Marriage Services: General Information

The San Francisco Office of the County Clerk is delighted to welcome you back into City Hall and to our offices.

Beginning June 7, 2021, our office hours will be as follows:

Monday through Friday
8:00 am to 1:00 pm 

City ID appointments start on June 1, 2021
Marriage License appointments start on June 7, 2021
Civil Marriage Ceremonies start on June 9, 2021

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, all mail and online orders are experiencing processing delays of 4-6 weeks. Please plan accordingly and we thank you for your patience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Link

State of California Marriage Requirements 

  • Only two unmarried persons who are at least 18 years of age with valid legal identification may apply for a marriage license in California. Anyone under 18 must obtain a court order through the Juvenile Court system.

  • California residency and US citizenship are not requirements for marriage in California

  • At the time of applying for a California marriage license, one or both parties may elect to change the middle and/or last names by which each party wishes to go by after marriage. *See Name Changes for more information

  • A ceremony must occur within 90 days from the date the license is issued. *A ceremony may take place anywhere within the State of California

  • The marriage ceremony must be performed by an authorized person defined in CA Family Code Section 400 Please visit California Legislative Information for the full Family Code sections.

  • Marriage by proxy is not allowed in California

Civil Marriage Ceremonies at City Hall

Couples may choose to have a Civil marriage ceremony at City Hall performed by a San Francisco County Clerk Deputy Marriage Commissioner.

  • Couples may invite up to 6 guests. This limit applies to everyone attending the ceremony including photo/videographers and children. 

  • We are not able to accommodate more than 6 guests for Civil Ceremonies in the rotunda. Couples arriving with larger groups will need to be rescheduled or held in a private ceremony room.

  • If you would like to bring more than 6 guests or would like to request a specific venue for your marriage ceremony at City Hall, please make arrangements with the San Francisco City Hall Events Department at www.sfgov.org/cityhallevents

  • Please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment.

  • Ceremonies are held Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (except legal holidays) by prepaid confirmed reservation only.  

  • You may schedule and pay for an appointment through the online reservation system. 

  • Marriage ceremonies not conducted by the San Francisco County Clerk's office are considered private events. 

Marriage Services: General Information

Requirements for a Public and a Confidential Marriage License

Marriage License

BY APPOINTMENT ONLY - NO WALK-INS ACCEPTED. Appointments are available Monday-Friday beginning 9:00 am and every half hour between 9:00 am through 3:30 pm

Appointments may be scheduled and paid for through the online appointment system. Due to the spike in demand, San Francisco residents will be prioritized at this time. If you are a resident of another California county, please check with your local county office for a marriage license appointment.

San Francisco residents or out of state residents may book their appointment here: https://sfgov.org/countyclerk/marriage-license-and-civilcommitment-ceremony-online-reservations

Note: Marriage licenses are valid for 90 days from the issuance date for a ceremony anywhere in the State of California. A marriage license is only a permit to get married and you are not married until a ceremony is performed by an authorized person and the marriage is registered.

Couples may apply for either a Public Marriage License or a Confidential Marriage License. When registered, a Public Marriage Certificate is a public record, while a Confidential Marriage Certificate is only available to the parties on the marriage license. Applicants for a confidential marriage license must be living together and attest to the fact on the marriage license. The law does not specify a minimum duration of time living together. Documented proof is not required.

Please arrive at your appointment with a completed application and corresponding documents to avoid delay or the need to reschedule the appointment.

License Fee

$113.00 - collected at the time of scheduling. Cash, money order, credit card, or debit card in person (*price subject to change). Online reservations - credit card only.

Age Requirement

Both parties must be at least age 18 and unmarried. Person(s) under age 18 is eligible only for a public marriage license would need written consent from at least one parent (or legal guardian) and written permission from a San Francisco Juvenile Court Judge.

Attendance

Both parties must be present to file the application and be issued a marriage license.

Legal Photo I.D.

