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Getting Married in Los Angeles

How to Get a Marriage License and Get Married in LA


How to get a marriage license and get married in LA

Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Stringer/Getty Images

You’re ready to take the big plunge into a life of matrimony with your beloved. Now it’s time for the nuts and bolts of getting your marriage license and officially making it happen. Take a deep breath. The process is relatively quick and painless.

To get a marriage license in Los Angeles you and your partner must appear together at your local Registrar/Recorder-County Clerk office with proof of identity and age documents. You’ll complete the application, pay the license fee and thus set the wheels in motion.

Requirements for Obtaining a Marriage License Checklist

  1. Show a valid (and active/non-expired) California I.D., driver’s license, passport, certified birth certificate, baptismal record and photo I.D., or alien resident card proving that you are over 18 years of age

    NOTE: all documents must be in English (or for other languages, documents must be submitted with an English translation by a certified translator.

  2. Both of you must be unmarried (previous marriages are valid until the final day of dissolution)
  3. You must provide a copy of dissolution/annulment papers (if you were previously married)
  4. Pay a public marriage license fee (or private marriage license fee if applicable) of $70
  5. Pay a $25 fee if you are getting married in a civil ceremony

Not Required:

  • Blood test
  • Health certificate
  • Same last names
  • A change of name
  • Residence or citizenship status

Acceptable Payments:

  • Cash
  • Check (with valid I.D.)
  • Money order

How long is my marriage license valid for?

You have 90 days during which to perform the ceremony from the date of issue.

How long does it take?

The application process takes about an hour (depending on volume and location). It is recommended that you be at the office by 3 p.m. (applications submitted after 4 p.m. will not be processed until the next business day).

However, it usually takes up to 10 weeks or more to receive a certified copy of your marriage license and certificate.

Where to Apply for a Marriage License in Person (by Appointment)

Beverly Hills

9355 Burton Way
First Floor
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
8:30 a.m.-12 p.m., 1:30-3 p.m., Mon.-Fri.


1028 W. Avenue J2
Lancaster, CA 93534
8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Mon.-Fri.

Los Angeles

11701 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Sixth Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90045
310) 727-6142
8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Mon.-Fri.

4716 E. Cesar Chavez Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90022
8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Mon.-Fri.


12400 Imperial Highway
Norwalk, CA 90650
8 a.m.-4 p.m., Mon.-Fri.

Van Nuys

14340 W. Sylvan St.
Van Nuys, CA 91401
8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Mon.-Fri.

Online Applications

You may apply to get a marriage license online but both you and your spouse must be present together when you pick up the marriage license.

Last Names

Once you have decided on a last name that will appear on the marriage license, you may not amend or change the name. Acceptable names include:

  • The current last name of the other spouse
  • The birth last name of either spouse
  • A combination single last name (mixing all or a segment of the current last name or birth last name of either spouse)
  • A hyphenated last name combining the last names of both parties

Special Applications

Confidential Marriage Licenses

If you are living together as spouses and meet the required conditions you may request a confidential marriage license (it must be used in LA County). The same 90-day validity period applies. However, this marriage license will not be a public record (i.e. is not obtainable by anyone). Under this license, you or your spouse are legally allowed to get a copy of records related to your marriage. Anyone else trying to obtain this info will be required to do so by court order.

Under 18 Marriages

If you are under 18 you must provide a notarized consent statement from a parent or guardian (signed with a recognized witness), as well as a Superior Court Order granting you permission to marry.

Marrying an Inmate

Call 562-462-2137 for instructions on the specific procedures for inmate marriages.

Civil Ceremonies

These are conducted by the Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner of Civil Marriage at the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk offices. Requirements are as follows:

  • At least one witness must be present (unless the couple is marrying with a confidential marriage license)
  • Parties should bring their own witness or request one be provided (for a fee of $18)
  • A $25 fee paid by cash, check (with valid I.D. card) of money order

Who is qualified to marry my spouse and I?

  • A priest, minister or rabbi of any religious denomination, who is 18 years or older
  • An active or retired judge, commissioner or assistant commissioner of a court or record or justice court in California
  • A deputy commissioner of civil marriages

    Can a friend legally perform our ceremony?

    Yes. The Registrar/Recorder-County Clerk has a ‘Deputy Commissioner for a Day’ program that allows someone to be deputized for a day to perform your wedding ceremony. The applicant must fill out a form provided online or send a letter stating his/her full name, phone number and address and the date and location of the wedding with a non-refundable $75 payment, two months before the wedding. The applicant will then be sworn in by the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office (once the application has been processed). The process should take approximately an hour.

    NOTE: an additional fee of $13 will be applied to applications received less than a month before the wedding.

    Letters and applications should be mailed to:

    Deputy Commissioner for a Day
    Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk
    12400 Imperial Highway
    Room 5001A
    Norwalk, CA 90650

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