Marriage to a Californian

This page describes how to marry in California and how to sponsor your Californian spouse for permanent residence in Canada.

If you want to bring your American spouse or partner to live in Canada, you must then file a sponsorship application for them to become a permanent resident. For more information, please see our family sponsorship page.

 

Processing Time

If you file a Canadian sponsorship application for your American spouse or partner, this application takes an average of 15 months (as of June 2016). If you are sponsoring your American spouse “inland,” the process will take over two years.

Please see our pages on family sponsorship for more information on the processing times of these applications.

 

Californian Marriage Basic Requirements

In California, as with all US States, you need to apply for a marriage license and register your marriage with the local (county) authorities. A religious marriage that hasn’t been licensed and registered by the county is not considered legal in California and will not be accepted as a legal marriage in Canada either.

The legal age for marriage in California is 18. If you wish to marry under the age of 18, you can do so if you have the written consent of both your parents. At least one parent will have to submit this consent in person to the county office at the time of your marriage license application.

There are two types of marriage in California: ‘Public’ and ‘Confidential.’ ‘Public’ marriages are marriages that are made available in the public records. They the same as civil marriages. ‘Confidential’ marriages are not made public. A Confidential Marriage was initially created to allow people who were living together but not married to have the same legal rights as publicly married people.

Marriage license fees are determined by the county and each county has slightly different procedures about applying for a license. You will need to make sure you have the right documents for the county you are marrying in. Take your passport and all of the documents you brought with you from Canada with you to the court house. Your Californian spouse needs to present their passport, birth certificate and proof of single status. Appointments are not required.

In California, there is no delay for marriage license; it will be issued while you wait. You will have 90 days to marry.

 

Documents required from the Canadian Spouse

  • Statement in Lieu of Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad
  • Original valid Canadian passport
  • Original birth certificate
  • Original death certificate of deceased spouse if widowed
  • Original divorce decree or annulment papers if divorced

 

Documents required form the American Spouse

  • Original valid driver’s license
  • Original birth certificate
  • Original death certificate of deceased spouse if widowed
  • Original divorce decree or annulment papers if divorced

Once you have your marriage license, you have 90 days to have the marriage ceremony.

 

Family Members

Having children does not affect the application for a Marriage License in California.

 

