Marriage Ceremonies

Richard N. Benson, Assessor - Recorder - County Clerk

Wedding Ceremonies at the Marin County Civic Center

For more information, please view the videos.

Marriage Ceremony Questions

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  • If I'm ordained in another state/country, can I perform a ceremony in California?

    Yes, provided you are authorized by an entity to perform ceremonies. If you are not authorized to perform ceremonies, we can deputize you to perform a ceremony. Anyone who is 18 years old or older may be sworn in as a Deputy Commissioner of Civil Marriages to perform a marriage. The deputization is for one ceremony only. If you want to perform multiple ceremonies you must get deputized for each one. The fee is $60.00. The fee for a public marriage license is $60.00. Payment is accepted in cash or check, payable to the "Marin County Clerk".

    To officiate at a ceremony as a Deputy Commissioner of Civil Marriages, you should appear in person any weekday prior to the ceremony. Provide your full name, the date of the ceremony, the couples' names and the city and county in California where the ceremony will take place. You will be sworn in by an oath of office for this specific event. We will provide a sample ceremony that you may use, or rewrite, along with instructions on how to complete and return the marriage license.

    If you need additional information or have more questions, please contact the County Clerk's Office located at the Marin County Civic Center, 3501 Civic Center Drive room 234, San Rafael, CA. You can also contact a member of the County Clerk staff via phone at (415) 473-6152 or via email. Office hours are from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday (closed major holidays).

  • Can a minister ordained online perform a ceremony?

    Once you have a marriage license, you may be married by any priest, rabbi, minister or other authorized person of your choice.

    However, we would prefer the minister review the "Online Minister Packet". The County Clerk will go over the information needed to perform a ceremony and fill out a sample marriage license with the minister. Many of the online ministers have never performed a ceremony and there is vital information they need to know.

    If you need additional information or have more questions, please contact us. Our office is located at the Marin County Civic Center room 234, 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael, CA. You can also contact a member of the County Clerk staff via phone at (415) 473-6152 or via email. Office hours are from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday (closed major holidays). However, due to processing time, licenses and applications are accepted for filing between 9:00 AM and 3:30 PM.

  • How do I become a deputy commissioner of civil marriages?

    If you are not authorized to perform ceremonies we can deputize you to perform a ceremony. Anyone who is 18 years old or older may be sworn in as a Deputy Commissioner of Civil Marriages to perform a marriage. The deputization is for one ceremony only and the couple must have purchased their license from the Marin County Clerk. If you want to perform multiple ceremonies you must get deputized for each one. The fee is $60.00 payable by cash or check payable to the Marin County Clerk.

    To officiate at a ceremony as a Deputy Commissioner of Civil Marriages, you should appear in person any weekday prior to the ceremony. Provide your full name, the date of the ceremony, the couples' names and the city and county in California where the ceremony will take place. You will be sworn in by an oath of office for this specific event. We will provide a sample ceremony that you may use, or rewrite, along with instructions on how to complete and return the marriage license.

    If you need additional information or have more questions, please contact the County Clerk's Office located at the Marin County Civic Center, 3501 Civic Center Drive room 234, San Rafael, CA. You can also contact a member of the County Clerk staff via phone at (415) 473-6152 or via email. Office hours are from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday (closed major holidays). However, due to processing time, licenses and applications are accepted for filing between 9:00 am and 3:30 pm.

  • Can I get married the day I get the marriage license?

    Both public and confidential marriage licenses are effective on the day issued and may be used anywhere in the State of California within 90 days of the issue date.

    The marriage may be solemnized by a priest, rabbi, minister or other authorized person of your choice. If you prefer, you may be married at the County Clerk's Office located at the Marin County Civic Center Room 234, 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael by making an appointment ahead of time.

    The person who performs the ceremony will return the certificate to the Marin County Recorder's Office, located at the Marin County Civic Center Room 232. You may obtain a certified copy from the Marin County Recorder. For more information please call: (415) 473-6092 or email.

    Confidential marriage certificates must be returned to the office of the County Clerk that issued the license within 10 days of the ceremony. Certified copies may be obtained from the County Clerk's Office by appearing in person with picture ID or by submitting a notarized request form.

    If you need additional information or have more questions, please contact the County Clerk's Office located at the Marin County Civic Center, 3501 Civic Center Drive room 234, San Rafael, CA. You can also contact a member of the County Clerk staff via phone at (415) 473-6152 or via email. Office hours are from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday (closed major holidays).

  • Can I get married at the Marin County Civic Center?

    Yes. Wedding ceremonies are performed at the Civic Center Garden Area (weather permitting) or wedding room located in the Marin County Clerk’s office.

    Ceremonies cost $56.00 payable by cash or check payable to the Marin County Clerk. Ceremonies are performed by appointment only at 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

    To make an appointment for a ceremony at the Civic Center, please call (415) 473-6772 or via email

    If you are using a public marriage license, you must bring at least one witness with you to the ceremony. There is room for two witnesses on the Public Marriage License but only one is required.

    No witnesses are required if you have a confidential marriage.

    For safety reasons, nothing may be thrown in or around the Civic Center. Bubbles are okay.

    If you need additional information or have more questions, please contact us. Our office is located at the Marin County Civic Center, 3501 Civic Center Drive room 234, San Rafael, CA. You can also contact a member of the County Clerk staff via phone at (415) 473-6152 or via email. Office hours are from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday (closed major holidays).