Marriage License Information

Obtaining a Marriage License

The County Clerk’s office issues marriage licenses Monday through Friday (except holidays) from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. To marry in California, the couple must first obtain a marriage license from the County Clerk’s office. You do not need to be a U.S. citizen or California resident to apply for a marriage license.

If you are 17 years of age or younger, you must call the Kern County Probation Department at (661) 868-4100 before you can purchase a marriage license.

TO OBTAIN A MARRIAGE LICENSE YOU MUST MEET THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS:

  1. Both parties must appear together at either of our offices at:
  2. Kern County Administrative Building
    1115 Truxtun Avenue, First Floor
    Bakersfield, CA 93301
    (661) 868-3743
    Business Hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
    Application is done on our lobby computers only
    OR
    Kern County Administrative Building
    400 N China Lake Blvd.
    Ridgecrest, CA 93555
    (661)868-3743
    Marriage licenses are issued in Ridgecrest by appointment only. You must call the number above to make an appointment. Please note: the fee must be paid by money order, make payable to Kern County Clerk.
    Ridgecrest couples only - please click here for the marriage license application.
  3. Each person, 18 years or older, must present a valid, government issued picture identification. To expedite the identification process, it is recommended (not mandatory) that both parties bring a copy of their birth certificate.
  4. If either party has been granted a divorce or filed a Termination of Domestic Partnership within the last 90 days, an endorsed copy of the FINAL divorce decree or termination documents must be presented when applying for your license.

A blood test is not required.

There are two common types of marriage licenses available in the State of California: a Public License and a Confidential License. See the chart below for specifics on each type.

PUBLIC LICENSE
CONFIDENTIAL LICENSE
License can be used anywhere in the State of California License can be used anywhere in the State of California
Must have at least one witness at your ceremony (no age requirement but must be old enough to know they are witnessing a marriage AND be able to sign their name within the box) No witnesses are required at the ceremony AND no witnesses sign on the marriage license
Must be 18 years of age or older, or, if under 18, must have written consent from at least one parent AND present a certified copy of the court order granting permission to marry. Emancipated minors are NOT exempt from this process. Must be 18 years of age or older. Minors may NOT purchase a confidential marriage license
Must sign an oath that you have been living together as spouses
License is public record. The certified copy will be available at the Kern County Recorder’s Office approximately two weeks after ceremony. License is not public record. The certified copy is available ONLY to the couple named on the license (except by order of the Superior Court) at the Kern County Clerk’s Office.
Current fee is $82 Current fee is $94

NOTE: Marriage Licenses are valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. If you do not get married within 90 days, the license will be invalid AND you must re-apply and purchase a new license.