General Information

Contact Dept

  • Email:
    clerk-elections@co.fresno.ca.us
  • Address:
    2221 Kern Street,
    Fresno, CA 93721
  • County Clerk Services:
    (559) 600-CLRK or (559) 600-2575
  • Elections:
    (559) 600-VOTE or (559) 600-8683
  • Email Department

 

 

Fresno County Clerk

Marriage Licenses & Ceremonies

Public Marriage Licenses

To obtain a marriage license, both people must appear together at the County Clerk's office located at:
2221 Kern Street
Fresno, CA 93721.

• The fee for a public marriage license is $58.00 cash or credit/debit only.  (No $100 bills accepted)
• A blood test is not required.
• Each person must present one form of valid government issued photo identification with proof of age.
• Full parental names and State/Country of birth as well as dissolution status with dates for both parties to be married is required.

Your marriage license is effective immediately, is valid for 90 days anywhere within the State of California ONLY. Within the 90 day period, if you did not have a ceremony at the county clerk’s office, a civil ceremony must be performed somewhere within the State of California. The ceremony can be performed at a church or wedding chapel of your choice or a Civil Ceremony may be performed at a location of your choosing.

Confidential Marriage Licenses

To obtain a confidential marriage license, both people must appear together at the County Clerk's office located at:
2221 Kern Street
Fresno, CA 93721.

• The fee for a confidential marriage license is $69.00.  (No $100 bills accepted)
• A blood test is not required.
• Each person must present one form of valid government issued photo identification with proof of age.
• Both parties must be living together as spouses at the time of application.
• Full parental names and State/Country of birth as well as dissolution status with dates for both parties to be married is required.

Your marriage license is effective immediately, is valid for 90 days anywhere within the State of California ONLY. Within the 90 day period, if you did not have a ceremony at the county clerk’s office, a civil ceremony must be performed somewhere within the State of California. The ceremony can be performed at a church or wedding chapel of your choice or a Civil Ceremony may be performed at a location of your choosing.

                                        Marriage License Comparison Chart
                                         Confidential/Public

Confidential

• The couple must be living together at the same residence
• The ceremony must be performed within the State of California
• Obtain certified copies from the County Clerk
• Not a public record - only parties to the Marriage may obtain a copy or receive
information regarding the marriage. Copies
and/or information may also be obtained
by a court order.
• Fee - $69 payable by cash or credit/debit only to the County Clerk

Public

• There is no residence requirement
• The ceremony must be performed within the State of California
• Obtain certified copies from the County Recorder.
• This is a public record and the information is available for review.
• Fee - $58 payable by cash or credit/debit only to the County Clerk

 

WHO CAN PERFORM YOUR MARRIAGE CEREMONY

Civil Ceremony

No particular wording for the ceremony of marriage is required for solemnization of the marriage, but the parties shall declare, in the presence of the person solemnizing the marriage and at least one witness, that they take each other as spouses.

Persons Authorized to Solemnize Marriage

Marriage may be solemnized by any of the following person who is of the age of 18 or older

• A priest, minister, or rabbi of any religious denomination.
• A judge or retired judge, commissioner of civil marriages or retired commissioner of civil marriages, commissioner or retired commissioner, or assistant commissioner of a court of record or justice court in this state.
• A judge or magistrate who has resigned from office.
• Any of the following judges or magistrates of the United States:
           1. A justice or retired justice of the Unites United States Supreme Court
           2. A judge or retired judge of a court of appeals, a district court, or a court
           created by an act of Congress, the judges of which are entitled to hold
           office during good behavior.
           3. A judge or retired judge of a bankruptcy court or a tax court.
           4. A United States magistrate or retired magistrate.
• A legislator who is an elected member of the California Assembly or Senate
• A constitutional officer of this state, who include:
          1. Governor
          2. Lieutenant Governor
          3. Attorney General
          4. Controller
          5. Insurance Commissioner
          6. Secretary of State
          7. Superintendent of Public Instruction
          8. State Treasurer
• Members of the State Board of Equalization
• A member of Congress (who represents a district within this state)
• A mayor of a city, elected in accordance with Article 3 of Chapter 4 of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 4 of the Government Code, while that person holds office.
• A City Clerk

It is the responsibility of the parties to verify that the officiant is authorized in the State of California to solemnize the marriage ceremony.

Commissioner of Civil Marriages; Deputies

For each County, the County Clerk is designated as a Commissioner of Civil Marriages.

The Commissioner of Civil Marriages may appoint Deputy Commissioners of Civil Marriages who may solemnize marriages under the direction of the Commissioner of Civil Marriages and shall perform other duties as directed by the Commissioner.

