The marriage license you have purchased is your Official Marriage License and authorizes you to marry legally. This license is valid for 90 days from the issue date and can be used anywhere within the State of California.
You will not be legally married until a ceremony has been performed. You must provide the license to the person solemnizing your marriage ceremony.
- Complete the license in DARK INK ONLY (with a black or blue ballpoint pen).
- DO NOT USE GEL PENS, ERASABLE PENS, PENCILS AND/OR MARKERS.
- All information on the marriage license must be legible.
- Make NO ALTERATIONS, ERASURES, STRIKEOVERS, WHITEOUTS, STAINS, RIPS AND/OR TEARS on the marriage license.
- Licenses with discrepancies WILL NOT be acceptable for registration and a certified copy cannot be issued.
Public Marriage License Only
Print and sign within the box.
At least one witness (26A – 26C) is required to sign a public marriage license, however, there is space for a second witness (27A – 27C).
Certification of Person Solemnizing Marriage
Public and Confidential
Print and sign within the box.
28A - Date of marriage MM/DD/YYYY
28B - City or Town of where the ceremony was performed.
28C – COUNTY (not Country) of where ceremony was performed.
29A - Signature of person performing ceremony.
29B - Religious Denomination, non‐denominational or name of the online service the person solemnizing the marriage was ordained by.
California judges and authorized government officiants may enter a single dash (‐).
29C - Full name of person solemnizing the marriage.
29D - Official title (Priest, Rabbi, Reverend, Minister, Pastor, Officiant, Judge, Imam, Deputy Commission of Civil Marriages, etc.)
29E – Full Mailing Address of the person solemnizing the marriage including city, state & zip code.
What NOT to do on the Marriage License:
We cannot accept licenses containing ALTERATIONS, ERASURES, STRIKEOVERS, WHITEOUTS, RIPTURES AND/OR STAINS.
- DO NOT SIGN OUTSIDE THE BOXES
- DO NOT ABBREVIATE
- DO NOT USE ACRONYMS
- DO NOT CROSS OUT ANYTHING
- DO NOT WRITE OVER
- DO NOT USE PICTOGRAPHS (☼, ♥)
- DO NOT USE IDEOGRAPHS (⇑)
- DO NOT USE DIACRITICAL MARKS (è, ñ, ē, ç)
- DO NOT WRITE IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH
- DO NOT WRITE IN FIELDS 30A - 32C (OFFICE USE ONLY)
If the marriage license is not acceptable for registration, the license will be rejected and a duplicate marriage license will be issued. A duplicate license will require the person solemnizing the marriage to sign again. The cost for a duplicate marriage license is $5.00. Original signatures will be replaced with electronic signatures.
Registering Your Marriage License and Purchasing a Marriage Certificate:
The completed marriage license must be returned to our office within 10 days after the wedding ceremony is performed for registration. The license can be mailed or delivered in person. If mailed, you may want to pay extra for tracking it.
The fee for a certified copy of the marriage certificate is not included in the fee for the marriage license. Each certified copy of the marriage certificate is $17.00.
You will not be receiving a marriage certificate automatically after the marriage license is registered. You will need to come into our office to purchase copies, or mail-in a notarized application with a stamped, self-addressed envelope and a check payable to “San Mateo County Clerk”.
Please do not hesitate to ask any questions you may have. We want to ensure a smooth passage to your new life together.