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Obtaining Your New York City Marriage License
Welcome! If you are getting married in New York, you will find the information below helpful to you in planning your New York wedding. Read it carefully for it is essential that you understand the regulations and that you follow them precisely.
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The NYC Marriage License
Questions & Answers to better assist you in understanding the NYC marriage license process:
Where do I get my New York City marriage license?
A couple who intends to be married in New York State must apply in person for a New York marriage license to any town or city clerk in the state. The application for a New York City license must be signed by both the bride and groom in the presence of the town or city clerk. A representative cannot apply for the license on behalf of the bride or groom. This applies even if the representative has been given the Power of Attorney. Notarized marriage license affidavits signed by the bride or groom cannot be substituted for their personal appearance.
Is there a waiting period for a New York City Marriage License?
Yes . . . there is a waiting period. Although the New York marriage license is issued immediately, the marriage ceremony may not take place within 24 hours from the exact time that the NYC marriage license was issued. 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 in which either the bride or groom resides. If either person is under 16 years of age, the order must be from the Family Court judge of the county in which the person under 16 years of age resides.
How long is the New York City marriage license valid?
A New York marriage license is valid for 60 days, beginning the day after it is issued.
How much does a NYC marriage license cost?
If the marriage license is issued by a town or city clerk in New York State outside of New York City, it costs $25. If it is issued by the City Clerk of the City of New York, it costs $30. The New York marriage license fee in either case 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 New York marriage license is returned by the New York Officiant (the person who performs the marriage ceremony). (Please allow 3 weeks for out-of-state and 4 weeks for out-of-country). 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 marriage license.
Do I need a blood test of premarital physical examination?
No premarital examination or blood test is required to obtain a marriage license in NYC.
Who can get married?
Age Requirements: If either applicant is under 14 years of age, a New York marriage license cannot be issued. If either applicant is 14 or 15 years of age, such applicant(s) must present the written consent of both parents and a justice of the Supreme Court or a judge of the Family Court having jurisdiction over the town or city in which the application is made. If either applicant is 16 or 17 years of age, such applicant(s) must present the written consent of both parents. If both applicants are 18 years of age or older, no consents are required.
One parent alone may consent to a minor's marriage if: the other parent has been missing for one year preceding the application; the parents are divorced and the consenting parent was given sole custody of the child when the divorce decree was awarded; the other parent has been judged incompetent; or the other parent is deceased.
Parents, guardians or other people consenting to the marriage of a minor must personally appear and acknowledge or execute their consent before the town or city clerk or some other authorized official. If the notarized affidavit is made before an official outside of the State of New York, it must be accompanied by a certificate of authentication when the consent is filed in New York State. Proof of Age: A person may be required to submit documentary proof of age in the form of a birth certificate, baptismal record, passport, driver's license, life insurance policy, employment certificate, school record, immigration record, naturalization record or court record. No other type of proof, such as a statement by parents, may be accepted. Familial Restrictions: A marriage may not take place in New York State between an ancestor and descendant, a brother and sister (full or half blood), an uncle and niece or an aunt and nephew, regardless of whether or not these persons are legitimate or illegitimate offspring.
Do I need to bring my divorce papers from a previous marriage?
Previous Marriages Information regarding previous marriages must be furnished in the application for a New York marriage license. This includes whether the former spouse or spouses are living, and whether the applicants are divorced and, if so, when, where and against whom the divorce or divorces were granted. A certified copy of the Decree of Divorce or a Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage may be required by the clerk issuing the marriage license in NYC. Surname Options: Every person has the right to adopt any name by which he or she wishes to be known simply by using that name consistently and without intent to defraud.
Will my name automatically change after my wedding ceremony?
A person's last name (surname) does not automatically change upon marriage, and neither party to the marriage is required to change his or her last name. The bride and groom need not take the same last name. One or both parties to a marriage may elect to change the surname by which he or she wishes to be known after the marriage by entering the new name in the appropriate space provided on the New York City marriage license. The new name must consist of one of the following options: the surname of the other spouse; any former surname of either spouse; a name combining into a single surname all or a segment of the premarriage surname or any former surname of each spouse. a combination name separated by a hyphen, provided that each part of such combination surname is the premarriage surname, or any former surname, of each of the spouses. The use of this option will provide a record of your change of name. The marriage certificate, containing the new name, if any, is proof that the use of the new name, or the retention of the former name, is lawful. The local Social Security Administration office should be contacted so that its records and your social security identification card reflect the name change. There is no charge for this service. Whether you decide to use or not use this option at the time of your New York marriage license application, you still have the right to adopt a different name through usage at some future date. However, your New York marriage license cannot be changed to record a surname you decide to use after your marriage.
Where can a marriage take place?
A marriage license may be used within New York State only. Please note that if you go out of New York State to be married, your New York marriage license will not be filed in New York State. What about the ceremony? There is no particular form or ceremony required except that the parties must state in the presence of an authorized member of the clergy or public official and at least one other witness that they take each other as husband and wife. There is no minimum age for a witness. However, in selecting a witness, choose at least one person who you feel would be competent to testify in a court proceeding as to what he or she witnessed. Who can perform a marriage ceremony? To be valid, a marriage ceremony must be performed by any of the individuals specified in Section 11 of the New York State Domestic Relations Law. These include: the mayor of a city or village; the city clerk or one of the deputy city clerks of a city of more than one million inhabitants; a marriage officer appointed by the town or village board or the city common council; a justice or judge of the following courts: the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern or Western Districts of New York, the NYS Court of Appeals, the Appellate Division of the NYS Supreme Court, the NYS Supreme Court, the Court of Claims, the Family Court, a Surrogates Court, the Civil and Criminal Courts of New York City (including Housing Judges of the Civil Court) and other courts of record; a village, town or county justice; a member of the clergy or minister who has been officially ordained and granted authority to perform marriage ceremonies from a governing church body in accordance with the rules and regulations of the church body; a member of the clergy or minister who is not authorized by a governing church body but who has been chosen by a spiritual group to preside over their spiritual affairs; other officiants as specified by Section 11 of the Domestic Relations Law. The person performing the ceremony must be registered with the City of New York in order to perform a ceremony within the New York City limits. The wedding officiant does not have to be a resident of New York State. Ship captains are not authorized to perform marriage ceremonies in New York State. Ship captains are not authorized to perform marriage ceremonies in New York State. If you plan to use your married name at work, be sure to have your name changed in Social Security records.
Where can I get copies of my records?
For a copy of your marriage license issued anywhere in New York State except New York City, a certified copy of the marriage record may be obtained from the office of the town or city clerk who issued the marriage license, or from the New York State Department of Health. The fee is $10 if you obtain a certified copy from the town or city clerk who issued the marriage license. If applying to the New York State Department of Health, the fee is $5. For a certified copy, write to: Vital Records Section New York State Department of Health Empire State Plaza Albany, New York 12237-0023
For marriage licenses issued in New York City, do not apply to the New York State Department of Health. You must apply to the borough office of the City Clerk of New York in the borough where the marriage license New York City was issued. The fee is $15 per copy. Write to the City Clerk of New York: MANHATTAN: Municipal Building, New York, New York 10007 BRONX: 780 Grand Concourse, New York, New York 10457 BROOKLYN: Municipal Building, Brooklyn, New York 11202 QUEENS: 20-55 Queens Boulevard, Kew Gardens, Jamaica, New York 11424 RICHMOND: Borough Hall, St. George, Staten Island, New York 10301
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