County Clerks

County Office Address Phone Number Cost Hours Appointment
Required?
Alameda County 1106 Madison Street
Oakland
CA 94607
888-280-7708 Public: $81
Confidential$90
Monday to Friday: 8:30AM-4:00PM None needed
Alpine County 99 Water St.
Markleeville
CA 96120
530-694-2281 $53.00 Monday to Friday: 8AM-12PM
1PM-5PM
None needed
Amador County 810 Court Street
Jackson
CA 95642
209-223-6468 Public: $65
Confidential: $78
Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-3:30PM None needed
Butte County 25 County Center Drive
Suite 105
Oroville
CA 95965
530-538-7691 Public: $84
Confidential: $94A
Monday to Friday: 9:00AM-4:00PM None needed
Calaveras County 891 Mountain Ranch Road
San Andreas
CA 95249
209-754-6371 Public: $50
Confidential: $65
Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-4:00PM None needed
Colusa County 546 Jay Street
Suite 200
Colusa
CA 95932
530-458-0500 $56 Monday to Friday: 8:30AM-4:00PM None needed
Contra Costa County 555 Escobar Street
Martinez
CA 94553
925-335-7900 Public: $86
Confidential: $90
Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-4:30PM None needed
Del Norte County 981 H Street
Suite 160
Crescent City
CA 95531
707-465-0383
707-464-7216
$80 Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-4:30PM None needed
El Dorado County 360 Fair Lane
Placerville
CA 95667
OR
3368 Lake Tahoe Blvd
#108
South Lake Tahoe
CA 96150
530-621-5490 (Placerville)
530-573-7955 x3407 (Placerville)
916-358-3555 x5490 (El Dorado Hills)
530-573-3407 (South Lake Tahoe)
530-621-7555 x5490 (South Lake Tahoe)
Public: $61 Confidential: $53 Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-4:00PM (Placerville)
Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-11:30AM, 1:00PM-4:00PM (South Lake Tahoe)
Placerville office by appointment ONLY
Fresno County 2221 Kern Street
Fresno
CA 93721
559-600-2575 Public: $58
Confidential: $69
8:30AM-4:00PM None needed
Glenn County 516 West Sycamore Street
2nd Floor
Willows
CA 95988
530-934-6412 Public: $56
Confidential: $60
Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-4:00PM None needed
Humboldt County 825 5th Street
5th Floor
Eureka
CA 95501
707-445-7593 Public: $78
Confidential: $80
Monday to Friday: 8:30AM-5:00PM None needed
Imperial County 940 W. Main Street
Suite 202
El Centro
CA 92243
760-482-4427 Public: $87
Confidential: $100
Monday to Friday: 9:30AM-4:30PM None needed
Inyo County 168 N. Edwards Street
Independence
CA 93526
760-878-0222 Public: $35
Confidential: $40
Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-12:00P
1:00PM-5:00P<
None needed
Kern County 1115 Truxtun Ave.
1st Floor
Bakersfield
CA 93301
661-868-3743 Public: $68
Confidential: $80
Monday to Friday: 8:30AM-4:00PM None needed
Kings County 1400 W. Lacey Blvd
Hanford
CA 93230
559-582-3211 Ext 2470 $56 Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-5:00PM None needed
Lake County 255 North Forbes St
Lakeport
CA 95453
707-263-2311 Public: $65
Confidential: $70
Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-4:00PM None needed
Lassen County 220 S Lassen St
Suite 5
96130
Susanville , CA
  $51 Monday to Friday: 9:00AM-12:00PM
1:00PM-4:00PM
Unknown
Los Angeles Downtown
4716 East Cesar Chavez Ave
(Formerly Brooklyn Ave)
Los Angeles
CA 90022
Avalon
Catalina Branch Court
Avalon
CA 90704
Beverly Hills
9355 Burton Way
1st Floor
Beverly Hills
CA 90210
Florence Firestone
7807 South Compton Ave
Rm 102
Los Angeles
CA 90007
Lancaster
1028 W. Avenue J2
Lancaster
CA 93534
LAX
11701 S. La Cienega Blvd
6th Floor
Los Angeles
CA 90045
Norwalk
12400 East Imperial Hwy
Norwalk
CA 90650
Van Nuys
14340 West Sylvan Street
Van Nuys
CA 91316
323-260-2991 (Downtown)
310-510-0026 (Avalon)
310-288-1261 (Beverly Hills)
323-586-6192 (Florence Firestone)
661-945-6446 (Lancaster)
310-727-6142 (LAX)
562-462-2137 (Norwalk)
800-201-8999 (Norwalk)
818-376-3700 (Van Nuys)
Public: $91
Confidential: $85
Monday to Friday: 8:30AM-4:30PM
(All offices
Note:Beverly Hills office closes 3rd Wednesday of each month)
Avalon office is by appointment ONLY
Madera County 200 W. 4th Street
Madera
CA 93637
559-675-7703 Public: $50
Confidential: $55
Monday to Friday: 8:00PM-4:00PM None needed
Marin County Marin County Civic Center
Rm. 234
3501 Civic Center Drive
San Rafael
CA 94903
415-473-6772 Public: $85
Confidential: $93>strong>
Monday to Friday: 9:00AM-3:30PM None needed
Mariposa County 5100 Bullion St. & 10th
Mariposa
CA 95338
209-966-2007 Public: $60
Confidential: $65
Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-4:30PM None needed
Mendocino County 501 Low Gap Road
Room 1020
Ukiah
CA 95482
707-234-6822 Public: $85
Confidential: $87
8:30AM-5:00PM None needed
Merced County 2222 M St
Merced
CA 95340
209-385-7627 Public: $61
Confidential: $70
Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-4:30PM None needed
Modoc County 108 E. Modoc Street
Alturas
CA 96101
Room 107
530-233-6205 $60 Monday to Friday: 8:30AM-12:00PM
1:00PM-5:00PM
By appointment ONLY
Mono County 74 School St
Annex I
Bridgeport
CA 93517
760-932-5530 Public: $50
Confidential: $60
Monday to Friday: 9:00AM-4:00PM None needed
Monterey County 168 West Alisal Street
1st Floor
Salinas
CA 93901
831-755-5450
831-647-7850
Public: $76
Confidential: $80
Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-4:30PM None needed
Napa County 2751 Napa Valley Corporate Drive
Building #4
Napa
CA 94558
707-253-4247 $83 Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-4:15PM None needed
Nevada County 950 Maidu Avenue
Suite 210
Nevada City
CA 95959
530-265-1221 Public: $72
Confidential: $74
Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-5:00PM None needed
Orange County Fullerton
201 N. Harbor Blvd
(NW corner of Amerige and Harbor Blvd)
Fullerton,
CA 92832
Laguna
Laguna Hills Civic Center
24031 El Toro Road
Suite 150
Laguna Hills
CA 92653
Santa Ana
211 West Santa Ana Blvd
Santa Ana
CA 92701
Westminster
15460 Magnolia Street
(Magnolia and McFadden)
Westminster
CA 92683
714-834-2500 (Fullerton)
714-834-2500 (Laguna)
714-973-6605 (Santa Ana)
714-834-2500 (Westminster)
Public: $61
Confidential: $66
Fullerton/Westminster: Monday to Friday: 9:00AM-4:30PM
Laguna: Monday to Friday: 9:00AM-4:00PM
Santa Ana: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 8:00AM-4:30PM
Wednesday: 8:00AM-5:30PM
Appointments made online
Placer County 2954 Richardson Drive
Auburn
CA, 95603
North Lake Tahoe License Bureau
5225 N. Lake Blvd
Carnelian Bay
CA 96140
530-886-5600 (Auburn)
530-546-1900 (North Lake Tahoe)
Public: $57
Confidential: $60
Monday to Friday: 8:30AM-4:30PM
North Lake Tahoe office only open 9:00AM-11:00AM
North Lake Tahoe office by appointment ONLY
Plumas County 520 Main Street
Courthouse, Room 102
Quincy
CA 95971
530-283-6218 Public: $60
Confidential: $65
Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-4:00PM None needed
Riverside County Downtown
County Administrative Center
4080 Lemon St, 1st Floor
Riverside
CA 92501
Gateway Drive 2720 Gateway Dr
Riverside
CA 92507
Blythe
270 N Broadway
Blythe
CA 92225
Hemet
County Administrative Center
880 N. State Street, Suite B-6
Hemet
CA 92543
Temecula
41002 County Center Drive
#230
Temecula,
CA 92591-6027
800-696-9144 (All)
951-486-7000 (Downtown and Gateway)
760-921-5050 (Blythe)
951-486-7000 (Hemet and Temecula)
Public: $90
Confidential: $100
Riverside offices: Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-4:30PM
Blythe: Monday and Wednesday: 8:00AM-12:00PM, 1:00PM-4:00PM
Hemet: Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-12:00PM, 1:00PM-4:00PM
Temecula: Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-4:000PM
None needed
Sacramento County 600 8th Street
Sacramento
CA 95814
916-874-6334
800-313-7133
Public: $84
Confidential: $95
Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-5:00PM AND
5:00PM-8:00PM 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursday of each month
None need except
By appointment only on Thursday evenings
San Benito County 440 Fifth Street
Room 206
Hollister
CA 95023
831-636-4029 Public: $75
Confidential: $85
Monday to Friday: 8:30AM-5:00PM None needed
San Bernardino County Hall of Records Bldg
222 W. Hospitality Lane
1st Floor
San Bernardino
CA 92415
909-387-8306 Public: $89
Confidential: $90
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 8:00AM-11:00AM, 2:00PM-4:00PM
Monday and Friday: 8:00AM-3:00PM
By appointment only on Mondays and Fridays
San Diego County 1600 Pacific Highway
Suite 273
San Diego
CA 92101

