New York laws requires a couple to obtain a marriage license in order to have a legally binding wedding ceremony. Some states require a medical examination or blood tests in order to obtain a license. All require proof of identification and a marriage license application fee.
New York State Marriage License, NYS
All persons who intend to get married in New York State must obtain a Marriage License.
Get a license from a Town or City Clerk in New York State.
A New York marriage license issued from the Office of the New York City Clerk costs $35. Cash, Credit Card, or Money Order payable to The City Clerk.
A New York marriage license issued outside of New York City limits costs $40. Cash, Credit Card, or Money Order payable to The New York Town Clerk.
It is important that you verify all information with your Town or City Clerk Office before making any wedding or travel plans.
Listed below is the information you will need to fill out the Marriage License Application:
The application is an affidavit where you and your prospective spouse must list your name; current address; city, state, ZIP code and country; country of birth; date of birth; name and country of birth of your parents; Social Security number; and marital history.
When you sign the affidavit, you are making a sworn statement that there are no legal impediments to the marriage.
Eight forms of identification are accepted. Expired identification is not accepted.
Driver License with photograph (from the United States of America or any of its territories)
Non-Driver Identification Card with photograph (from the United States of America or any of its territories)
Learner Permit with photograph (from the United States of America or any of its territories)
Active United States Military Identification Card
United States Certificate of Naturalization (good for 10 years after date of issue)
United States Permanent Resident Card
United States Employment Authorization Card
Do not have to be a resident of New York State.
If Previously Married:
If you were married before, you must list all prior marriages. You must include your previous spouse's full name; the date the divorce decree was granted; and the city, state, and country where the divorce was issued.
All divorces, annulments, and dissolutions must be finalized before you apply for a new Marriage License.
You may be asked to produce the final divorce decree.
If your spouse is deceased, you must provide such spouse's full name and date of death.
Both you and your intended spouse must appear parties must appear at the Office of the Town or City Clerk in person, together and at the same time.
The marriage license fee is $40 outside of New York City limits and $35 in NYC.
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 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.
Yes. A 24 hour waiting period after you and your prospective spouse obtain your license is required by New York State Law.
If you and your prospective spouse must marry before the 24 hour waiting period is over, you can request a Judicial Waiver from the County Clerk in the county (borough) where you obtained your Marriage License.
When both applicants are 16 years of age or older, the 24-hour waiting period may be waived by an order of a justice of the Supreme Court or a judge of the County Court of the county (borough) which either of the applicants resides.
If either person is under 16 years of age, the order must be from the Family Court judge of the county (borough) in which the person under 16 years of age resides.
No blood test or physical exam is required.
If either you or your prospective spouse is under the age of 18 years, you are required to have written parental consent to obtain a Marriage License.
Please be prepared to show proof of your date of birth. You may show one of the following forms of identification to prove your age:
original or certified copy of birth certificate,
naturalization record, or
Both of your parents must be present to consent and have proper identification at the time of application for the Marriage License and at the Marriage Ceremony if the ceremony is performed in our offices.
If one parent is deceased, the surviving parent must appear and a death certificate for the deceased parent must be produced.
If both parents are deceased, the legal guardian must appear instead.
If either prospective spouse is under the age of sixteen years, in addition to parental consent, the written approval of a Judge of the Supreme Court or Family Court is needed.
A person under the age of fourteen years cannot be married.
Proof of Age and Identity:
A person is required to establish proof of age and identity by submitting to the issuing clerk one of the following age related documents:
And one of the following identity related documents:
Employment picture ID
A 24 hour waiting period after you and your prospective spouse obtain your license is required by New York State Law.
In the event that you and your prospective spouse must marry before the 24 hour waiting period is over, you can request permission from a Judge to waive this requirement.
You can request a Judicial Waiver from the County Clerk in the county (borough) where you obtained your Marriage License. New York County Clerks.
There is no fee to obtain a Judicial Waiver.
Give the Judicial Waiver to your Marriage Officiant to enable them to perform the ceremony within the 24 hour waiting period.
The Marriage Officiant must attach the Judicial Waiver when returning the Marriage License to the Clerk's office.
Getting a marriage license with your new name on it does not mean your name has automatically changed. If you need to change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
No. Proxy marriage is not permitted in New York, so no other party may apply on behalf of either spouse.
Common Law Marriage:
Same Sex Marriage:
Yes. Same-sex marriage in the state of New York became legal on July 24, 2011, under the Marriage Equality Act, which was passed by the New York State Legislature on June 24, 2011 and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on the same day. The Marriage Equality Act does not have a residency restriction, as some other states do, and allows religious organizations to decline to officiate same-sex wedding ceremonies.
Solemnization of Marriage:
The person performing the ceremony must be registered with the City Clerk's Office in order to be able to perform (solemnize) marriages within the New York City limits. The officiant does not have to be a resident of New York State. In order to qualify you may submit an application online to the Clerk's Office. After you submit an online application, you may go to the office in person or have documents notarized and mail them to the Clerk's Office.
§11. By whom a marriage must be solemnized. No marriage shall be valid unless solemnized by either:
A clergyman or minister of any religion, or by the senior leader, or any of the other leaders, of The Society for Ethical Culture in the city of New York, having its principal office in the borough of Manhattan, or by the leader of The Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, having its principal office in the borough of Brooklyn of the city of New York, or of the Westchester Ethical Society, having its principal office in Westchester county, or of the Ethical Culture Society of Long Island, having its principal office in Nassau county, or of the Riverdale-Yonkers Ethical Society having its principal office in Bronx county, or by the leader of any other Ethical Culture Society affiliated with the American Ethical Union.
A mayor of a village, a county executive of a county, or a mayor, recorder, city magistrate, police justice or police magistrate of a city, a former mayor or the city clerk of a city of the first class of over one million inhabitants or any of his or her deputies or not more than four regular clerks, designated by him or her for such purpose as provided in section eleven-a of this chapter, except that in cities which contain more than one hundred thousand and less than one million inhabitants, a marriage shall be solemnized by the mayor, or police justice, and by no other officer of such city, except as provided in subdivisions one and three of this section.
A judge of the federal circuit court of appeals for the second circuit, a judge of a federal district court for the northern, southern, eastern or western district of New York, a judge of the United States court of international trade, a federal administrative law judge presiding in this state, a justice or judge of a court of the unified court system, a housing judge of the civil court of the city of New York, a retired justice or judge of the unified court system or a retired housing judge of the civil court of the city of New York certified pursuant to paragraph (k) of subdivision two of section two hundred twelve of the judiciary law, the clerk of the appellate division of the supreme court in each judicial department or a county clerk of a county wholly within cities having a population of one million or more;
Registration To Perform (Solemnize) Marriages:
§ 11-b. Registration of persons performing marriage ceremonies in the city of New York. Every person authorized by law to perform the marriage ceremony, before performing any such ceremonies in the city of New York, shall register his or her name and address in the office of the city clerk of the city of New York. Every such person, before performing any marriage ceremonies subsequent to a change in his or her address, shall likewise register such change of address. Such city clerk is hereby empowered to cancel the registration of any person so registered upon satisfactory proof that the registration was fraudulent, or upon satisfactory proof that such person is no longer entitled to perform such ceremony.
A New York State Marriage License is valid for 60 days.
180 days for active military personnel.
A Marriage License issued in New York can be used anywhere within New York State but may not be used outside New York State.