Marriage License            

The County Clerk’s office issues marriage licenses Monday through Friday (except holidays), in the County Clerk’s Office located at 108 E. Modoc Street, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.  The process may take 20 to 30 minutes, please schedule an appointment to ensure availability. 

To obtain a marriage license you must meet the following requirements:
  • Both parties MUST be 18 years of age or older.  If one or both parties are under 18, then a court order for the minor must be obtained before a license can be issued.  This applies to emancipated minors as well.  The minor must bring the original court order.  Minors may NOT be issued a confidential marriage license under any circumstances (Family Code Section 500).
  • Both parties MUST come into the office TOGETHER to obtain the marriage license.
  • Both parties MUST have valid, current picture identification.  The identification must be government-issued.  Some examples include State-issued Driver’s License or identification card; Military identification; Green Card; Naturalization Certificate; Passport.
  • If either party has been divorced or has had a dissolution of a State Registered Domestic Partnership within the last 12 months, a copy of the FINAL Dissolution is REQUIRED.  We will take a copy of the register of actions showing the written final decree of dissolution has been entered.  The divorce paperwork does not need to be certified.  A copy of a Minute Order IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.
  • Confidential Marriage License Only: Couples must be living together as a married couple.
Other important information:

  • Both parties will need to know their parent's full names, including mothers’ maiden names.  Applicants will also need the state or country where their parents were born.
  • No blood tests are required.
  • No waiting period; the license may be used upon issuance.
  • There are no residency requirements for the parties to be married or for witnesses to the ceremony.
  • A marriage license can be used anywhere in the State of California. 
  • One witness is required on the Public marriage license; two are also acceptable.  No witnesses are required for a Confidential marriage license.
  • The Public license is a public record and available for anyone’s inspection. The Confidential marriage license is not a public record, and a certified copy can only be purchased by the parties of the marriage, without a court order.
The Name Equality Act of 2007 (AB 102, Chapter 567, Statutes of 2007) gives specific rights to parties who are applying for their California marriage license to choose and list on the marriage license the new name(s) that each party will go by after marriage (Family Code 306.5)
Read more about the Name Equality Act of 2007.

A California Marriage License is a permit to get married; you are NOT officially married until a marriage ceremony is performed in the State of California by a recognized wedding officiant.  Licenses are valid for 90 days.

The fee for a public marriage license is $60.00, and a confidential marriage license is $58.00.  Payment may be made by cash, check, or money orders made payable to Modoc County Clerk.  Credit or debit cards are also accepted with an additional convenience fee.

After the Ceremony:

  • If there should be any alterations, erasures, white-outs, or write-overs made on the license, it will be the Officiant's responsibility to complete an affidavit for a Duplicate Marriage License. There is a $40 fee for this process.
  • It is the Officiant’s responsibility to return the completed Marriage License, either by mail or in person, to the Modoc County Clerk’s Office located at 108 E. Modoc Street, Alturas, CA 96101.

  • Public Marriage Licenses are recorded at the Modoc County Recorder’s Office at 204 S. Court Street, Room 106, Alturas, CA 96101.  You would need to inquire with them about getting a certified copy.

  • Confidential Marriage Licenses are recorded at the Modoc County Clerk’s Office, and you can obtain a certified copy with us!

  • Either couple who is changing their last name needs to take this Certified Copy FIRST to the Social Security Office, and then to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

For the Marriage Licensing code see Family Code 300-536