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How To Get Married In Contra Costa County

No matter what type of wedding you’re planning in Contra Costa County, you will need a California marriage license. This might be an important consideration if you and your special someone are moving there. Read on to learn how to get married in Contra Costa County.

Picture of a wedding invitation with a pink ribbon and two rings on top of it in Contra Costa County
Renée White

May 7, 2023
Table of content

    How To Get Married In Contra Costa County

    If you currently live in Contra Costa County or you plan to move there, certain pieces of information are important. How’s the job market? What are property prices like? But one important question for many revolves around getting married in Contra Costa County.

    The rules are slightly different in different places, so we have compiled this article to help you understand what’s involved.

    What Legal Documents Are Required To Get Married In Contra Costa

    An application for a marriage license in Contra Costa is an affidavit. This means that your signature is a sworn statement that you know of no legal obstacles to getting married. Your license can be obtained at a County Clerk’s office in California. Your marriage cannot be registered unless you have a California marriage license.

    In order to obtain your marriage license, you will need to present the following legal documents:

    • Both parties must show a valid photo I.D. that includes date of birth
    • The application must be filled out. It is completed at the County Clerk’s office

    Please note there are two types of marriage license in California: public and confidential.

    • A public marriage license is one that can be viewed by the public
    • A confidential one protects the personal details on the license from public view

    How To Apply For A Marriage License In Contra Costa County?

    To apply for a marriage license in Contra Costa, you must complete the application form. Once this is done, you submit it and get an appointment to attend your chosen County Clerk’s office. This is where the application is completed.

    If approved, the fee for obtaining your marriage license is $86 to $90. You don’t have to be a resident of Contra Costa, or even California, to obtain a marriage license there.

    Can You Apply Online?

    Yes, the application form is available online. This is the most efficient way to submit the application, but you can also obtain a paper form from the County Clerk’s office.

    What Do You Need To Get A Marriage License In Contra Costa?

    To get a marriage license, you need to:

    • Complete the application form
    • Provide a valid photo I.D.
    • Pay the fee at the County Clerk’s office

    There are also a number of legal requirements to qualify for a marriage license. If you cannot demonstrate that you meet all of these criteria, you may not be granted a license.

    The legal requirements are as follows:

    • Both people must be aged 18 or older. A 17-year-old may be able to get a license with written consent from a parent or legal guardian
    • Neither party can be currently married
    • Contra Costa does not require you to be a resident of the county, state or even the country to obtain a license
    • No blood test is needed

    There is no waiting period for getting married in California. A marriage license is only valid for 90 days. So you need to have the wedding and register the marriage within the 90-day period.

    Your marriage license application must include:

    • Legal names and places/dates of birth
    • The same information for both prospective spouses’ parents
    • The name(s) you and your partner will take after marriage
    • Proof of the end of any prior marriages

    Who Signs The Contra Costa Marriage License?

    Both members of the couple are required to sign the marriage license. There must also be a signature from at least one witness, though there is space for two witness signatures. The officiant can serve as the witness for this purpose, and the officiant must also sign separately to confirm the granting of the license.

    For confidential marriage licenses, only the officiant’s signature is needed (in addition to the couple). There is no space for witnesses in this case.

    Marriage Process In Contra Costa County

    As long as you and your partner meet all the necessary criteria, the process for getting married in Contra Costa is fairly simple. However, there are some details about each step of the process that you need to be aware of. Read on to learn more.

    How Long Does The Marriage Process Take In Contra Costa?

    This really depends on your plans. As previously stated, the marriage license remains valid for 90 days, so you must have the ceremony and register the marriage within that time. However, you can have the ceremony in the office where the license is obtained. This can be done with an appointment or as a walk-in.

    What Are The Steps To Getting Married In Contra Costa?

    The marriage process in Contra Costa can be broken down as follows:

    • Plan and arrange the wedding
    • Obtain the marriage license
    • Carry out the wedding within 90 days
    • Register the marriage and get the marriage certificate

    As long as all these steps are followed, and both parties are eligible, the entire process will go smoothly. If complications arise, it may be necessary to seek professional help or advice.

    Can You Get A Marriage License And Get Married The Same Day In Contra Costa?

    Yes. If you don’t want to plan a separate ceremony, you can arrange to have the ceremony in the offices of the County Clerk. This can be done as soon as the marriage license is obtained as there is no waiting period.

    You may need to book an appointment with the clerk to do this. Or it may be possible to do it as a walk-in. These are usually accommodated on a first-come, first-serve basis.

