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Civil Marriage Ceremonies & Deputy Marriage Commissioner for the Day

→ Notice of Upcoming Office Closure Date: The Sonoma County Clerk’s Office will be closed Friday, May 2nd due to a system upgrade. Vital records and marriage licenses will be issued from the Recorder’s Office for time sensitive requests. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Marriage Licenses

Marriage licenses may be obtained at the County Clerk's Division of the Sonoma County Clerk-Recorder-Assessor's Office between the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
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Sonoma County Clerk's Office • La Plaza West Building
2300 County Center Drive Suite B-177
Santa Rosa, California 95403

Phone: (707) 565-3800

You may access recorded information by telephone at (707) 565-3700. If you have additional questions, please call us at (707) 565-3800 or visit our offices.

General Requirements:

Attention, please note the following important information

→ Please Note: Parties must physically appear together in person at the County Clerk's Office to be issued a marriage license.

The Name Equality Act of 2007 requires couples to state (on the license) the middle and last names they intend to use after the wedding. Parties who intend to change their name(s) must list the change on the license; if a party chooses to indicate a change of name on the license, there is no deadline by which the change be made. Read more about the Name Equality Act 2007 (PDF: 93 kB)

  • Blood tests are no longer required to obtain a marriage license in California
  • Parties to the marriage must appear together
  • Valid, government-issued photo identification with name and date of birth is required
    • Driver's license, passport or US-government military identification (with date of birth listed) are acceptable forms of identification
    • If providing a credencial para votar or Consulate ID such as a matricula, parties must also provide a birth certificate
    • If your full name (first, middle and last) is not printed in its entirety on your ID, you must bring in a copy of your birth certificate
  • If a divorce or State Registered Domestic Partnership (SRDP) termination was final within the past 90 days, a copy of the final judgment must be provided
  • Licenses are valid for 90 days, after which the license expires, and a new license must be obtained
  • It is preferable that the marriage license application be completed online

We prefer that you complete the marriage license application online, however, both parties must appear together, in person for the license to be issued. For those who do not have internet access, a marriage license application may be completed at the public kiosk in the Clerk's Office. → View payment information


General Regular (public) marriage license - $84 as of 1/1/2014

  • Marriage can be performed anywhere in California
  • One witness is required at the ceremony
  • Minors can obtain a license, but require parental consent and Superior Court approval prior to the license being issued. Contact Superior Court Family Law Division at (707) 521-6500 for instructions on applying for approval
  • License is a matter of public record
  • License is recorded at County Recorder's Office of county issuing license (in Sonoma County the Clerk's Office provides this service for Recorder). See Certified Copies of Marriage Licenses below

Confidential marriage license - $100:

  • Parties must be living together as spouses
  • Both parties must be at least 18
  • Marriage must be performed in County in which license is obtained
  • No witnesses required
  • License is confidential (see Certified Copies of Marriage Licenses below for restrictions)

Marriage Ceremonies:

In California, persons authorized to perform marriages include:

  • Priest
  • Minister
  • Rabbi
  • Commissioners of Civil Marriages
  • Judges
  • County Supervisor
  • A Legislator or Constitutional Officer of this state or a member of Congress who represents a district within this state while that person holds an office

Ships' captains do not have authority to solemnize California marriages unless they fall into one of the categories above. Out-of-state or out-of-country priests, ministers, or clergy persons may perform marriages in California.

Marriage commissioners are available to perform civil ceremonies in English or Spanish at the Sonoma County Clerk's Office, Monday through Friday, by appointment only. The fee for a civil ceremony at the County Clerk's Office is $56 payable by cash, check, or credit/debit card (except Visa credit cards). A $2.50 convenience charge is applicable with credit or debit transactions. → View payment information

Couples getting married at the County Clerk's Office who obtain a regular (public) marriage license must bring at least one witness. Ceremonies performed under the authority of a confidential marriage license do not require witnesses.

Civil ceremonies are generally performed in the Wedding Room at the County Clerk's Office; however, weather permitting, ceremonies may be performed outside if the couple desires. A limited number of guests may attend the civil ceremony.

A civil ceremony must be scheduled in advance. To schedule a ceremony, please contact the County Clerk's Office at (707) 565-3800. If a scheduled ceremony must be cancelled for any reason please notify the Clerk's Office.

Certified Copies of Marriage Licenses:

A certified copy of the registered license as proof of marriage may be required for legal purposes. A certified copy is not automatically provided; it must be requested and paid for after the ceremony is performed and the license is registered.

