We recommend applying for your marriage license about a month before your wedding date.
NOTE: Requirements may vary as each county/city/town in New York could have their own requirements. It is important to verify current requirements with the city/town clerk where you want to get married.
ID Requirement in New York:
The official web site for New York state marriage licenses states "A person is required to establish proof of age and identity by submitting to the issuing clerk one of the following age related documents: Birth Certificate, Baptismal record, Naturalization record, Census record.
And one of the following identity related documents: Driver's license, Passport, Employment picture ID, Immigration record."
Before you apply for your marriage license, contact the city or town clerk where you want to get married to verify their specific requirements for applying for a marriage license.
Waiting Period in New York:
Residency Requirement:You do not have to be a resident of New York.
Previous Marriages:If previously married, you must show certified documents on how your previous marriage ended.
If a couple is already legally married to one another, and they want to have a second wedding ceremony, and if an officiant requires a marriage license, the couple may apply for a second or subsequent license from the Town or City where they were married.
Fees in New York:
New York City charges $35 and will only accept money orders made payable to "The City Clerk."
Some other locales will not accept cash or personal checks and require a money order.
Common Law Marriages:
Under 18:If you are 16 or 17 years of age, you will need to have a completed parental consent form filled out by both parents.
If you are either 14 or 15 years of age, you will need to show the written consent of both parents and a justice of the Supreme Court or a judge of the local Family Court.
Applicants under 14 years of age cannot marry. Only one parent's consent will be accepted if one parent is deceased or has been missing for over a year, or if one parent has full custody from a divorce proceeding.
Your parents or guardians must give their consent in person before the town or city clerk or some other authorized official.
If they are out of state, a notarized affidavit is acceptable but has to be accompanied by a certificate of authentication when the consent is filed in New York State.
Officiants in New York:According to Section 11 of the Domestic Relations Law, an officiant must be an authorized, officially ordained member of the clergy or a public official in the State of New York such as a mayor, city clerk, deputy city clerk, appointed marriage officer, justice, or judge. In New York City, an officiant must be registered with the City of New York. Ship captains can not perform marriage ceremonies in New York State.
Witnesses:A marriage ceremony must have at least one witness. Although the state website states that there is no minimum age required in order to be a witness, the New York City web site requires witnesses to be at least 18 years of age.
Miscellaneous:The marriage license in New York is valid for 60 days. This means you two have 60 days from when you apply for your marriage license to get married and have your marriage license officially recorded. If you wait past that time frame, you can't get married without applying for and paying for another marriage license.
Copy of Certificate of Marriage:
Vital Records Section
New York State Department of Health
Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York 12237-0023
Still Confused About Getting Married in New York?If you are still confused about the different terms used in the marriage license application process, check out these articles:
PLEASE NOTE:Marriage license requirements often change. The above information is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice.
It is important that you verify all information with the local marriage license office before making any wedding or travel plans.
Please notify us of any oversights or errors.
Congratulations and much happiness as you begin your lifetime journey together!