- Please click here for information on the Marriage Equality Act
- View a sample Marriage License (PDF, 314KB, 1pg.). These forms must be filled out in person.
- Getting Married in New York State is also available in Portable Document Format (PDF, 172KB, 2pg.)
The Marriage License
The following is general information. Please contact the clerk where you plan to purchase the license for specific requirements, office hours and further information.
Where do you get a marriage license?
A couple who intends to be married in New York State must apply in person for a marriage license to any town or city clerk in the state. The application for a license must be signed by both applicants in the presence of the town or city clerk. A representative cannot apply for the license on behalf of the applicant. This applies even if the representative has been given a Power of Attorney.
Notarized marriage license affidavits signed by the applicants cannot be substituted for their personal appearance.
Is there a waiting period?
Yes. Although the marriage license is issued immediately, the marriage ceremony may not take place within 24 hours from the exact time that the license was issued.
The 24-hour waiting period may be waived by a judge or justice of the Supreme Court of New York State or the county judge of the county in which either party to be married resides.
How long is the license valid?
A marriage license is valid for 60 calendar days, beginning the day after it is issued. If a party to the marriage is active U.S. military, the solemnization period may be extended to 180 calendar days. The applicant must provide proof to the issuing clerk at the time of application.
How much does the license cost?
If the marriage license is issued by a town or city clerk in New York State outside of New York City, it costs $40. This fee includes the issuance of a Certificate of Marriage Registration. This certificate is automatically sent by the issuing clerk to the applicants within 15 calendar days after the completed license is returned by the officiant (person who performs the marriage ceremony). It serves as notice that a record of the marriage is on file. Couples who do not receive a Certificate of Marriage Registration within four weeks of the wedding should contact the town or city clerk who issued the license.
If the license is to be issued by the City Clerk of the City of New York, please contact the New York City Clerk's Office for current fees and requirements. The City Clerk's Office can be reached at (212) NEW-YORK or via its website at New York City Marriage Bureau.
Is a premarital physical exam required?
No premarital examination or blood test is required to obtain a marriage license in New York State.
Who can get married?
Marriages of minors under eighteen years of age is prohibited. If either applicant is under 18 years of age, a marriage license cannot be issued.
Proof of Age and Identity
Both parties are required to present to the clerk documentary proof of age. Possible documents include those listed below. Contact the clerk's office where you plan to purchase your license to find out what they require.
- A certified copy of a birth record,
- a certification of birth issued by the state department of health, a local registrar of vital statistics or other public officer charged with similar duties by the laws of any other state, territory or country,
- a baptismal record,
- a passport,
- an automobile driver's license,
- any government or school issued identification card that contains a photograph of the applicant,
- a life insurance policy,
- an employment certificate,
- a school record,
- an immigration record,
- a naturalization record,
- a court record or any other document or record issued by a governmental entity, showing the date of birth.
A marriage may not take place in New York State between an ancestor and descendant, siblings (full or half blood), an uncle and niece or nephew or an aunt and niece or nephew, regardless of whether or not these persons are legitimate or illegitimate offspring.
Information regarding previous marriages must be furnished in the application for a marriage license. This includes whether the former spouse or spouses are living, and whether the applicants are divorced and, if so, when, where and against whom the divorce or divorces were granted. A certified copy of the Decree of Divorce or a Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage may be required by the clerk issuing the marriage license.
Name Change Options
Every person has the right to adopt any name by which he or she wishes to be known simply by using that name consistently and without intent to defraud. A person's last name (surname) does not automatically change upon marriage, and neither party to the marriage is required to change his or her last name. Parties to a marriage need not take the same last name.
One or both parties to a marriage may elect to change the surname by which he or she wishes to be known after the marriage by entering the new name in the appropriate space provided on the marriage license. The new name must consist of one of the following options:
- the surname of the other spouse;
- any former surname of either spouse;
- a name combining into a single surname all or a segment of the premarriage surname or any former surname of each spouse;
- a combination name separated by a hyphen or a space, provided that each part of such combination surname is the premarriage surname, or any former surname, of each of the spouses.
