After the excitement of setting a wedding date, you need to start thinking about when you will apply for your marriage license. Here's help in knowing what to bring with you when you apply for your New York marriage license. 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 specifications. It is important to verify current requirements with the city or town clerk where you want to get married.
Your photo identity documentation must be current and valid. The official website for New York state marriage licenses states that proof of age must be given in the form of a birth certificate, baptismal record, naturalization record, or census record. Identity may be documented via driver's license, passport, employment picture ID, or immigration record.
Many locales in New York require having a certified birth certificate and we recommend having this documentation with you when you apply for your marriage license. 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 and Other Requirements
After you receive the license, New York has a 24 hour waiting period to get married. You do not have to be a resident of New York. No physical examinations or blood tests are required before getting a marriage license.
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 with an officiant who requires a marriage license, the couple may apply for a second or subsequent license from the town or city where they were married.
The cost for getting married in New York is approximately $40 to $50 in most areas of the state. New York City charges $35 and will only accept credit cards or money orders made payable to the City Clerk. Some other locales will not accept cash or personal checks and require a money order. In Albany, Buffalo and Niagara Falls, the cost of a marriage license is $40.
Same-sex marriage was legalized through a legislative act on June 24, 2011. The bill was quickly signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo shortly before midnight on the 24th of June.
Other Types of Marriages
Age of Consent
No one under the age of 17 can be married. For 17-year-olds, parents or guardians must give their consent 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. Written consent must also be obtained from a justice of the Supreme Court or Family Court judge.
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 cannot perform marriage ceremonies in New York State.
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 website requires witnesses to be at least 18 years of age.
The marriage license in New York is valid for 60 days, which is the time frame allowed for you 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. Exceptions are made for active military personnel, who are given 180 days.
Copy of Certificate of Marriage
Getting a copy of your marriage certificate costs $30. You can request your copy by mail, phone, or online, which may incur additional fees.
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.