You're engaged, congratulations!

98.1 The Hawk logo
Get our free mobile app

Are you planning to tie the knot in New York State? Before you say "I do," it's important to understand the state's process of obtaining a marriage license.

Where to Get a Marriage License in New York

To get a marriage license in New York State, both individuals intending to marry must apply at any town or city clerk's office within the state. Both applicants need to be present and sign the application in the clerk's presence. A representative cannot apply for the license on behalf of an applicant, even with a Power of Attorney.

Waiting Period and Validity of a New York Marriage License

While your marriage license will be issued immediately, there is a mandatory 24-hour waiting period before the marriage ceremony can take place. However, this waiting period can be waived by a judge or justice of the Supreme Court of New York State or the county judge of the county where either party resides so if you need to get married in less than 24 hours, keep this in mind.

A marriage license is valid in New York for 60 calendar days from the day after it is issued. However, if one of the parties is an active member of the U.S. military, the period can be extended to 180 calendar days with proper proof as long as you can provide that proof at the time of application.

Cost of a Marriage License in New York

The cost of a marriage license in New York State, if issued by a town or city clerk outside of New York City, is $40. This fee includes the Certificate of Marriage Registration, which is automatically sent to the applicants within 15 calendar days after the completed license is returned by the officiant who performed the ceremony. If the certificate is not received within four weeks after the wedding, you should contact the issuing clerk for assistance. Your marriage license is an important document because it serves as confirmation that the marriage record is on file.

If you plan to get your marriage from the City Clerk of New York City, you should contact the New York City Clerk's Office directly for specific fees and requirements.

Requirements and Restrictions of A New York Marriage License

New York State has certain requirements and restrictions for being allowed to get a marriage license. Minors under the age of 18 are not allowed to get married, and both parties must provide documentary proof of age. This can include a certified birth record, baptismal record, passport, driver's license, or any other government-issued identification that shows the date of birth.

Additionally, New York State prohibits marriages between certain family members such as ancestors and descendants, siblings, uncles/nieces, and aunts/nephews, regardless of whether they are legitimate or illegitimate offspring.

Anyone entering into marriage in New York State must disclose information about previous marriages, including whether they are divorced and, if so, provide details about the divorce decree.

New York Name Change Options

New York State allows individuals to adopt any name they want, but marriage does not automatically change a person's surname. Parties to a marriage are not required to take the same last name and have several options for changing their last name. Middle names can also be changed using specified options.

New York Marriage Ceremony and Officiants

New York State does not have specific requirements for the form or ceremony of a marriage as long as both parties declare their intent to marry in front of an authorized public official or clergy member, along with at least one witness.

Authorized individuals to perform marriage ceremonies in New York State include governors, mayors, city clerks, judges, justices, clergy members, and other designated officiants.

Obtaining Copies of a New York Marriage Record

For certified copies of marriage licenses issued outside of the five boroughs of New York City, you can obtain copies from the town or city clerk who issued the license or from the New York State Department of Health. The fee for a certified copy from the issuing clerk is $10, while the fee for obtaining it through the Department of Health is $30.

Celebrity Couples Who Secretly Got Married

The Quickest Celebrity Engagements

More From 98.1 The Hawk