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County Clerk

Mary B. Bedard, CPA

1115 Truxtun Avenue Bakersfield, CA 93301-4639

Office Hours: 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM Mon-Fri 661-868-3588


Marriage License Information

Obtaining a Marriage License

At least one person must be a Kern County resident. 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. Couples MUST complete ONE marriage application – click here for Marriage License Application

    ATTENTION: These forms are fillable PDF and we prefer that you type this information in. However, if you need to print these forms, you are required to complete them in black or blue ink (do not use both). Handwriting or print MUST be legible (clear enough to read). NO whiteouts, strikeovers or alterations will be accepted.

    When completing the Marriage License Application, you MUST print your full legal name as it appears on your valid government issued identification. Any variance between this form and your valid government issued identification will cause delays. Absolutely NO changes to the marriage license after the issuance will be granted.

    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 produce a copy of their birth certificate.

    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.

  2. Mail your application and additional required documentation, both parties photocopy of valid government issued identification with check or money order:

    Your valid government issued identification must be the same you will present during video conferencing.

    ONLY check or money order will be accepted, made payable to: Kern County Clerk.

    Payment MUST be made for the exact amount. Absolutely NO refunds after issuance will be granted.

    Confidential license: $94.00

    Public license: $82.00

    Mail to:
    County Clerk
    1115 Truxtun Avenue, First Floor
    Bakersfield, CA 93301

    We will NOT begin completing your marriage license request until ALL forms are properly completed and payment is received.

  3. Once the license is complete, we will email you with details of your scheduled video conference and instructions.

    Marriage licenses via video conferencing are issued by appointment only.

    Both parties MUST appear together during their scheduled video conference.

    Your valid government issued identification must be the same you mailed with your application.

    You MUST have access to Microsoft Teams - click on here to download Microsoft Teams

  4. Both parties MUST PHYSICALLY be present to sign and pick up your marriage license. Both must be wearing masks/protective gear. No exceptions.

    Pick up location: Parking structure of Administrative Building 1115 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield, CA 93301.

    Details will be arranged at time of video conferencing.

    Please provide both last names and prepare to present valid government issued identification you provided with your application and during video conferencing.

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.