County of San Benito Clerk, Auditor & Recorder

Deputy Commissioner of Civil Marriages

If you are 18 years of age or older, you may perform a marriage.  In order to perform a marriage, you must become a Deputy Commissioner of Civil Marriages.  Deputy Commissions are granted for one day, and one marriage only.  To apply for a deputy commission, you must know the names of both parties to the marriage, and the date of the marriage.

A Deputy Commissioner of Civil Marriages may solemnize only one marriage under the direction of the Commissioner of Civil Marriages (County Clerk) and under all of the following conditions and limitations.  Please read these instructions before applying to be a Deputy Commissioner and before performing the ceremony.

  • The marriage may only be solemnized on the dates specified on the face of the Appointment and Oath of Office form. The parties to the marriage must present a marriage license to the deputy prior to the ceremony as stated in Family Code 421. Solemnizing a marriage without first being presented with a marriage license, willfully making a false return of any marriage license or pretend marriage license to the county recorder is guilty of a misdemeanor under Penal Code Section 360.
  • This will be a civil commission, therefore there is no religious denomination and you should enter one dash mark in the field requesting this information (Box 29B). Your official title, to be entered into Box 29D, is Deputy Commissioner of Civil Marriages and can be reduced to: Dep. Comm. Of Civil Marr.
  • No particular form for the marriage ceremony is required; however, the parties to the marriage must declare in the presence of the deputy that they take each other as spouses.
  • Do not use white out, correction fluid, or make any corrections or changes if a mistake has been made. The license cannot be recorded if altered in any way. If there is a mistake, please notify the County Recorder when returning the marriage license. A duplicate license must then be issued for an additional fee ($20.00).
  • Use black ink or dark blue ink only. The Deputy must fill in the following on the license: the date (in number format only), city/town, and county of the solemnization (ceremony), his/her signature and printed name, official title and address
  • The Deputy Commissioner must have at least one, and no more than two witnesses sign the marriage license (VS117), using black or dark blue ink only. o No witnesses are required to sign a Confidential Marriage License (VS123).
  • When completed, it is the Deputy Marriage Commissioner’s responsibility to return the marriage license to the County Recorder within 10 days of the ceremony. Confidential marriage licenses are to be returned to the County Clerk within 10 days of the ceremony. Failure to return a license for recording is a misdemeanor pursuant to Health and Safety Code 103785.
  • The Deputy shall not receive any money or anything of value, for performing a marriage ceremony.

To apply to be a Deputy Commissioner for a Day, please complete the application and bring it to our office along with photo ID.  The fee to be deputized can be found in our Fee Schedule.

Application for Deputy Commissioner of Civil Marriages


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