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Getting Married in New York

Updated: Oct 30, 2018

State Laws and Regulations You Should Know Before Getting Hitched



Every state has specific laws governing marriage, and New York is no different. Read on to learn more about the laws of tying the knot in the Empire state.


Marriage License

You must wait at least 24 hours after you obtain your Marriage License before you can have your wedding ceremony. Marriage licenses are valid for 60 days, so it is best to apply 2-4 weeks before your date to be sure it is not forgotten. To apply for your license, visit any town or city clerk in the state to fill out the application. You can save yourself time by calling ahead and making an appointment before going to get your license. (Use this phone call as an opportunity to also ask your office exactly what they require.) Marriage licenses issued in New York can be used anywhere in the state, but are not valid outside of New York. In order to fill out the Marriage License Application, you will need:

  • 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.

  • 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.


Officiant

Your Wedding Ceremony must be conducted by a licensed officiant who is eligible to perform Marriage Ceremonies under New York State Law. If your Ceremony will be performed in the City of New York, your Officiant must be registered with the Office of the City Clerk before your wedding. The fee to Register to perform Marriage Ceremonies in NYC is $15. The registration requirement does not apply to Marriage Ceremonies performed anywhere else in the State of New York.


Marriage Certificate

A Certificate of Marriage Registration is the official documentation of your wedding that lists the date, time, location, Officiant's name and title, and any changes in surname. In order to receive your certificate, your signed license must be sent in by your officiant - either mailed or by hand - within a deadline established by the office that issued your license. Typically in New York State, the deadline is five days after your ceremony.  You should receive your Marriage Certificate in the mail within approximately 20 days of your wedding. If you don't receive your Certificate within a month of your Ceremony, you should contact the City or Town Clerk office where you obtained your Marriage License.


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