A few years ago I wrote this article on the best ways to apply for a marriage license. I wrote especially for out of state couples who needed information on obtaining a marriage license in California. Since COVID it has been challenge working with the County Clerks Office. The Office has been closed to the public for safety reasons, and their have been delays with mail and online ordering. So I think if you take these steps getting your marriage license should go a little smoother.
Fill out the application online before you travel to California – If you fill out the marriage application online it really saves you time. You can now apply for your marriage license through the Los Angeles County Clerks Office with their virtual online process. Go here to apply for a marriage license, marriage ceremony or both! https://marriage.lavote.net/MLS/
Typically you can apply for a marriage license at least 90 days before your wedding. If you apply earlier your license will not be valid. Typically many couples I work with apply about 30 days before.
I hghly recommend using the services of a reputable Officiant. Officiants like Great Officiants and My Wedding Lady can help you obtain a wedding license. It may cost extra but ti’s worth the cost. It saves you from stress.
Get certified copies – When you apply for the marriage license during your virtual session don’t forget to request certified copies. It’s an additional $15.00 each. Marriage licenses range from $85-$91.
Sign the marriage license right after the ceremony – You must accurately complete the license or the clerks office will reject it. They don’t allow corrections, whiteouts or strikeovers. That’s why they give you a sample to fill out before. There is no room for errors on this one. The Officiant and Witnesses must complete the form completely and in the correct area. That includes signatures as well
Use a tracking method to mail – I’ve asked the clerks office if Fedx is allowed and they don’t recommend it. Most couples use a certified postal method with the manila folder to track. This way you can keep track of who signed for the document and when you mailed it. It usually takes 6 weeks to process.
Hire an Officiant – I highly recommend using the services of a reputable Officiant. Officiants like Great Officiants and My Wedding Lady can help you obtain a wedding license. It may cost extra but ti’s a lifesaver. They’re pros who know how to get your license
If you have any questions about having a destination wedding in Los Angeles, please don’t hesitate to contact us here. We’re more than happy to help!