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Alameda County Clerk-Recorder's Office

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Marriage Ceremonies

Marriages Performed at the Clerk-Recorder's Office by a County Deputy Marriage Commissioner

Marriage ceremonies for couples with valid marriage licenses may be requested any business day no later than 4:00 PM. The charge for a civil ceremony is $75.00. Couples may ask to be married at the same time they obtain their license provided they come into the office before 3:45 PM. Couples must provide at least one witness for the ceremony. Identification is not required for the witness(s). Marriages are performed by County employees deputized specifically for this purpose. Limited translation services are available, upon request, at no additional charge. Guests are permitted, but space is limited to 29 people.

Marriages Performed By Clergy or Judges

Marriage ceremonies may be arranged by the couple with any member of the clergy who has been authorized by his/her denomination to perform such rites. After the ceremony has been performed, the license should be completed, with the signatures of the officiant and the witnesses, and returned by the officiant to the Clerk-Recorder's office.

Similarly, a judge or retired judge is authorized to perform marriage ceremonies however; the judge must be of a California State Court.

Marriages Performed By A Person Chosen By The Couple, Not Clergy or Judges

Couples with a valid license may choose to have a friend or relative of their choice deputized to perform their marriage. To make arrangements to have such a person deputized as a "One-Time Deputy Marriage Commissioner, Without Compensation", the person making the request should address a letter to:

Patrick O'Connell
Alameda County Clerk-Recorder
1106 Madison Street
Oakland, CA 94607

The person to be deputized must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen.

The letter, which may come from the person to be deputized or the parties to be married, should include the following information:

Full name (as listed on a valid government-issued identification), Address, and Phone Number of the parties to be married
Date and place (address and city) of the Wedding
County where marriage license was/or will be purchased
Full name (as listed on a valid government-issued identification), Address and Phone Number of the person to be deputized.

There is a $75.00 charge for this service. You may pay by check (personal, company, bank, or cashiers), money order or traveler's checks. Please make checks payable to Alameda County Clerk-Recorder. No appointments are set nor packets mailed prior to receipt of the request and payment. This process is done by appointment only. No walk-ins will be accepted at any time. Upon receipt of the letter, a call will be made to book an appointment for the deputization. At the appointed time and date, the person being deputized will come to 1106 Madison Street, 1st Floor. He/She will inform the clerk at the information desk, regarding their appointment to be deputized as a one-time marriage commissioner.

If he/she can't come into the Recorder's Office, a Notary Packet may be requested. He/she should to mail the original notarized form to the Recorder's Office, at least one week before the wedding. Upon receipt of the notarized form we will sign off, record, and mail a copy to the married parties to have for their records. It is recommended that couples send their requests a minimum of 2-3 weeks before the wedding date (the sooner, the better). For additional information contact our Customer Service unit at 1-888-280-7708.

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