How to Obtain a California License to Perform a Marriage

marriage image by Mykola Velychko from

According to section 401 (a) and (b) of the California Family Code, in some counties you can get deputized for a day and perform a marriage ceremony. You are only allowed to perform one ceremony in one location per deputization, and the exact requirements differ from county to county.

Become fluent in the English language. You cannot perform a marriage in California unless you are fluent in English.

Find out what the exact requirements are for becoming deputized in the county in which the wedding is taking place. You do not have to be a resident of that county, but depending on the county, either the bride or the groom might.

Appear in person at the county commissioner's office with a valid form of photo identification proving that you are at least 18 years old, a required fee, a copy of the marriage license and a written request to be deputized.

Take a scheduled training class two weeks before the wedding, at least two days after you have filed your necessary paperwork. These classes last between 20 and 45 minutes.

Return the marriage license to the county commissioner within 10 days.