Marriage Licenses and Ceremonies
This web page provides general information regarding the requirements for issuance and registration of public and confidential marriage licenses in California, specific to Sacramento County.
General requirementsTo marry in California, the couple must first obtain a marriage license from the County Clerk’s office. In Sacramento County, marriage licenses are issued to applicants at either of our office locations in downtown Sacramento or Fair Oaks. You do not need to be a U.S. citizen or California resident to apply for a marriage license. Blood tests are not required.To apply for a marriage license, the couple must meet the following general requirements:
Couples meeting the requirements are issued a license on the spot.Marriage licenses are valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. If you do not get married within 90 days, the license will no longer be valid, AND you must apply for and purchase a new marriage license.
Confidential Marriage License
After the marriage ceremony, the license is registered in the Sacramento County Clerk’s Office. Only the married couple may purchase copies of the marriage license and must present valid photo identification in order to do so. Persons other than the married couple requesting copies of a confidential marriage license may only do so by presenting a court order.
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Who can perform a marriage ceremony?
In California, marriage ceremonies may be performed by any of the following persons:
Note: Ships’ captains do NOT have authority to perform marriages unless they fall into one of the categories listed above.Can our ceremony be performed at the County Clerk’s office?You can arrange to have a civil marriage ceremony performed by staff in our office. Our wedding rooms can accommodate parties of up to 26 people with seating for approximately 18 at our downtown location or 24 at our branch office in Fair Oaks.If the ceremony is performed using a public marriage license, you must bring at least one witness with you to the ceremony. If our office provides the witness for the ceremony, there is an additional cost.We recommend scheduling an appointment: refer to “Schedule an Appointment” near the bottom of this page.Can a friend or relative perform our ceremony?To make arrangements to have a friend or relative deputized as a "One-Time Deputy Marriage Commissioner" to perform a single, specifically designated ceremony, complete the application form in its entirety, sign and return it to our office. The return address and fax number are on the form itself.The person to be deputized must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen. At least one person on the application form must reside in Sacramento County, California.Once the application is received, a staff member will contact the applicant to schedule an appointment to appear in our office and be deputized. A fee of $44.00 is due at the time of the appointment.Fee Information
Find out about acceptable forms of payment.