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San Luis Obispo County, California

 > County of San Luis Obispo > Clerk-Recorder > Marriage License and Ceremonies > Marriage License - Requirements, Procedures, and Getting Married

Marriage License - Requirements, Procedures, and Getting Married

A Marriage License must be purchased prior to your ceremony.


There are two types of marriage licenses - Public and Confidential.

Public License - is a public record from which anyone can obtain the information and a copy. A certified copy for the purpose of establishing identity can only be issued to one of the parties or a close relative.

Confidential License - is issued to a couple who declare under penalty of perjury that they are living together as spouses. It is not a public record. The only information available to the public is that the marriage exists. For anyone other than one of the spouses to obtain more information or a copy of the licenses, the Superior Court must order that the record be released.


NAME CHANGE PROCEDURE - effective 1/1/09- both parties can now elect to change their middle and/or last names at the time of issuing the license. Click here for information on the rules for acceptable name changes.



  • Applicants must be 18 years or older
  • Both parties must be present
  • Documentation required:
    • Valid photo ID, such as a driver's license, is required to verify age and identity.
    • If either party was previously married, or had a registered domestic partnership with someone other than the other party, a certified copy of the final dissolution papers is required if the dissolution was granted within last 90 days, otherwise the date of the dissolution is sufficient.
  • Confidential License only- the parties must declare under penalty of perjury that they have been living together as spouses.



  • Fee can be found on the Fee Schedule (pdf)
  • Licenses are issued in both offices and no appointment is necessary.
  • In the Atascadero office, both parties must be present by 3:30 P.M. and in San Luis Obispo both parties must be present in the office by 4:30 P.M.
  • When you arrive in the office, you will complete the marriage license information on the Marriage Kiosk located on the computers in our office.
  • Once completed, staff will ask for your identification and will review the license information with you.
  • It takes about 30 minutes for the license to be issued.



  • If either party is under 18, you must contact the Clerk of Superior Court at 781-5243 prior to coming to this office.


  • The license can be used immediately and it must be used within 90 days from the date of issuance.
  • Public and Confidential Licenses - the ceremony can take place anywhere in the State of California.
  • You may be married by a priest, rabbi, minister or other authorized person of your choice.
  • You can also be married in a civil ceremony in our office or you can elect to have someone of your choice appointed under our Deputy for a Day program - they are appointed as a Deputy Commissioner of Civil Marriages so they can perform your marriage ceremony. Click here for information on scheduling a marriage or the Deputy for a Day program.


Application for license to marry - You may complete this application although when you arrive in the office you will need to transfer the information to the Marriage Kiosk.