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You’re not the only one!
Book now for September and October 2024 so you don’t miss out on popular spots.    DON’T MISS OUT

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Once the excitement of the engagement has settled a bit it’s time to get to planning your perfect day! But before you can share your first married kiss against the backdrop of one of our beautiful San Diego locations, you’ll have to get a county of San Diego marriage license first. This can seem extra complicated if you’re not from San Diego or the state of California, but it’s a lot simpler than you might think. We’re always here to help you through the process or answer any questions you may have! 

How To Get A Marriage License In San Diego

  1. Make an appointment at the San Diego County Clerk’s office.
  2. Choose your type of license
  3. Fill out the license
  4. Bring your application, photo ID, and documentation to your appointment
  5. Have a witness from the ceremony sign the license and enjoy your wedding!

Getting Your California Marriage License Online 

  1. Your first step is making an appointment at any San Diego County Clerk’s office. Appointments are required in order to get your marriage license in San Diego County. Locations open Monday through Friday are located in San Diego, San Marcos, Santee and Chula Vista. A location open one Saturday per month is located in San Diego on Kearny Mesa boulevard. You’ll receive a confirmation number once you make your appointment. No blood test is required to obtain your license.

    When you make your appointment online, you’ll also be able to pay for your marriage license with a debit or credit card online. If you schedule your appointment in person, you may pay with a debit card, credit card, cash or money order. The cost for a marriage license is $70. Hold on to your confirmation number in case you need to reschedule your appointment or you have any questions for the County Clerk! 
  2. After you’ve made your appointment, you’ll decide whether you’d like a confidential or non-confidential marriage license. A confidential license is considered a confidential record, and the couple must already be living together. Certified copies of a confidential license are only available to the couple. Certified copies of a non-confidential marriage license may be obtained by any authorized parties. 

    Once you’ve chosen a certified or non-certified marriage license it cannot be changed later on. Either type of license will allow you to marry anywhere within the state of California. 
  3. You can fill out your marriage license application at home or once you get to your appointment. Marriage license applications for confidential and non-confidential marriage licenses are available to download and print or at the County Clerk’s office. While filling out your marriage license application you may file your request for a name change at the same time. On the license application you may choose to change not just your last time, but your middle name as well. 
  4. Once at your appointment, you’ll bring with you your complete marriage license application, photo ID and any documentation that may relate to a former marriage. Both parties must be present when your application for a marriage license is filed. 

    The ID you bring along must have your photograph, your complete legal name, your date of birth, the date of issue, and a date of expiration. A few examples of acceptable identification include a valid driver’s license, passport, naturalization certificate, resident alien card or military ID. If your form of photo ID does not include your full legal name you must also bring along a certified copy of your birth certificate or social security card that does show your full name. Applicants for a marriage license in San Diego county must be at least 18 years of age. 

    For second marriages, you’ll also bring along a certified copy of divorce, annulment, termination, or death record that ended the marriage. You will need to provide the exact date the marriage or State Registered Domestic Partnership legally ended. 
  5. Marriage licenses in San Diego are valid for 90 days from the date of issue and they enable you to marry anywhere within the state of California. If you’re unable to marry within the 90 day period, you will simply repeat the process to re-file for a new marriage license. There is no waiting period between getting your license and when you may marry. 

After the ceremony

Part of the Cactus Collective Weddings service is that your officiant will notify the County Clerks Office of your marriage and lodge the post-ceremony paperwork. It can then take up to three weeks from the time the marriage license was returned to the records office for the official marriage certificate to be completed.

Getting copies of your marriage certificate is simple. Order them online through the San Diego County Clerk website

Let The Wedding Be Your Focus 

There is a ton of fun hustle and bustle surrounding your wedding. Obtaining your marriage license shouldn’t be a drag on your good time! Obtaining a marriage license in San Diego county or Las Vegas might seem complicated if you’ve never done it before, but our Cactus Collective Weddings professionals are here to help with the information you need. 

Obtaining your wedding license in Las Vegas is similar to the process required in San Diego with a couple of subtle differences. Similarities include:

  • Couples must be at least 18 years of age 
  • an online appointment must be made ahead of time
  • no blood test is required
  • you’ll be required to bring along an approved ID showing your full legal name
  • a fee is required to file for a marriage license in Las Vegas 
  • license is signed by a witness during your ceremony 

As for differences, a couple must be married within 90 days of obtaining a marriage license in San Diego while couples in Las Vegas have up to 1 year. Additionally, San Diego allows you to file for your name change at the time you file for your license, while it’s a bit different in Las Vegas. A Las Vegas marriage license must first be signed and filed at the County Clerk’s office after the wedding. After filing, then the couple will wait about 10 days to obtain their certified copy. Once the certified copy comes in it can be taken to the Social Security office to begin the name change process. 

With simple instructions, getting that marriage license is a breeze!

Download the Ultimate Destination Wedding Checklist for Couples

McKenzi Taylor
McKenzi Taylor

McKenzi Taylor is America’s go-to elopement and micro wedding expert, often featured in small and major media outlets, such as the New York Times. With over 15 years of wedding photography experience, it was after planning her own Las Vegas elopement in 2016 that McKenzi felt her purpose shift into elopement coordination. She started Cactus Collective Weddings soon after in 2017. Since then, she’s become a WIPA board member, and has helped well over 1000 couples get hitched in style around Las Vegas, San Diego and Black Hills.