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How to Get Your Marriage License in New York City

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How to Get Your Marriage License in New York City


As the famous song lyric go, “New York, New York, a helluva town”! Many people consider New York City the greatest city on earth. It is an amazing place to live, to work in, to visit and even to get married in. If you want to get married in the Big Apple, you will need to get a marriage license. Here is everything you need to know about getting an NYC marriage license.

Why Get a Marriage License in NYC?

The reason to get a marriage license if you are getting married in New York City is simply that you have to! It is part of the law. In the state of New York, all couples who intend to get married must obtain a marriage license. If you attempt to get married without one, your marriage will not be legally recognized by New York.


How Much Does a Marriage License Cost?

Luckily, getting a marriage license is generally very affordable. To get a marriage license in New York City, it will cost you $35. You can pay this by credit or debit card or by a money order made out to the City Clerk. When you think about all the crazy costs that sometimes can be associated with a wedding, getting a license is thankfully one of the cheaper ones. Do not lose it though. If you do, you will be charged an additional $25 for a Duplicate Marriage License.

Where and How Long is a Marriage License Good For?

A New York marriage license is good for a period of 60-days. If you and your partner do not wed within that 60-day period, you have to re-apply and be granted a license all over again. The exception to this is for active duty military personnel. Due to their unique circumstances, if one of the applicants fits these criteria, the license is good for 180 days. You should also note that while it is good for about 2 months, it is NOT valid for a 24-hour period after you receive it. So do not wait until the day before your wedding to get it!


Whether you are granted a marriage license in any of the five boroughs of New York City or in any other municipality in the state of New York, your license is valid throughout the entire state. It is not valid in any other state in the U.S. though.

How do you Apply for a Marriage License?

You have to apply and be granted a marriage license in NYC through the Office of the New York City Clerk. You may start the process online to make it faster when you get there but both you and your future spouse need to appear in person, at the same time at the City Clerk’s office. Because “Proxy Marriage” is not legal in New York State, no other person can appear at the office on either person’s behalf.


After that, the process is relatively quick and easy. There is no longer any blood tests required. Once you provide the proper identification and any required information, the license will be processed right there while you wait. You will be able to take it with you when you leave and a day later, you are legally able to get married in New York.


What Information is Required for the Application?

The application for a marriage license is a sworn statement, or affidavit, where you and your prospective spouse must confirm there are no legal impediments to your marriage. On the application, you 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. Proper identification is needed for much of this info and for age verification purposes. The NYC website has lists of what forms of primary and supporting ID you will need to confirm this info.


Your marital history is an important part of getting a marriage license. If you are still legally married in any way, it is illegal to get married again so your application will be denied. If you have been married previously, you will need your previous spouse’s full name; the date the divorce decree was granted; and the city, state, and country where the divorce was issued. If you are a widow, you will need to provide your deceased spouse’s full name and date of death.


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