Orange County marriage license rules & regulations

Old Orange Count Court House - Now Historic Landmark & Marriage Licence offices

Old Orange Count Court House – Now Historic Landmark & Marriage Licence offices

I have been looking up the Orange County clerk-recorder’s office details on marriage licences and I am confused.  It says the licence is valid for 90 days?  I know that can not be how long the marriage is valid for, so does the 90 days mean that you have to get married with 90 days of issuance?  Also there is an online application, but yet we still need to go into the office to show proof of ID?  I am confused.  If you have been married in OC or California in the past perhaps you can help enlighten me on the process.  I also have read that it is helpful to get two copies of the marriage certificate for name, SSN, bank, health and other benefit changes.  I would really appreciate any input you have on the topic.

I would also like to ask all of you what you collectively know about online ordination.  We have someone in mind whom we would like to marry us at the ceremony.  I have seen some free online ordinations and some for $30-$150 for paperwork.  I have a feeling that this type of service is “you get what you pay for” and so I am willing to shell out a few bucks to get the proper paperwork.  I don’t want to get the run around from the OC clerk with the marriage license etc.  If you have been ordained online and know the process, please reply with a comment no matter how long.  Thanks.

Jeff McNeil

Born in Irvine, grew up in Anaheim,child of the world. Married to the love of my life Jennifer McNeil.


  1. Yes, you have to get married within 90 days of issuance. Here it’s 30 days so count yourself lucky!

    yes, you have to go in with proof of identification, and you need someone ordained to witness/sign for it and turn it BACK into the clerk’s office (I believe you can mail it).

    I did need the certified copy of my marriage certificate to change my name on my social security card/#, my driver’s license but otherwise, many places just wanted me to mail a copy with my request to change my name

  2. sisterofthebride

    Does OC have an “officiant for a day” option. That’s what SD has. Amber could tell you more.

    90 days to get married, yes. SO I guess you’ll have to wait on getting that task done. I think you only need one copy of the marriage certificate (I didn’t even know you could get multiple copies) cause you aren’t going to give it to anyone for name change… you’ll just be showing it to people, and perhaps faxing or e-mailing copies of it.

  3. From what I understand online ordination is fairly easy, but I usually recommend professional officiants because although anyone can become ordained, not everyone is a very proficient public speaker, and the experienced officiants I know can add touches of entertainment and humor to a ceremony.

  4. Yes and to most other couples I would advise the same thing. Talking about not practicing what you preach. However Jenn and I feel that there is a perfect person to officiate our ceremony. A friend who has a commanding voice and great orator. I know he has little experience marrying couples, but I feel it will add some additional meaning and connection with him. There probably will not be any sort of amplified sound there at the ceremony site, so we will all need to speak loudly. BTW does Matt have a portable PA system?

  5. No, he doesn’t have one. But if you hire a DJ who may be present at the ceremony then he can definitely help out with that.

Comments are closed