Getting married is a wonderful thing and is believed to be a hallmark of true love. Among many things, what makes it official and legal is filling out and signing the marriage license after the ceremony. However, there can be things that might prevent you from turning it in within the stipulated 10 days. So what happens in this case? Does failing to turn in your marriage license have any consequences?
In this blog post, we’ll discuss what happens if you don’t turn in your marriage license within 10 days in California.
What’s the process of getting married in California?
Before we dive into what happens if you don’t turn in your marriage license, let’s first have a quick overview of what the whole process of getting married in California entails.
To get married in California, you are required to have:
– An unmarried partner
– Two witnesses who are over 18 years old
– A marriage license from the County Clerk’s office
Once you have all these requirements in place and you are ready for your nuptials, it’s just a matter of showing up at the ceremony and exchanging vows.
After exchanging vows, the wedding officiant (a religious leader – e.g., a clergy member, judge, or a civil marriage commissioner) will sign the license, and one of the witnesses will also sign.
Once you have your filled-out and signed marriage license, you are legally married in the eyes of California law. However, there is one more step: The completed license needs to be returned to the County Clerk’s office to be recorded.
What happens if you don’t turn in the license within 10 days?
Now the big question: What happens if you don’t turn in your marriage license within 10 days in California?
Some people may think that not returning the license may mean they are not legally married. However, that’s not the case.
In California, once you and your partner and the witnesses have signed the marriage license, you’re legally bound to each other in marriage. The signed license is a legal document that serves as proof of your union. Thus, failing to turn in the completed marriage license within 10 days doesn’t invalidate the marriage.
Even if you fail to register your marriage license, any children you have together will be recognized as legitimate children in California. Additionally, other benefits of marriage, such as taking in a spouse as a dependent on health and life insurance policies, will still apply.
It is worth noting that if you fail to turn in the license within 10 days, there might be time-sensitive issues at stake. For example, if you don’t file the marriage license on time, applying for a name change or Social Security benefits can become complicated. Filing for divorce or legal separation may also become a little more challenging if the license isn’t on file, as it serves as proof of marriage.
Consequences of Not Returning a Marriage License
Though there’s no legal consequence of not returning the marriage license within 10 days, there are still one or two things that can happen if you don’t.
First off, you’ll be missing out on the chance to legally change your name. If you intended to change your name after marriage, failing to submit your license within 10 days delays this process. Changing your name through any other means involves a more complicated legal process, which takes much longer and is often more expensive than the simple name change process available after your marriage.
Additionally, if, in the future, you need to produce your marriage certificate to settle matters regarding your estate or inheritance, you’ll have to go through a more complicated process to get a copy of the document. The certificate will become of utmost importance when navigating your estate planning, which is why it is crucial to ensure it is readily accessible.
What to do if You Forget to Submit Your Marriage License
It’s easy to forget to turn in your signed marriage license. But don’t worry; you can still submit your signed license up to 90 days after your wedding date.
If you don’t have any professional help with the submission process, you’ll need to:
– Fill out the license, ensuring all the information is accurate and complete.
– Take the license in person to the local County Clerk’s office where the license was issued.
– Submit the license to the clerk’s office, and if all is in order, you will receive a certified copy of the license.
If you’ve missed the extended period and it’s over 90 days since you tied the knot, you’ll have to reapply for a new license and redo the whole process from scratch.
In summary, getting married in California is a straightforward and legally-binding activity. Failing to submit your license within 10 days of your wedding has no legal impact on your marriage. Nonetheless, as we have seen, following the proper steps in submitting your documents is crucial for easier processing in case you need your marriage certificate for various legal purposes.
In the end, the key takeaway is to make sure you have everything in order before your wedding day, and you’ll have nothing to worry about – well, except your ongoing marital bliss!
What happens if a marriage license is never turned in in California?
In California, if a couple obtains a marriage license but never turns it in, the license will become invalid after 90 days from the issuance date. This means that the couple cannot use that marriage license for their intended marriage, and they will need to obtain a new marriage license to get married.
The process of obtaining a marriage license in California typically involves applying for it at the County Clerk’s office. Once the application is approved, the couple is issued a marriage license, which is valid for 90 days. The license is then signed by the couple, the officiant, and the witnesses at the time of the ceremony. After the ceremony, the signed marriage license must be returned to the County Clerk’s office within 10 days to be registered and have the marriage officially recorded.
If the couple does not use the original marriage license within 90 days, they will need to reapply for a new license. If they attempt to use the original license after the 90-day period, it will no longer be valid, and they will need to obtain a new one. Additionally, the couple will need to pay the marriage license fee again to obtain the new license.
It is important to note that getting a marriage license in California does not guarantee that the marriage will take place. The couple still needs to have a ceremony and complete signing the marriage license to make the marriage legal. However, if for any reason the couple decides not to go through with the marriage, they do not need to officially cancel the marriage license. It will simply become invalid after 90 days.
If a couple obtains a marriage license in California but never turns it in, the license will become invalid after 90 days. The couple will need to obtain a new license and pay the fee again if they wish to get married at a later date.
How long do you have to return a marriage license in California?
In California, once a couple has obtained a marriage license, they must have it signed by an authorized person to officiate their wedding. After the ceremony, the person who officiated the wedding is required to return the original marriage license to the County Clerk or County Recorder as applicable within a certain period of time.
According to California law, the authorized person who officiated the wedding has up to 10 days from the date of the ceremony to return the original marriage license to the County Clerk or County Recorder. This means that the person who officiated the wedding can keep the license for up to 10 days before returning it to the county office.
It’s important to note that the California marriage license must be returned in person or by mail to the County Clerk or County Recorder of the county where the license was obtained. The addresses for the county offices are usually provided on the county website. If the original marriage license is not returned within the required time frame, the marriage may not be considered legally binding.
Couples who obtain a marriage license in California should be aware that the authorized person who officiates their wedding is responsible for returning the original license to the County Clerk or County Recorder within 10 days of the date of the ceremony. Taking this step ensures that the couple’s marriage is legally binding and recognized by the state.
Is a marriage legal without a license in California?
In California, a marriage is legally recognized only when certain requirements are met, including obtaining a marriage license, solemnization, and recordation of the marriage certificate. Without these formalities, a marriage is not legally recognized in California, regardless of whether the parties have consented to be married or exchanged vows before witnesses.
Under California law, a valid marriage requires a marriage license, which is obtained at the county clerk’s office where one or both of the parties reside. Both parties must appear in person to fill out the application, present identification documents such as birth certificates, and pay a fee. Once the license is issued, it is valid for 90 days, during which time the parties may proceed with the ceremonial aspects of marriage.
After obtaining a marriage license, the parties must typically have a solemnization, which is the formal act of getting married. This generally involves exchanging vows, rings, and having a witness or witnesses to attest to the marriage. The solemnization can take place in any location that is authorized by law, such as a courthouse, religious institution, or other venue. During the solemnization, the parties must make a declaration of marriage and sign the marriage certificate, along with witnesses.
Finally, the marriage certificate must be recorded with the county clerk where the solemnization took place. This serves as legal proof of the marriage and is required for various purposes, such as changing one’s last name, applying for spousal benefits, and filing taxes as a married couple.
Therefore, to answer the question whether a marriage is legal without a license in California, the answer is no. The state of California requires that all marriages be properly licensed, solemnized, and recorded to be recognized legally. Mere consent or agreement between the parties is not enough to establish a legal marriage in California.