Chula Vista
590 3rd Ave
Chula Vista
CA 91910
El Cajon
200 S. Magnolia Ave
El Cajon
CA 92020
San Marcos
141 E. Carmel St
San Marcos
CA 92078

619-237-0502 Public: $70
Confidential: $89
Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-5:00PM By appointment only
except 4:30-5:00PM
City and County of San Francisco City Hall, Suite 168
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco
CA 94102
415-554-4950 $105 Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-4:00PM Appointments recommended
San Joaquin County 44 North San Joaquin St
Second Floor, Suite 260
Stockton
CA 95202
209-468-3939 Public: $65
Confidential: $73
Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-4:00PM  
San Luis Obispo County 1055 Monterey St
Room D120
San Luis Obispo
CA 93408
Atascadero
6565 Capistrano Avenue
(2nd Floor Atascadero Library)
Atascadero
CA 93422
805-781-5080 (San Luis Obispo)
805-461-6041 (Atascadero)
$100 San Luis Obispo: Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-5:00PM
Atascadero: Monday to Friday: 7:30AM-4:00PM
None needed
San Mateo County 555 County Center
1st Floor
Redwood City
CA 94063
650-363-4500 Public: $79
Confidential: $80
Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-4:30PM No appointments allowed but
Complete this form first
Santa Barbara County 1100 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara
CA 93101
Lompoc
401 E. Cypress St
Room 102
Lompoc
CA 93436
Santa Maria
511 E. Lakeside Parkway
Suite 115
Santa Maria
CA 93455-1341
805-568-2250 (Santa Barbara)
805-737-7705 (Lompoc)
805-346-8370 (Santa Maria)
Public: $100
Confidential: $110
Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-4:30PM
Lompoc: 9:00AM-4:00PM except
12:00PM-1:00PM Monday, Wednesday, Friday
 
