NEW YORK MARRIAGE LICENSE: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The big day is approaching! When it comes to planning a wedding, there are so many exciting details, but an often tedious and less exciting detail we must not forget may be the most vital: getting your marriage license. Each city and township have its own procedure for obtaining a license. You can find those details on your town’s City Clerk website (Look for “Marriage Bureau”). But whether you plan on getting married in one of the 5 boroughs or another part of New York State, here’s
What you need to know:
*Please note that the NYC Requirements included in this post refer to the current guidelines of Project Cupid that have been in effect since May of 2020
GATHER NECESSARY DOCUMENTS FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT.
You will need your social security number, proof of age, and proof of identification ready. If you have been married before, you will need proof that your divorce is final. If you are widowed, you will need to provide the name and date of death of your previous partner.
Proof of identity can be:
Employment picture ID
You can double-check the necessary documents needed on your Town’s City Clerk Marriage Bureau website if you only have some other form of documentation
MAKE YOUR APPOINTMENT
New York City is currently operating through Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 202.20: Project Cupid. You can find the detailed description of how to apply with Project Cupid here. Most other towns and cities in New York state are operating in-person. You’ll want to go to your town’s website and call the City Clerk’s office to schedule your appointment.
Start your process an entire month before your ceremony date. Most towns will not offer the license without the ceremony and officiant already in place. Call your town’s clerk office to make an appointment. You and your fiancé MUST BOTH be present at your appointment with your necessary documents.
Start early! You’ll want to start the application process just about two months before your big day. Due to the high volume of requests, it’s taking the City Clerk office longer to mail out certificates. Make sure your appointment date is no further than 21 days after you’ve submitted your application, or you will have to reapply. You and your fiancé MUST BOTH be present at your appointment with your necessary documents.
MAKE YOUR PAYMENT
You will be charged a $40 fee. Depending on your town, they may only accept specific forms of payment. Look online or call your office before the appointment to see if they accept cash, credit cards, checks, or money orders. Acceptable forms of payment vary by location.
You will be charged a $35 fee. The city of New York accepts credit cards and money orders made payable to the City Clerk only.
RECEIVE YOUR LICENSE!
There is a 24-hour waiting period from the time you are granted your license. That means no day-of marriages.
YOUR LICENSE IS VALID FOR 60 DAYS FROM THE ISSUED DATE.
At an in-person appointment, you will be granted your license immediately. Once you receive your license, you must wait 24 hours before having your ceremony. Your certificate should arrive 4 weeks after your ceremony.
Through your virtual appointment, you will receive a digital link to download your license as a PDF.
· Do I Have To Change My Surname Manually?
o Your surname will not be automatically changed after you are married. You’ll have to request the name change during this registration process.
· Do You Have To Be A New York Resident To Obtain A NYS Marriage License?
o No, you do not have to be a New York resident. However, your license will only be valid for you to wed in the state of New York.
· Can You Make An In-Person Appointment For The City Clerk’s Office In NYC?
o Not at this time.
· Can You Get Married At City Hall?
o In NYC there are no marriages at City Hall currently. This goes for most of the state, however each town follows its own protocol.
· How Old Must You Be To Get Married?
o 17 years of age and up can get married with parental and Judicial consent. Anyone 18 years+ can get married in New York.
· How Long Is The License Valid For?
o Your license is valid for 60 days from the issued date.
YOU CAN FIND MORE FAQS ANSWERED BY NYS HERE