One or both parties to a marriage may elect to change the middle name by which he or she wishes to be known after the marriage by entering the new name in the appropriate space provided on the marriage license. The new middle name must consist of one of the following options:
- the current surname of the spouse electing to change his or her name;
- any former surname of the spouse electing to change his or her name;
- the surname of the other spouse.
The use of this option will provide a record of your change of name. The marriage certificate, containing the new name, if any, is proof that the use of the new name, or the retention of the former name, is lawful. The local Social Security Administration office should be contacted so that its records and your social security identification card reflect the name change. There is no charge for this service.
To change the name on your NYS driver license or non-driver identification, contact the Department of Motor Vehicles for information.
Whether you decide to use or not use this option at the time of your marriage license application, you still have the right to adopt a different name through usage at some future date. However, your marriage license cannot be changed to record a surname you decide to use after your marriage.
If you plan to use your married name at work, be sure to have your name changed in Social Security records. This way, you will get credit for all your earnings. It's easy and it's absolutely free. Contact any Social Security office. You can find the address and phone number of your local Social Security Office at http://www.ssa.gov. You will need documentary evidence showing both your old name and your new name.
Where can a marriage take place?
A New York State marriage license may be used within New York State only. Please note that if you go out of New York State to be married, your New York State marriage license will not be filed in New York State.
What about the ceremony?
There is no particular form or ceremony required except that the parties must state in the presence of an authorized public official or authorized member of the clergy and at least one other witness that each takes the other as his or her spouse.
There is no minimum age for a witness. However, in selecting a witness, choose at least one person who you feel would be competent to testify in a court proceeding as to what he or she witnessed.
Who can perform a marriage ceremony?
To be valid, a marriage ceremony must be performed by any of the individuals specified in Section 11 of the New York State Domestic Relations Law. These include:
- the current or a former governor;
- the mayor of a city or village;
- the former mayor, the city clerk or one of the deputy city clerks of a city of more than one million inhabitants;
- a marriage officer appointed by the town or village board or the city common council;
- a member of the New York state legislature;
- a justice or judge of the following courts: the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern or Western Districts of New York, the New York State Court of Appeals, the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, the New York State Supreme Court, the Court of Claims, the Family Court, a Surrogates Court, the Civil and Criminal Courts of New York City (including Housing judges of the Civil Court) and other courts of record;
- a village, town or county justice;
- a member of the clergy or minister who has been officially ordained and granted authority to perform marriage ceremonies from a governing church body in accordance with the rules and regulations of the church body;
- a member of the clergy or minister who is not authorized by a governing church body but who has been chosen by a spiritual group to preside over their spiritual affairs;
- other officiants as specified by Section 11 of the Domestic Relations Law.
The person performing the ceremony must be registered with the City of New York in order to perform a ceremony within the New York City limits. The officiant does not have to be a resident of New York State. Ship captains are not authorized to perform marriage ceremonies in New York State.
Where do you get copies of records?
For copies of marriage licenses issued anywhere in New York State except the five (5) boroughs of New York City, a certified copy of the marriage record may be obtained from the office of the town or city clerk who issued the license, or from the New York State Department of Health. The fee is $10 if you obtain a certified copy from the town or city clerk who issued the license. If applying to the New York State Department of Health, the fee is $30. For a certified copy, write to:
- New York State Department of Health
Bureau of Vital Records Certification Unit
P.O. Box 2602
Albany, New York 12220-2602
For marriage licenses issued in New York City, do not apply to the New York State Department of Health. You must apply to the Office of the City Clerk of New York. For an application, current fees and ordering information contact the City Clerk of New York at (212) NEW-YORK or visit their website at New York City Marriage Bureau. You can also write them at:
New York City marriage records from 1930 to 1995 can be obtained solely from the Manhattan Office.MANHATTAN:(Video) Everything You Need to Know About New York's One-Day Marriage Officiant License
Office of the City Clerk
141 Worth Street
New York, New York 10013
Supreme Court Building
851 Grand Concourse, Room B131
New York, New York 10451
210 Joralemon Street, 2nd Floor, Room 205
Brooklyn, New York 11201
Borough Hall Building
120-55 Queens Boulevard, Room G-100
Kew Gardens, New York 11424
