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License to Marry

posted Feb 2, 2010, 10:16 PM by Thu Koelling
Earlier this week, Troy and I went to apply for the marriage license. We wanted to get there when the offices opened at 8am so that we could be done as soon as possible before going to work. Even though we were first in line, other people managed to beat us to the ticket dispenser once the doors opened. While we waited, we were amazed and appalled that so many married people before us had to endure this hassle.

On the bright side, having the license has made "getting married" seem so much more real. A lot of the things that we have done for the wedding was essentially to prepare for a party. 

It also addressed a couple of my concerns. I was able to retain my last name by adding it to my middle name. I had read that some places required a court order in order to change the middle name so I was relieved that it was as simple as designating my desire in an application form.

Another thing that removed a load off my shoulders was getting an answer to how soon I could get a certified copy of the marriage certificate after the wedding. I planned my wedding to be before my birthday which was also when my license was going to expire. I wanted to renew the card and do the name change in one go. The thing was that the wedding was two weeks before my wedding so I did not know how quickly things could get done. It turned out that instead of mailing the license, I could go to the County Clerk-Recorder on the Monday after the wedding to submit the completed license and receive the certificate and copies. With that in hand, I could then go to the Social Security Administration to legally change my name, followed by a stop at the DMV to renew my license under my new name. 

I hope that information helps anyone getting married in Santa Clara County and had the same questions.