Santa Clara County 70 West Hedding Street
at First St
E. Wing, 1st Floor
San Jose
CA 95110
408-299-5688 Public: $80
Confidential: $83
Monday to Friday: 8:30AM-4:30PM None needed
Santa Cruz County 701 Ocean Street
Room 210
Santa Cruz
CA 95060
831-454-2060 $90 Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-5:00PM None needed
Shasta County 1643 Market St
Redding
CA 96001
530-225-5730 Public: $72
Confidential: $77
Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-4:30PM None needed
Sierra County 100 Courthouse Sq
Room 11
Downieville
CA 95936
530-289-3295 Public: $66
Confidential: $71
Monday to Friday: 9:00AM-12:00PM
1:00PM-4:00PM
None needed
Siskiyou County 510 North Main St
Yreka
CA 96097
530-842-8084 Public: $71
Confidential: $78
Monday to Friday: 9:00AM-12:00PM
1:00PM-4:00PM
None needed
Solano County 675 Texas Street
Suite 1900
Fairfield
CA 94533
707-784-7510 Public: $85
Confidential: $95
Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-4:00PM None needed
Sonoma County La Plaza West Building
2300 County Center Drive
Suite B-177
Santa Rosa
CA 95403
707-565-3800
707-565-3700
Public: $84
Confidential: $100
Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-4:00PM None needed
Stanislaus County 1021 I Street
Modesto
CA 95354
209-525-5250 $76 Monday to Friday: 8:30AM-4:00PM None needed
Sutter County 433 Second Street
Yuba City
CA 95991
530-822-7134 Public: $59
Confidential: $77.50
Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-5:00PM None needed
Tehama County 633 Washington St
Room 11
Red Bluff
CA 96080
530-527-3350 $64 Monday to Friday: 8:30AM-5:00PM  
Trinity County 11 Court St
Weaverville
CA 96093
530-623-1215 Public: $49
Confidential: $54
Monday to Friday: 10:00AM-1:00PM  
Tulare County 2 S. Green Street
Second Floor
Sonora
CA 95370
209-533-5573 Public: $65
Confidential: $83
Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-5:00PM None needed
Tuolumne County 221 S Mooney Blvd
Courthouse, Room 105
Visalia
CA 93291
559-636-5051 Public: $93
Confidential: $95
Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-3:30PM None needed
Ventura County Hall of Administration, Main Plaza
800 So. Victoria Ave
Ventura
CA 93009
805-654-2263 Public: $98
Confidential: $109
Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-5:00PM Appointments recommended
Yolo County 625 Court Street
Room B01
Woodland
CA 95695
530-666-8130 Public: $98
Confidential: $109
Monday to Friday: 8:30AM-4:00PM None needed
Yuba County 915 8th St, Suite 107
Marysville
CA 95901
530-749-7851 Public: $65
Confidential: $70
Monday to Friday: 8:00AM-4:30PM None needed

Note: All courthouses are closed for government holidays.

 

Wedding Customs

Coming Soon

 

Wedding Food

Coming Soon

 

Religion

The most common religion in California, like most of the US, is forms of Protestantism; nearly one third of Californians are members of some kind of Protestant sect. However, Roman Catholics make up more than a quarter of the population. California is one of the least religious states in the United States; over a quarter of the population is agnostic or atheist or otherwise does not follow an organized religion. California has the most Jews of state outside of New York.

Religion Percent
Protestant 32%
Roman Catholic 28%
No religion 27%
Judaism 2%
Buddhism 2%
Hinduism 2%
Islam 1%
Mormons 1%
Other 5%

 

List of American Consulates in Canada

Embassy in Ottawa

Consulate General in Calgary

Consulate General in Halifax

Consulate General in Montreal

Consulate General in Quebec

Consulate in General Toronto

Consulate in General Vancouver

Consulate in Winnipeg

 

US Visa Requirements

Canadian citizens do not need a visa to travel to the United States for tourism as long as you are staying for less than 3 months. However you may need a visa if you are travelling for another reason (in addition to getting married).

If you are a Canadian permanent resident, you may need a visa.

 

Calling California from Canada

The country code for the US is 1, which is also the code for Canada.