Both parties must present a valid, unexpired authentic legal photo identification card containing a photograph, full legal name, date of birth, date of issue, and date of expiration (Examples: passport, driver's license, naturalization certificate, resident alien card, military I.D.) If the legal picture I.D. card does not contain your full legal name you must also present a certified copy of a birth certificate or social security card, showing your full legal name.

Name Changes

The Name Equality Act of 2007  (AB 102, Chapter 567, Statutes of 2007 amended by AB 1143, Chapter 512, Statutes of 2009) allows one or both applicants for a California marriage license to elect to change the middle and/or last names by which each party wishes to go by after marriage.

The new law pertains to marriage licenses issued on or after January 1, 2009. It does not apply to marriage licenses issued prior to January 1, 2009.

For your protection, if you have any questions regarding whether you should or should not list your new name on the marriage license application, and/or how the Name Equality Act of 2007 may affect you, please contact local, state, federal, and private agencies to verify their requirements or consult an attorney prior to applying for your marriage license. It is unlawful for our employees to answer questions of a legal nature. County Clerk staff cannot advise you on how to complete the marriage license application as it relates to your entry of a new name or retention of your former name on the marriage license application.

Additional Information: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CHSI/Pages/Correcting-or-Amending-Vital-Records.aspx

The California Department of Public Health (https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Pages/CDPHHome.aspx) policy prohibits the registration of marriage licenses containing erasures, white-outs, or alterations.

Previous Marriages or State Registered Domestic Partnerships

You will need to know the exact date of your last marriage or State Registered Domestic Partnership (SRDP) legally ended. If your last marriage/SRDP ended within 90 days of your marriage license reservation date, a "certified" copy of divorce, annulment, termination, or death record must be presented at the time of your appointment.

Note: The “certified” copy must have an original court seal and a signature (or signature stamp) of the court clerk. It is the original seal and court clerk signature (certification) that makes this a “certified” copy.

The “CONFORMED / FILED / ENDORSED” stamp in the top right corner of the copy of the court order (usually issued by your attorney) is NOT the court clerk’s certification and will NOT be accepted.

Certified Copies in a foreign language must be translated into English by a Court certified translator or American Translators Association (ATA) certified translator and must be presented along with the translation. http://atanet.org/

Validity

Marriage licenses are valid for 90 days from the issuance date for a ceremony anywhere in the State of California.  A marriage license is only a permit to get married and you are not married until a ceremony is performed by an authorized person.

 

Civil Marriage Ceremony: fee, witnesses, hours, and other details

Civil Marriage Ceremony

BY APPOINTMENT ONLY - NO WALK-INS ACCEPTED.  Ceremony appointments are available every half hour between 9:00 am through 1:00 pm Monday through Friday. It is highly recommended that you check for reservation availability of your preferred ceremony date and time before making your marriage license reservation in the event you want both reservations scheduled on the same day.  

You may schedule and pay for an appointment through the online reservation system here: https://sfgov.org/countyclerk/marriage-license-and-civilcommitment-ceremony-online-reservations

A civil marriage ceremony may only be performed for two unmarried persons who present a valid original California marriage license prior to the ceremony.

Up to 6 guests total, may attend the ceremony (the guest count includes photographer, children, videographer, etc...). We are not able to accommodate more than the maximum amount of guests in the rotunda. Ceremonies arriving with larger groups will need to be rescheduled or held in a private ceremony room. Please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment.

Please note: A certified copy of your marriage record ($15 each) will not be available for purchase on the same day after the ceremony. Expedited services for certified copies are not available. Please plan accordingly.

Ceremony Fee

The ceremony fee is $95.00* collected at the time of scheduling. Cash, money order, or debit card only in person (*price subject to change). Visa/Mastercard online only.

Witnesses

For a Public Marriage Ceremony, one witness* is required to be present during your ceremony. 

For a Confidential Marriage Ceremony, no witnesses are required. 

*County Clerk staff cannot serve as a witness for marriage ceremonies. You are responsible for providing your own witness.