Regular (Public) Marriage Licenses

Marriage Certificate: $17 per copy as of 1/1/2014

  • Regular (public) marriage licenses are recorded at the County Recorder's Office of county issuing the license; in Sonoma County this service is provided by the Clerk's Office for the Recorder. Certified copies are $17 per copy as of 1/1/2014 in Sonoma County and may be obtained by completing a Request for Certified Copy of Marriage Record (PDF: 64 kB)
    • Only those authorized under Health and Safety Code Sec. 103526 may receive a certified copy – all others receive a copy marked “Informational, Not a Valid Document to Establish Identity.”
      Application may be made:
      • Personally, with valid photo identification
      • By mail, and must include a sworn, notarized statement
      • Through VitalChek (see Online Orders, below) by following instructions on their website. (Note: additional fees apply.)

Confidential Marriage Licenses

Marriage Certificate: $17 per copy as of 1/1/2014

Copies may be obtained personally by either party to the marriage only with valid photo identification and a $17 fee for a certified copy; mailed copies require either a notarized written request by either party or submission of form given to parties at time of issuance of license. Parties to the marriage may also order a certified copy online at www.vitalchek.com and following their online instructions for obtaining a certified copy of confidential marriage license.

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Only existence of marriage may be verified to anyone else by County Clerk upon payment of $17.00 research fee. Any other information requested would require a court order.

  • Confidential Marriage Licenses are recorded at the County Clerk's Office of county issuing the license. Certified copies are $17 per copy as of 1/1/2014 in Sonoma County and may be obtained by completing a Request for Certified Copy of Marriage Record (PDF: 64 kB)
    • Only a party to the marriage, (or a party entitled to receive a copy as a result of a court order) may receive a certified copy of a confidential marriage license. The existence of the marriage may be verified by the County Clerk to any other party upon payment of a $17 research fee.
      Application may be made:
      • Personally, with valid photo identification (and copy of court order if applicable)
      • By mail, must include a sworn, notarized statement (and copy of court order if applicable)
      • Through VitalChek (see Online Orders, below) by following  instructions on their website.  (Note: additional fees apply.)

Payment Methods:

In Person:

  • Cash, checks or credit/debit cards are accepted as payment for any services or products purchased.  An additional $2.50 convenience fee applies with the use of a credit or debit card.
Sonoma County Clerk's Office • La Plaza West Building
2300 County Center Drive Suite B-177
Santa Rosa, California 95403

Online Orders:

  • For convenience, Sonoma County has partnered with an independent company, VitalChek Network, Inc., through which an order may be processed. VitalChek can be reached through its website, www.vitalchek.com. All major credit cards are accepted, including American Express®, Discover®, MasterCard® and Visa®. (Note - additional fees are charged by VitalChek for using this service.)

By Mail:

  • Check or money order only
Sonoma County Clerk's Office
2300 County Center Drive Suite B-177
Santa Rosa, California 95403

Deputy Marriage Commissioner for a Day Program

Do you have a friend or family member whom you would like to have perform your marriage ceremony? If so, we may be able to assist you.

Pursuant to section 401(a) and (b) of the California Family Code, the County Clerk, who is designated as the Commissioner of Civil Marriages for Sonoma County, may at his or her discretion appoint Deputy Marriage Commissioners to perform civil marriage ceremonies.

Prior to the marriage ceremony, the parties to the marriage must purchase a marriage license, and the following conditions must be met by the person requesting appointment as a Deputy Marriage Commissioner for a Day:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must mail or FAX a completed application to attend a training class and be appointed Deputy Marriage Commissioner for a Day to:
    Sonoma County Clerk's Office
    2300 County Center Drive, Suite B-177
    Santa Rosa, CA 95403
    FAX: (707) 565-3957
  • Classes are offered Tuesday afternoons and Friday mornings
  • Applications are available on our website: Application for Deputy Marriage Commissioner for a Day (PDF: 64 kB) or at the Clerk's Office.

→ Please Note! Appointments are limited and book up quickly. To be assured an appointment time, applications MUST be submitted AT LEAST two days prior to the date of the training class/appointment requested.

The person requesting appointment must appear on the date shown on the application for appointment and provide valid photo identification, as well as $133.00 payable by cash, check, or credit/debit card (except Visa credit cards). A $2.50 convenience charge is applicable with credit or debit transactions. The applicant will attend a training class (approximately 45 minutes in length) during which he/she will receive instructions on California's requirements for performing a marriage ceremony. Following the training, the applicant will be sworn in as a Deputy Marriage Commissioner for the day of the upcoming marriage.

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Questions concerning the Deputy Marriage Commissioner for a Day program? Please call (707) 565-3800

Please Note! Appointments are limited and book up quickly. In order to be assured an appointment time, you MUST submit your application for an appointment AT LEAST two days prior to the ceremony.

If you would like more information about vital records available through the County Clerk's Office, please call our 24 hour information line at (707) 565-3700, or you may call our office phone at (707) 565-3800 during regular business hours, or visit our office Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

We are always interested in receiving your feedback and/or questions.

Important Notice: The staff of the Clerk-Recorder-Assessor's Office are forbidden by California legal codes to practice law or provide legal advice; this prohibition includes giving advice about what forms you might need or how you should fill them out.