- STATEN ISLAND:
Borough Hall Building
10 Richmond Terrace, 3rd Floor, Room 311
Staten Island, New York 10301
What do I need to get married in the state of New York? ›
You and your prospective spouse must have one form of proper identification in order to apply for a Marriage License. State law also requires documentation of proof of age. Since all forms of proper identification are also acceptable proof of age, holders of proper identification will not need additional documentation.How long is the process to getting married in New York? ›
The marriage license itself has no waiting period, and can be issued to the couple immediately in New York State. However, you must wait to have the marriage ceremony itself until exactly 24 hours or more after the license was issued.What is the law for marriage in New York? ›
In New York, you can marry at the age of 16-17 with your parents' consent. You can marry at the age of 14-15 if a court grants you permission. However, no one under the age of 14 can legally get married in New York. Your gender does not matter, because same-sex marriage is permitted in New York.Do you have to be a resident of NY to get married? ›
New York State allows non related adults who are of-age to marry within the state. The minimum age is 18 without parent consent. You do not need to be a resident of New York to get married here.What proof is needed to get married? ›
Council Tax bill (most recent) Bank statement or credit card statement plus a valid bank card that matches to the statement (no older than one mouth) Utility bill (no older than three months) Valid UK driving licence.
You and your prospective spouse must have at least one witness, who must be 18 years of age or over. The witness or witnesses must bring proper identification.How much does it cost to get married in New York? ›
First things first, all couples who intend to get married in New York must obtain a 'Marriage License'. The fee for the license is $35, which can be paid by credit card or money order, payable to the City Clerk. This license is valid for 60 days and can be used anywhere within the state of New York.How long do you have to be married to apply for papers? ›
The spouse of a U.S. citizen residing in the United States must have been living in marital union with his or her citizen spouse for at least 3 years immediately preceding the time of filing the naturalization application.How long does it take to get papers when you get married? ›
For the California Service Center, as mentioned before, the processing times are: 12.5 months to 16 months if the petitioner is a Permanent Resident. 11 to 14.5 months if the petitioner is a U.S. citizen.Can you get married the same day in New York? ›
You will get your marriage license the same day you apply for it. However, you cannot hold your New York wedding for at least 24 hours after you file for your marriage license unless you get a judicial waiver.
Can tourists get married in New York? ›
As long as you have a New York-ordained officiant to perform the ceremony and complete the paperwork, you can get married anywhere in NYC.Are you legally married after living together for 7 years? ›
There is a common misperception that if you live together for a certain length of time (seven years is what many people believe), you are common-law married. This is not true anywhere in the United States.How do you elope in New York? ›
All you need to do is pay a visit to the NY city clerk aka marriage bureau, fill out a simple application form, secure your marriage license, find an officiant and bring that license to your ceremony so you and your soon-to-be-spouse can be declared married by the officiant. That's it! You are done.Do you need a witness to get married at the courthouse? ›
Yes, you need to have two witnesses for a legal marriage or civil partnership ceremony.What is the difference between marriage and wedding? ›
What's the difference between a marriage and a wedding? Marriage is a legal contract usually comprising 40 words plus your names and your signatures witnessed in a register. A wedding is the ceremonial celebration. The marriage and the wedding can be together, or at different times… that's when it gets exciting!Do you need a marriage certificate in Canada? ›
You will need to get a marriage licence. You and your spouse, witnesses and the person who performed the marriage will need to sign the licence or banns immediately after the ceremony.What questions are asked at marriage notice? ›
Each partner is asked questions about themselves and their partner including their name, age, address and what they do for a living. Each partner must provide documents to prove their identity, address and other related information. Find out which documents you need to bring.Can a family member be a wedding witness? ›
When you get married or form a civil partnership, you must have two witnesses to sign the schedule. Witnesses can be friends or family, they must be able to understand the proceedings and be able to speak and understand English.Does size matter in marriage? ›
This small survey found that the women surveyed did not think size matters in terms of their overall sexual satisfaction. The largest study performed investigating does size matter to women found that 84% of women were satisfied with the size of their partner and an additional 2% desired smaller partner penis size6.Can I get married with just 2 witnesses? ›
Signing the marriage register
Two or more witnesses must also sign at the time of the marriage. Witnesses don't have to be a certain age but you should check with the person marrying you if they have an age limit on who they'll accept.