    What Is The Waiting Period For Getting Married In Contra Costa?

    There is no waiting period. As soon as the marriage license is signed, you have 90 days to carry out the ceremony and register the marriage. This can be done immediately if you choose to.

    How Much Does It Cost To Get Married In Contra Costa County?

    Naturally, this will depend on the type of wedding you wish to have. Different types of ceremonies cost different amounts of money and this will have a huge impact on the amount you spend on getting married anywhere.

    There are a few fees to be aware of when getting married in Contra Costa:

    • The marriage license. A public one has a fee of $86, and a confidential one has a fee of $90.
    • The ceremony. To have a ceremony in the County Clerk’s offices will cost $60.
    • The deputy commissioner to officiate will cost $50.

    Are There Any Additional Fees For Getting Married In Contra Costa?

    The list above covers all the nominal fees for getting married in Contra Costa. Additional costs will relate to everything you plan for your own ceremony. If you are getting married in the County Clerk’s offices, there are a couple of other possible fees that may apply:

    • If you bring your own officiant, the fee is $60
    • If you are renewing your vows, the cost is $60

    How do you get married at the courthouse in Contra Costa?

    If you choose not to have a lavish ceremony in Contra Costa, your ceremony can take place at the County Clerk’s offices. We have discussed this in previous sections. This can take place on the day you receive your marriage license, or you can do it within 90 days of obtaining the license.

    It may be necessary to book an appointment to do this. Or you may be able to attend as a walk-in. In the latter arrangement, you will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. In either case, you will need to pay the relevant fees. We have included these in the previous section, but the County Clerk will inform you of everything you need to know.

    Do You Need A Witness To Get Married At The Courthouse?

    You will need one witness to sign the marriage license for a ceremony in the Contra Costa County Clerk’s offices. This witness can be the officiant. However, you can bring up to 15 guests to attend the ceremony and an additional witness can sign when a public marriage license is involved.

    How Many Witnesses Do You Need To Get Married In Contra Costa?

    Only one witness is required to get married in Contra Costa. With regards to a public marriage license, it is possible to have an additional witness. However, this is not a requirement. For confidential marriage licenses, only one witness can be present.

    What Is The Cost Of A Courthouse Marriage In Contra Costa?

    This depends on the type of marriage license you are getting. Other variables include whether or not you bring your own officiant. You can view the list of marriage license and ceremony fees here.

    What Is The Fastest Way To Get A Marriage License And Get Married In Contra Costa County?

    The fastest method is to fill out your application and take it to the County Clerk’s office in person. Without a prior appointment, this would need to be done as a walk-in, so you would be served on a first-come, first-served basis.

    To make this process successful, you will need to ensure you and your partner:

    • Meet all the necessary criteria for marriage
    • Have the right I.D. documents with you
    • Have enough money to pay the relevant fees

    As long as you meet the requirements to qualify for a license, you can obtain that license and have the ceremony in the same visit. The officiant at the County Clerk’s office can also serve as the witness, or you can bring a witness with you. You can also bring someone to officiate the ceremony if they are ordained. You would have to pay an additional fee for this.

    The whole process can be completed in a single day if everything goes smoothly.

    Getting A Marriage Certificate In Contra Costa

    A marriage certificate is a legal document that confirms the official record of a marriage. It serves as your proof that you and your spouse are legally married. You can apply for a wedding certificate online once your wedding is complete and the marriage is registered.

    Your marriage certificate is evidence of your marriage. It is also evidence of your new marital name if that applies. Legal documents like this are needed for many things, including:

    • Mortgage applications
    • Applying for adoption
    • Making changes to passports or visas
    • Sharing health benefits
    • Filing taxes

    If you are married in Contra Costa County, you should apply for your marriage certificate right away.

    How Long Does It Take To Get A Marriage Certificate In Contra Costa?

    Your original certified wedding certificate is usually sent to you within 2-4 weeks of your marriage being confirmed. If you file a request for a copy of a marriage certificate that exists, it can usually be mailed to you within 24-48 hours, depending on circumstances.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    To get married in Contra Costa, you will need a valid California marriage license. To get this, you must submit a completed application form and valid photo I.D. for both parties with a County Clerk’s office. The I.D. should include details of data and place of birth.

    You apply for a marriage license by completing the application form and submitting it to a County Clerk’s office. The application can be done online or on paper.

    A public marriage license in Contra Costa costs $86. A confidential marriage license costs $90.

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