As marriage is new to most gays and lesbians, the process of obtaining the proper paperwork can seem a little intimidating. For your convenience, we've mapped out the steps for your Palm Springs wedding.
Prior to scheduling a ceremony, you need to obtain a public marriage license from a California County Clerk. The Riverside/Palm Springs County Clerk is located in Indio, California:
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the significantly increased volume of applicants since the court ruling, the County Clerk has requested that, for now, applicants call to make an appointment for obtaining a license. Please call (760) 863-8732 to make your appointment.
UPDATE 6/16/08: The County Clerk's office is increasing staff to meet the current demand. You may now be able to walk in to apply for your license, but please be patient and prepared to wait.
Confidential Marriage Licenses
When a confidential license is issued for a marriage, the marriage record will be maintained as Confidential. ONLY the parties may obtain copies of the marriage certificate, EXCEPT by order of the Superior Court.
PLEASE NOTE: The office of the Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder strongly advises that a regular marriage license be issued except in those instances where the confidentiality of the marriage or the marriage date is important. Complications frequently arise when copies are requested and can ONLY be issued to the parties.
To obtain a confidential marriage license you must not only meet the above requirements for a regular marriage license, you must also meet the following requirements:
- Both parties must be 18 years of age or older.
- Both parties must swear in writing that they have already been living together.
- The marriage ceremony may be performed ONLY in Riverside County.
Cost of the License
The fee for a public marriage license is $68.00. The fee for a private marriage license is $76.00.
You do not need to be a current or past resident of the State of California to obtain a marriage license.
There are no waiting periods in the State of California. You may immediately be married once you have obtained a marriage license.
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 at least one parent to the Clerk's Office to sign a consent form after receiving the court order.
Blood Tests and Physical Exams
No blood tests or physical exams are required.
Once you have purchased your license, it is valid for 90 days.
Legally Changing your Name
Some same-sex couples may wish to change their surnames to have one family name. In most states, legally changing your name requires a fairly simple filing process with the county court and various IRS and government documents. There are numerous resources on the Internet to assist you with this process.
Divorced and Widowed Applicants
If previously married, the date of divorce or date of spouse's death must be provided. If the divorce or spouse's death had taken place within the last 90 days, bring a certified copy of the divorce decree or death certificate.