Do you need a blood test to get married in New York? ›
No premarital physical exam or blood test is required to obtain a Marriage License in New York State.What is the cheapest way to get married? ›
- Pick your wedding day. ...
- Trim the guest list. ...
- Choose a unique wedding venue. ...
- Consider cheap wedding packages. ...
- Buy your own booze. ...
- Cut hair and make up costs. ...
- Save money on your dress. ...
- Get creative.
You can apply for your marriage license from the local registry office from where one of you habitually resides. The license is a piece of document stating that both of you are allowed to get married under the Philippine government law.Can my wife stay in the US while waiting for green card? ›
It's possible to visit your spouse in the United States while your marriage-based green card application is pending. In order to do so, you would need to apply for a tourist visa.Can I stay in the US after getting married? ›
Once you marry, your spouse can apply for permanent residence and remain in the United States while we process the application. If you choose this method, file a Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). Filing instructions and forms are available on our Web site at www. uscis.How long after marrying a U.S. citizen can I get a green card? ›
The current total wait time for a marriage-based green card averages about 20 months. This will vary depending on whether you are married to a U.S. citizen or green card holder and where you currently live (additional backlogs may be applicable depending on your location).How long does it take for marriage certificate to arrive Canada? ›
On average, couples receive their marriage certificate three weeks after the wedding takes place. Vital Statistics mails the certificate to the address the couple provided when they bought the marriage licence.What is the 3 year rule for citizenship? ›
You must have your permanent resident status for 3 years before filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. Your time as a permanent resident begins the day you were granted permanent resident status. You can find the date on your green card next to "Resident Since."How long is the processing of marriage license? ›
Online application takes less than 20 minutes, including paying online using your credit card, PayMaya, or GCash. If you are from Metro Manila, you will receive your ordered documents in 3 working days.What is the best month to get married in NY? ›
However, the warm summer nights definitely make up for it. June is traditionally the most popular wedding month, so keep in mind that prices will be at a premium and you will need to book your venue and vendors far in advance.
How much is it to elope in New York? ›
The average cost of an elopement in New York City can be anywhere from $750 to $8000 depending on what goes into it. Start reaching out to elopement vendors throughout the city to see what works best for you two as a couple.What documents do I need to get married in the US? ›
To get married in the U.S., you simply need the proper identification to apply for a marriage license in the county in which you are to be married. In most cases, you'll need to provide a valid passport. You may also need to prove that you are old enough to be legally married and that you are not already married.Can my friend officiate my wedding in New York? ›
"By signing this legislation into law, we are eliminating any barriers to becoming an officiant so friends and family members can share such a meaningful time with loved ones of their choosing and have their marriage recognized under New York State law." Legislation (S. 739A/A.Can I get married in the US as a visitor? ›
The short answer is: yes, you can get married in the US while on a B-1/B-2 tourist visa or on a visa waiver program. There is nothing in the regulations that say individuals who are in the US as visitors cannot get married.What do you call a couple living together but not married? ›
Couples who live together and are not married fall under the category of cohabitation. The legal rights of cohabiting couples are very different than those of married couples. The following brief overview can help you understand the differences between the legal rights of those who are married and those who are not.Can a married woman have a boyfriend? ›
The Court held that a live-in relationship comes within the ambit of the right to life enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The Court further held that live-in relationships are permissible and that the act of two adults living together, in any case, cannot be considered illegal or unlawful.What benefits will I lose if I get married? ›
If you get Social Security disability or retirement benefits and you marry, your benefit will stay the same. However, other benefits such as SSI, Survivors, Divorced Spouses, and Child's benefits may be affected.Can you get married at Town Hall in NY? ›
As of Monday, July 19, you can schedule an in-person marriage ceremony or license with the City Clerk. Please go to nyc.gov/cupid to make your appointment.Is eloping cheaper than a wedding? ›
While there is no set cost to elope, most couples spend $5,000-$15,000, far less than the national average of $33,000 for a traditional wedding. Eloping couples tend to cut out the things they don't care about, and perhaps pay a little more for the things they do.What is high elopement risk? ›
Increasing Elopement Risks
Residents who have eloped may be exposed to extreme heat or cold. They may suffer a fall when walking over uneven or unfamiliar territory. Additionally, they may suffer injuries or death as a result of wandering into traffic or bodies of water, or as a result of exposure to inclement weather.
