How to Get a Marriage License in Los Angeles

Rose Garden Wedding Ceremony at Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey in Los Angeles
Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey in Los Angeles. Image courtesy Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey

You need a marriage license from Los Angeles County if you're planning a wedding in Los Angeles, which includes Malibu down the coast to Long Beach and inland through Downtown LA to Pomona. This information will help you determine which type of LA County Marriage License you need, what documentation is required and how to go about getting it in time for your wedding.

If you're thinking of having your wedding at Disneyland or an Orange County resort location, you'll need an Orange County Marriage License.

There are two different types of marriage licenses that you can get in Los Angeles County. There is the standard Public Marriage License and a Confidential Marriage License.  You don't need a blood test, medical exam or much else besides a government ID and a few bucks.

What Documentation is Needed?

To obtain ANY marriage license in Los Angeles County, you must:

  • Show a valid (active/non-expired) government-issued I.D., driver’s license, passport, certified birth certificate, or 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 a notarized English translation by a certified translator).
  • Both of you must be unmarried (previous marriages are valid until the final day of dissolution).
  • If you were previously married, you must provide a copy of dissolution/annulment papers.
  • Pay a marriage license fee. Payment can be made in cash, check, money order or Credit Card with valid ID.

How Long Does it Take?

  • You receive your marriage license immediately and can use it the same day, or up to 90 days from date of issue.

What's the Difference Between the Public and Confidential Marriage Licenses?

The Public Marriage License

  • Requires both partners to appear in person by appointment at a County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's office to apply for the license. You can apply online, but both partners have to pick it up in person.
  • There are 7 locations of the County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's office across the County where you can make an appointment to apply in person during normal business hours. They are listed below.
  • When the marriage license is filed with the County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk after the ceremony, it becomes public record. An informational copy is available to anyone who asks. The document includes information on your parents' names, your place of birth and current residence.
  • It takes up to 10 weeks to receive a certified copy of your marriage certificate back from the County, and you must submit a marriage records request to get it at all. You don't automatically receive a copy. If either or both partners change names, you will need the marriage certificate to change your name on other documents and records.

The Confidential Marriage License

  • Is available to unmarried couples who can state that they are already living together (There is no time requirement or proof of cohabitation required).
  • Can be issued by select notarized freelance wedding officiants designated by the County at any time of your and their convenience, including immediately before a weekend or evening ceremony. It is NOT issued at the locations below.
  • Is filed with the County, but kept confidential, so can only be obtained by a court order or a notarized application of either spouse or their children.
  • You officiant can provide you with an immediately signed and notarized duplicate of your marriage license that is temporary proof of your marriage.
  • The Confidential Marriage License costs a few dollars less than a Public Marriage License.

County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Offices

Beverly Hills
9355 Burton Way
3rd Floor
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
310-288-1261
Mon-Fri  8:30 am--3 pm

Lancaster
44509 16th St. West, Suite 101
Lancaster, CA 93534
661-945-6446
Mon-Fri  8:30 am--3 pm

LAX Courthouse

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

East Los Angeles
4716 E. Cesar Chavez Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90022
323-260-2991
Mon-Fri  8:30 am--3 pm

Florence/Firestone (West Los Angeles)
7807 S. Compton Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90001
(323) 586-6192
Mon-Fri  8:30 am--3 pm

Norwalk
12400 Imperial Highway
Norwalk, CA 90650
562-462-2137
Mon-Fri  8:30 am--4 pm

Van Nuys
14340 W. Sylvan St.
Van Nuys, CA 91401
818-376-3700
Mon-Fri  8:30 am--3 pm

Who Can Perform a Marriage Ceremony in Los Angeles County?

  • A priest, minister or rabbi of any religious denomination who is 18 years of age or older,
  • An active or retired Judge, Commissioner, or Assistant Commissioner of a court in this State,
  • An active elected mayor of a city in California or
  • A Deputy Commissioner of Civil Marriages.
  • A member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
  • Any LA County resident who becomes a Deputy Commissioner of Civil Marriages for a Day

They're also willing to deputize any friend or family member you would like to have perform your wedding through their Deputy for a Day program as long as the application is completed and fee paid a couple months before the wedding (1 month for an additional fee) and that person can appear in person at 11 am on a Thursday morning to be sworn in.

There are also lots of non-denominational ministers and freelance wedding officiants who can perform your wedding ceremony, some who may be available at short notice and can issue a Confidential Marriage License if you decide to tie the knot while on your LA vacation.

Information was accurate at the time of publication. For the most current information, check the LA County Registrar site..