To call California just dial 1 – area code – local number, like you would for any long distance number in Canada.

These are some area codes for California:

Area Codes of California By Rfc1394 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

[Public Domain]

  • 209: Stockton and central California
  • 213: Downtown LA
  • 310: Santa Monica, Malibu
  • 323: Los Angeles
  • 408: San Jose
  • 415: San Francisco
  • 424: Santa Monica, Malibu
  • 442: Palm Springs
  • 510: Oakland
  • 530: Redding and northeastern California
  • 559: Fresno and central California
  • 562: Long Beach
  • 619: San Diego
  • 626: Pasadena
  • 628: San Francisco
  • 650: San Mateo, Palo Alto
  • 657: Anaheim
  • 661: Bakersfield
  • 669: San Jose
  • 707: Santa Rosa and northwestern California
  • 714: Anaheim
  • 747: Burbank
  • 760: Palm Springs
  • 805: Ventura and the Central Coast
  • 818: Burbank
  • 831: Monterey and the Central Coast
  • 858: northern San Diego
  • 909: San Bernardino
  • 916: Sacramento
  • 925: Concord
  • 949: Irvine
  • 951: Riverside

 

Time Differences

California is on Pacific Coast Time, the same time zone as Vancouver. They are 3 hours behind Eastern.

 

Calling Canada from the United States

List of Canadian Area Codes:

Province Code Province Code
Alberta

403 / 587 (southern Alberta)

587 / 780 (central and northern Alberta)

Nunavut 867
BC

236 / 250 / 778 (majority of BC)

236 / 604 / 778 (Metro Vancouver)

Ontario

226 / 519 (southwestern Ontario)

249 / 705 (northeastern Ontario)

289 / 365 / 905 (Greater Toronto Area)

343 / 613 (eastern Ontario)

416 / 647 (Toronto)

807 (northwestern Ontario)

Manitoba 204 / 431 PEI 782 / 902
New Brunswick 506 Quebec

418 / 581 (eastern Quebec)

438 / 514 (Montreal)

450 / 579 (Greater Montreal)

819 / 873 (remainder of Quebec)

Newfoundland and Labrador 709 Saskatchewan 306 / 639
Northwest Territories 867 Yukon 867
Nova Scotia 782 / 902    

 

Emergency Information for Canadians in the United States

The Department of Homeland Security Traveller Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP) in US is a single point of contact for individuals who have inquiries or seek resolution regarding difficulties they experienced during their travel screening at transportation hub like airports, train stations or crossing U.S. borders, including:

  • watch list issues
  • screening problems at ports of entry
  • situations where travellers feel they have been unfairly or incorrectly delayed, denied boarding or identified for additional screening.

 

List of Canadian Consulates in California

Consulate General of Canada in Los Angeles

550 South Hope Street, 9th Floor
Los Angeles, California
U.S.A., 90071-2327

Telephone: (213) 346-2700
Fax: (213) 620-8827

E-mail: [email protected]
Website: losangeles.gc.ca

Consulate General of Canada in San Francisco

580 California Street, 14th Floor
San Francisco, California
U.S.A., 94104

Telephone: (415) 834-3180
Fax: (415) 834-3189

E-mail: [email protected]
Website: sanfrancisco.gc.ca

 

Romantic, Scenic and Historic Places

 

Lake Tahoe

Located on the California-Nevada border, Lake Tahoe has long been a favourite vacation spot, because of the granite cliffs, mountain tops, crystal clear waters and hiking trails.

Hot air balloon trips and mountain rides are also activities worth paying for.

 

Monterrey

This area makes for a tremendous road-trip stop, honeymoon or romantic weekend stay. With an abundance of natural wonders, luxury resorts and seafood restaurants, Monterey is no doubt the ideal destination for a getaway.

 

Napa Valley

The Napa Valley is located in California and has become a vacation hot spot due to its growing wine industry.

The tiered hillsides, wine caverns and illustrious estates make for stellar scenery, and top-class hotels have joined in to receive guests. Scattered between the vineyards, sumptuous resorts cater to every indulgence ranging from golfing, spa pampering, and gourmet dining.

Map of Napa valley:

 

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara was famous in the early 20th century when the movie industry in America was booming. This city stretches from San Francisco to L.A, and is a haven for luxury boutique shops and world-class resorts that scream opulence.

This is an expensive city so it is wise to carry credit cards, and be ready to spend.

 

Bringing Your Gifts Back to Canada

Learn More

 

Sponsoring Your American Spouse to Come to Canada

Learn More