICATES***

After the ceremony, the license must be returned to one of the County Clerk's offices within 10 days of the wedding for recording. It is the officiant's responsibility to return it for you, either by mail or in person.

For couples for whom we are the officiants, our services include the filing of your marriage license with the County Clerk's office in person within three business days after the wedding, and usually on the Tuesday following your wedding. We often avoid Mondays at the County Clerk's office, as it's usually one of the busiest days, especially after summer weekends filled with weddings throughout San Diego.

Certified copies may be purchased approximately 7 - 10 days after recording, and cost $15 each.  

New legislation was passed to help protect against identity theft. Effective January 1, 2010 only specific authorized individuals will be permitted to receive certified copies of marriage certificates. This legislation requires notarization of applications for these records when requested by mail.

You can find details about getting copies of the marriage certificate on the San Diego County Clerk's website, using this link: Obtain a Marriage Certificate

name change service

If either (or both) of you are changing your last name after the wedding, we highly recommend using this service to make that process easier!


Name Change Service