What do brides wear to courthouse weddings? ›
What does a bride wear to a courthouse wedding? Whatever you wear is entirely up to you—there are no rules! Some popular outfits for a courthouse wedding include bridal suits, mini dresses, slip dresses, and jumpsuits.Who do you inform when you get married? ›
If you wish to get married or form a civil partnership in England or Wales you must both give formal notice to a Superintendent Registrar at least 28 days before the date of your ceremony or up to 70 days if you subject to immigration control.Do you have to exchange rings at a wedding? ›
Do we have to exchange rings? No, there is no legal requirement for you to exchange rings at a marriage or civil partnership ceremony, even though most people do.Are you already married before the wedding? ›
Yes, you'll already be legally married by the time your wedding rolls around, but that doesn't mean it can't be just as special—especially since rules no longer apply! A few ideas we love? Include all the traditions you love, and skip the ones you don't.Can you be married but not married? ›
What Is a Common-Law Marriage? The term common-law marriage refers to a relationship between two people who decide to cohabitate and present themselves as a married couple without the benefit of a legal ceremony and marriage certificate.What does getting married really mean? ›
A commonly accepted and encompassing definition of marriage is a formal union and social and legal contract between two individuals that legally, economically, and emotionally unites their lives.How long do you have to be married in the state of New York to get alimony? ›
There is no specific timeframe on how long a couple in New York needs to be married for one spouse to receive alimony. How long the couple was married can influence how long the spouse receives spousal support.Can foreigners get married in New York? ›
It's easy for foreigners and non-US citizens to get married in New York City. Whether you're from the UK, Ireland, Australia or elsewhere abroad, getting married in NYC with a New York elopement or NYC City Hall wedding is a memorable (and easy!) way for foreigners to get married.What documents do I need to get married in the USA? ›
To get married in the U.S., you simply need the proper identification to apply for a marriage license in the county in which you are to be married. In most cases, you'll need to provide a valid passport. You may also need to prove that you are old enough to be legally married and that you are not already married.Can you get married the same day you get your marriage license in New York? ›
You will get your marriage license the same day you apply for it. However, you cannot hold your New York wedding for at least 24 hours after you file for your marriage license unless you get a judicial waiver.
How many years do you have to be married to someone to get part of their Social Security? ›
What are the marriage requirements to receive Social Security spouse's benefits? Generally, you must be married for one year before you can get spouse's benefits. However, if you are the parent of your spouse's child, the one-year rule does not apply.What is considered a long term marriage in New York? ›
In New York State, if a couple has been married for ten or more years a marriage is considered long term. In cases of the dissolution of long term marriages, several combined factors may result in an entitlement of spousal support, or alimony.What happens if a foreigner gets married in the US? ›
Once you marry, your spouse can apply for permanent residence and remain in the United States while we process the application. If you choose this method, file a Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). Filing instructions and forms are available on our Web site at www. uscis.Are you legally married in the US if you marry abroad? ›
In general, marriages which are legally performed and valid abroad are also legally valid in the United States. Inquiries regarding the validity of a marriage abroad should be directed to the attorney general of the state in the United States where the parties to the marriage live.Can Canadians get married in the US? ›
Marriages by non-citizens are legally binding unions. Aside from providing Social Security numbers, the requirements to get married in the U.S. are the same for both U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens.What is the easiest way to get married in the US? ›
The Easiest States to Get Married In #1: Colorado
Colorado law does not require a blood test, witnesses, or a waiting period in order to get married. Furthermore, a couple can self solemnize their own marriage. New to the term? Self solemnizing is the act of marrying yourself without a judge or officiant present.
The average cost of an elopement in New York City can be anywhere from $750 to $8000 depending on what goes into it. Start reaching out to elopement vendors throughout the city to see what works best for you two as a couple.