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How to get a marriage license

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Posted: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 12:00 am

So you’ve wanted to get married, but weren’t allowed to do so in California until the U.S. Court of Appeals lifted the stay on same-sex marriages on Friday.

Now you can get married, even if you’re marrying someone of the same gender.

Here’s where you can go:

  • San Joaquin County — County Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk’s office, 44 N. San Joaquin St., Suite 260, Stockton, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays except for the Fourth of July holiday on Thursday.
  • Galt residents — Two available locations: Sacramento County Clark-Recorder’s office, 600 Eighth St. at F Street in downtown Sacramento, or at 5229-B Hazel Avenue at Madison Avenue, Fair Oaks. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays in downtown Sacramento and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays in Fair Oaks. The downtown Sacramento office is open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays.

As of 11 a.m. Monday, 63 couples had visited the Sacramento County offices to acquire marriage licenses, though it isn’t known how many of them were for same-sex marriages, said Clerk-Recorder Craig Kramer. Thirty wedding ceremonies were scheduled in Sacramento.

In Stockton, there have been a few applications for same-sex marriages, but a San Joaquin County spokeswoman didn’t indicate how many.

Marriage licenses cost $64 if they are public licenses in San Joaquin County, or $73 for “confidential” licenses, which means that no one besides the bride and groom can access the marriage record without a court order.

In Sacramento County, public licenses cost $83, while confidential licenses cost $95. On Thursday’s after 5 p.m., the fee increases to $89 for public and $100 for confidential licenses. A civil marriage ceremony in Sacramento County costs an extra $36.

Sacramento County encourages couples wanting a marriage license to fill out an application online — it really speeds up the process, Kramer said.

Even in same-sex marriages, one partner can be designated as the bride and the other as the groom — whatever the couple desires, Kramer said.

“We can have a bride and groom, two brides or two grooms,” Kramer said.

Couples will also be asked whether they want to take their partner’s last name, keep their own or hyphenate their names.

For more information, call 209-468-3939 in San Joaquin County or visit www.tinyurl.com/nqhpclk. In Sacramento County, phone 916-874-6131 or visit www.tinyurl.com/pce3zzm.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@loinews.com.

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