County Clerk’s Office Performs Marriages Daily

The County Clerk will perform civil marriage ceremonies in the office Monday through Friday, 8:30AM to 4:00PM except holidays. The cost is $21.00. Couples must have already obtained a marriage license, and have at least one witness present. The County Clerk's Office can provide a witness for no additional fee if you are unable to bring a witness with you. Please let us know when you visit our office if you will need a witness. You are welcome to bring wedding rings if you would like to have a ring exchange be part of your marriage ceremony. Our ceremony room can hold 10-12 guests. First come, first serve - no appointments are taken.

Deputy for a Day

The County Clerk's Office can also swear in a "Deputy Commissioner of Marriage for a Day." The commissioner must be 18 years of age, a resident of Fresno County, the marriage ceremony must be performed in Fresno County and they must have not performed a ceremony within the past 12 months.

The commission is valid for one specific day for one specific marriage. The applicant must appear in person at the County Clerk's Office, show appropriate identification, complete a form indicating the name of the each party as it will appear on the marriage license, and the exact date of the marriage ceremony. After the application has been submitted and approved by the County Clerk, the applicant will be contacted to return to the County Clerks office to be sworn in to serve for that day. Instructions will be given along with a Certificate.  Please allow two weeks lead time.

Marriage Licenses if the Bride or Groom is Under 18 Years of Age

California State Law requires that any couple wishing to marry, when either or both are under 18 years of age, must obtain written consent of one parent who has legal custody and provide a court order filed in Superior Court approving the issuance of a marriage license. The minor must apply for a marriage license in their county of residence. The residence of a minor is by law that of the parent or guardian.

Obtaining a certified copy of your marriage license

You will need to obtain a certified copy of your marriage license.

To obtain a copy of a public marriage license from the Fresno County Recorder’s Office:

1. Visit the office located at 2281 Tulare Street, Room 303, Fresno, CA 93721 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays.
2. Click Here to visit their website for more information Fresno County Recorders Office
3. On-line using VitalChek On-Line Using VitalChek

To obtain a copy of a confidential marriage license from the Fresno County Clerk:

1. Visit the office located at 2221 Kern Street, Fresno, CA 93721 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays to complete a form, and show ID. Cost is $15.
2. By mail, sending a check for $15, with a notarized application proving identification, and providing the full name of each party to the marriage, the date or at least the year of the marriage, and the address where to mail the certified copy of the marriage license to:

Fresno County Clerk
2221 Kern Street
Fresno, CA 93721

Request For Certified Copy of Confidential Marriage License

Changing your name

Some of the places listed below (such as the Social Security Administration) will insist on seeing documentation. Others will not. Some will just need a phone call, while others will need to see you in person or get it in writing. Documentation helps with your transition between names, so the more documentation you get, the easier the subsequent changes will be.

We suggest you alert the following places of your name change:

1. Social Security Administration and your employer. This will assure that your earnings will be properly reported by your employer and recorded in our records. You can get a new card from Social Security with your new name. Click here for name change information and Click Here for getting a new card

2. DMV DMV

3. Voter’s Registration Voter Registration

4. Credit card agencies

5. Internal Revenue Service Internal Revenue Service

6. Utility companies

7. The post office

8. Passport Passport

9. Bank

 

                                        The Name Equality Act of 2007
                                     (AB 102 Ch 567, Statutes of 2007)
The Name Equality Act of 2007 (AB 102, Chapter 567, Statutes of 2007) gives specific rights to parties at the time they are applying for a California marriage license to choose and list on the marriage license the new name that each party will go by after marriage. The new law pertains to marriage licenses issued on or after 01/01/09.It does not apply to marriage licenses issued prior to 01/01/09.
Parties are not required to have the same name, nor are they required to change their name.
If one or both of the parties want to have their new name(s) shown on the marriage license, the new name must be entered on the marriage license application at the time they are applying for the marriage license. The parties may choose any of the following middle or last names as the name they wish to be known as after marriage [FC § 306.5(b) (2)]:
        Current last name of the other spouse
        Last name of either spouse given at birth
       A name combining into a single last name all or a segment of the current last name or last name of either spouse given at birth
       A hyphenated combination of last names

NOTE: You may not change your first name using this process. IMPORTANT: You may not amend the marriage license after it has been issued to add or change the name you wish to be known as after you are married. The name you indicate on the marriage license application will be your name on the marriage license/certificate and cannot be changed by the County Clerk.
A certified copy of the marriage certificate containing the new name, or retaining the former name, shall constitute proof that the use of the new name or retention of the former name is lawful [FC § 306.5(b) (3) (a)].
The marriage certificate is used by multiple local, state, federal and private agencies, each of which have different rules and/or regulations regarding what documents are acceptable to change your name on their records following marriage. It is recommended that you contact these agencies to verify their requirements 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 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. 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 consult an attorney prior to applying for your marriage license