NJ Wedding Officiants Requirements
Performing Marriage Ceremonies
New Jersey Wedding Officiants
Ask a Lawyer Online Now! 24 Lawyers Are Online. Ask a Question, Get an Answer ASAP.
In New Jersey, “[various government officials] and every minister of every religion, are hereby authorized to solemnize marriage between such persons as may lawfully enter into the matrimonial relation; and every religious society, institution or organization in this State may join together in marriage such persons according to the rules and customs of the society, institution or organization.” It is a misdemeanor for someone not so authorized to “solemnize” a marriage and it is a misdemeanor for someone who is authorized to perform a marriage without the presentation of a license. (Title 37:1-13,15)
As in most states, the prospective newlyweds give the marriage license directly to the minister: “Before a marriage can be lawfully performed in this state, the persons intending to be married shall obtain a marriage license from the licensing officer and deliver it to the person who is to officiate, but if the marriage is to be performed by or before any religious society, institution or organization, the license shall be delivered to such religious society, institution or organization, or any officer thereof.” (Title 37:1-2)
A clergyman is also permitted to do “work of a psychological nature consistent with the accepted standards of their respective professions” and “work of a marriage and family therapy nature, … , when acting within the scope of the person’s profession or occupation and doing work consistent with the person’s training”. (Title 45:14B-8, 8B-8)
State of New Jersey
The fee for a New Jersey marriage license is $28 and is required at the time of application.
Minimum age to marry is 16 w/parental consent.
There is a 72-hour waiting period.
No blood test or residency requirements.
In order to get married in New Jersey, couples must apply for and obtain a marriage license.
Marriage licenses are handled by the Registrar of Vital Statistics.
The New Jersey marriage license is valid for 6 Months.
Be sure to contact your Local Registrar well in advance of the wedding to find out on what days and during what hours the Registrar will be in the office. Some locales will require an appointment.
Couples wishing to establish a Marriage in the State of New Jersey, it shall be necessary that they satisfy all of the following criteria:
- Not be a party to another civil union, domestic partnership or marriage in this State or recognized by this State;
- Be at least 18 years of age, except that applicants under the age of 18 may enter into a Marriage with parental consent.
- Applicants under the age of 16 must obtain parental consent and have the consent approved in writing by any judge of the Superior Court, Chancery Division, Family part.
Please contact the Local Registrar to determine if license applications are handled during business hours or by appointment.
- The marriage license application is to be made in the New Jersey municipality in which either party resides and the license is valid throughout the State of New Jersey.
- If neither applicant is a New Jersey resident, submit the application in the municipality where the marriage ceremony will be performed, the license is only valid in the issuing municipality.
Marriage ID Requirement in NJ:
- Proof of identity by presenting your driver’s license, passport or state/federal I.D.
- Proof of your residency.
- Your social security card or social security number.*
- A witness, 18 years of age or older.
- The marriage license application fee is $28.
*Social security number is required by law for US citizens and will be kept confidential.
Any documents in a foreign language must be accompanied by a certified English translation.
Marriage Residency Requirement:
You do not have to be a resident of New Jersey.
Marriage Waiting Period in NJ:
New Jersey has a three (3) day waiting period. For weekend weddings, you will need to apply the Tuesday before to satisfy the three days (72 hours) by Friday.
- The waiting period begins when the application is filed with the Local Registrar.
- There is no 72 hour waiting period for a remarriage; however, you must bring a certified copy of your existing marriage.
- The marriage license application is valid for six months from the date accepted, unless the Registrar has given prior approval to extend the validity of the application to a maximum of one year.
- Only one marriage license may be granted from a marriage application. If the license expires before being used, a new application must be made and another $28 fee remitted.
- The only exception to this requirement is in the case where a civil and religious ceremony are to be performed on the same day. In this case, the Local Registrar will photocopy the marriage application, marking one “A” and one “B”, and issue the corresponding marriage licenses, marking them “A” and “B” as well. One copy will be used for the religious ceremony and the other for the civil ceremony.
You will need to show documentation to prove a previous marriage has been dissolved either through death or divorce. Acceptable documents include a certified copy of the final decree of divorce or a certified copy of the death certificate for your former spouse.
For individuals who are currently in a marriage in New Jersey or are in a marriage in another state or country there exists the option to reaffirm your relationship/vows by registering a Remarriage:
- In order to apply for a Remarriage the couple must provide proof of their existing marriage, meet the requirements for entering into a marriage in New Jersey and follow the guidelines above to completing the license application.
- The process for a Remarriage License are the same as for the Marriage License, except that the Remarriage License must be accompanied by the proof of existing marriage and once the application is filed there is no 72 hour waiting period before the license is issued.
Marriage License Fee NJ:
The fee for a marriage license is $28.
Marriage Blood Test NJ:
Premarital blood tests are no longer required in New Jersey.
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.
Marriage Age Requirements: ✔ Get Copy Of Birth Certificate
Any person UNDER THE AGE OF 18 needs parental consent papers signed by both parents. If under the age of 16, parental papers and a form signed by a judge are required. These forms are available at the Registrar’s Office.
Proof of Age and Identity:
Birth certificates are required for proof of age. If you do not have your birth certificate, TWO (2) other forms of ID with your date of birth on them are required. Other acceptable forms providing proof of age are:
- Driver’s License
- Baptism Paper
- DD2-1Y Military Release Paper
- Non-Driver’s License Photo ID
Some towns will require proof of residency such as a driver’s license, lease or tax return.
Common Law Marriages:
You will need a witness who is over 18 years of age with you when you apply for the marriage license.
Marriage Officiants NJ:
Judges of a Federal District Court, United States magistrates, Judges of a Municipal Court, Judges of the Superior Court, Judges of a Tax Court, Retired judges of the Superior Court, Judge or the Superior or Tax Court who has resigned in good standing, any Mayor/Deputy Mayor or Chairman of any Township Committee, Village President of New Jersey, County Clerks, and every minister of every religion. At the time you apply for your marriage license you will have to provide the name of who is going to marry you, where, and when, and an address and phone number for the officiant.
Expiration Date of Marriage License:
- The New Jersey Marriage license is valid for thirty (30) days from date of issuance.
- The Marriage License application is valid for six months from the date accepted, unless the Registrar has granted prior approval to extend the validity of the application to a maximum of one year.
- Meaning you have 6 months to complete the application process before your $28 application fee becomes invalid.
- Approval from the Registrar could extend the validity of the application process you up to one year to complete your application.
- Again, once this application is complete, and the marriage license has been issued it is good for 30 days.
New Jersey Department for Public Health
Bureau of Vital Statistics
P.O. Box 370
Trenton, NJ 08625-0307
Ph: (609) 292-4087
Please Note: State and county marriage license requirements often change. The above information is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice. Additional information can be found on the New Jersey Department of Health website.
Ask a Lawyer Online Now! 24 Lawyers Are Online. Ask a Question, Get an Answer ASAP.