This page contains answers to some frequently asked questions for the Recorder-County Clerk Office
What are the hours for the Recorder-County Clerk?
Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., excluding legal holidays. Document recording is between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. each day. Marriage licenses are issued between 8:00 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. Fictitious Business Name statements, copy work and vital record certificates are processed between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. We are unable to process transactions after 4:45 p.m
What are the hours for recording documents?
We record documents between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. every day, excluding legal holidays. We are open during the lunch hour for recording. We will accept documents after 3:00 p.m. and hold them to record the next day if the document meets recording requirements and payment for the recording fees is left with the document.
What information will we need when we apply for a marriage license?
You will appear together in person with photo identification to complete an application that is used as a worksheet to issue the marriage license. You will be providing personal information that includes your parents’ full and maiden names with their states of birth. If applicable, you will need to provide the date that the most recent marriage ended.
What is the difference between a public and confidential marriage license?
A public marriage license is a public record. It is valid for a ceremony throughout the state. At least one witness is required and there is a $82.00 purchase fee.
A confidential marriage license is not available for public inspection. It is valid for a ceremony in the County of Napa only. No witnesses are required. The applicants must sign a statement stating that they have been living together as spouses. There is a $84.00 purchase fee.
NOTE: Family Code §511 states that the Clerk may disclose the fact that there is a record on file but further information is available only upon presentation of a Court Order.
Who is authorized to perform a wedding ceremony?
In California, persons authorized include: Priest, Minister, Rabbi, Commissioner of Civil Marriages (and his/her deputies), Shaman or Medicine Man, out-of-state or out-of-country Priests, Ministers or other clergy persons, State Judges, a Legislator or Constitutional Officer of this state or a member of Congress who represents a district within this state while that person holds an office.
NOTE: Ship’s captains do not have authority to solemnize California marriages unless they are also authorized as above.
How does one apply for appointment as a Deputy Marriage Commissioner?
The person must be at least 18 years of age and appear in person at the County Clerk’s office prior to the ceremony date to take an Oath of Office. There is a fee of $100.00 and the applicant will provide their own full name, address and telephone number, the specific date and location of the wedding ceremony, the couple's names, and whether the couple purchased a public or confidential marriage license. The Clerk’s office will provide a sample civil ceremony and instruction.
How do I change my name?
If the change is due to a marriage you will need to present a certified copy of your marriage certificate to Social Security Administration and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Any other type of name change is handled through the Superior Court and you may inquire at (707) 299-1130.
What if one or both of the persons getting married is a minor?
If either party is under the age of 18, an interview must be scheduled with Superior Court. Contact Family Court Services at (707) 299-1240. A certified copy of the Court Order granting permission to marry must be provided to the County Clerk to purchase a marriage license