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Applying for a Marriage License

Last modified: 9/18/2015 10:18 AM

Before a marriage ceremony can take place, both parties must first obtain a marriage license from the County Clerk-Recorder’s Office. Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  A marriage license request must be completed and submitted to the clerk for processing by 4:15 p.m.

Upon arrival, please obtain a service ticket from our kiosk, proceed to the public computers located directly behind the kiosk, and enter your marriage license application information. Once the application has been completed, you will electronically submit your application and a clerk will call you to a window for service. **Please note: If you are applying for a Confidential Marriage License, you will need to obtain the application from the Clerk at Window 17.**

Applying for a marriage license: 

To apply for a marriage license, two unmarried persons, must appear in-person and be 18 years of age or older. Government-issued picture identification is required. The license may be used only in the State of California, no later than 90 days after it is issued. If either party has had a divorce which became final in the last 90 days, bring a copy of the divorce judgment.  If the divorce occurred more than 90 days before, the exact date must be provided. No appointment is needed to apply for a marriage license.

Standard License/Confidential License:

The fee is $80.00 for a standard license and $83.00 for a confidential license payable by cash, check (out of State checks not accepted) or debit card ($2.50 convenience fee applies). 

To qualify for a confidential marriage license, the parties must already be living together.  A confidential marriage license is effective immediately and is valid for 90 days. The marriage record will be maintained as a confidential record by the Clerk-Recorder’s Office.  Only parties to the marriage may obtain copies of the marriage certificate either in person or by mail.  Requests by mail require a notarized signature of either party.  To apply for a confidential marriage license, please request an application from the Clerk at Window 17

You will receive the following documents from the clerk:

  • License and certificate of marriage
  • A copy of the license and certificate of marriage for your records only

You must give these items to the person performing your marriage ceremony.  That person will complete the rest of the information on your license and have your witness (es) sign in the appropriate boxes.

It is his/her responsibility to mail the license and certificate of marriage to the Santa Clara County Clerk-Recorder’s Office for recording no later than 10 days after the ceremony.  Be sure that postage is affixed.