How To Get A Marriage License In New York City

Where do you get one?

A couple who intends to be married in New York City must apply in person for a marriage license at any of our offices. The Affidavit and Application for Marriage License must be completed as described and must be signed by both the bride and groom in the presence of the issuing clerk. A representative cannot apply for the license on behalf of the bride or groom even if the representative has been given a power of attorney.

Find Asian Women For Marriage

If you’re looking for an Asian woman for marriage, it’s easy to do your research online. Most of these women are looking for a partnership where the man is the primary provider and the woman takes care of all the household chores. While the standards of living in Asian countries are generally lower than in Western countries, this doesn’t mean that you should overlook Asian brides for marriage. If you’re looking for a wife, you’ll find that there are many Asian women available for marriage.

When searching for a woman in New York, Asian ladies need to be aware of new traditions and lifestyles. They also don’t want to get married to a man who would sponsor their family. Therefore, the male gender should have the same mindset in order to be accepted by the Asian woman. In addition, the husband-to-be should not be overly concerned with the amount of money the bride-to-be earns in her current job.

Manhattan Office
Victor L. Robles, City Clerk – Clerk of the Council
Municipal Building1 Centre Street, 2nd Floor South
New York, NY 10007
Telephone Number is (212) 669-2400
Bronx Office
Dolores DeCrescenzo, Deputy City Clerk
Supreme Court Building
851 Grand Concourse
Bronx, New York 10451
Telephone Number is (718) 590-5307
Brooklyn Office
Johnnie Johnson, Deputy City Clerk
Municipal Building
210 Joralemon Street, 2nd Floor, Room 205
Brooklyn, New York 11201
Telephone Number is (718) 802-4107
Queens Office
Dora Young, Deputy City Clerk Borough Hall Building
120-55 Queens Blvd.
Kew Gardens, New York 11424
Telephone Number is (718) 286-2846
Staten Island OfficeMarie R. Lennon, Deputy City Clerk
Borough Hall Building
10 Richmond Terrace, 3rd Floor, Room 311
Staten Island, New York 10301
Telephone Number is (718) 816-2290

Is there a waiting period?

Yes. Although the marriage license is issued immediately, the marriage ceremony may not take place within 24 hours from the exact time that the 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 license valid?

A marriage license is valid for 60 days, beginning the day after it is issued.

How much does it cost?

A marriage license issued by the City Clerk of the City of New York costs $35 (payable by money order only). The fee includes the issuance of a Certificate of Marriage Registration (the actual license costs $25 and the initial Certificate of Marriage Registration costs $10). The Office of the City Clerk automatically sends this certificate to the applicants within 15 days after the completed license is returned by the marriage officiant (person who performs the marriage ceremony). 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 office where the license was issued.

Is a premarital physical exam required?

No premarital examination or blood test is required to obtain a marriage license in New York State.

Who can get married?

Age Requirements:

  • If either applicant is under 14 years of age, a 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: 1) the other parent has been missing for one year preceding the application; 2) the parents are divorced and the consenting parent was given sole custody of the child when the divorce decree was awarded; 3) 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, a certificate of authentication must accompany it 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 (that is, a parent, grandparent, etc. and an offspring (child)), 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. There is no legal bar against marriage between cousins.

Previous Marriages

Information regarding previous marriages must be furnished in the application for a 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 so it is a good idea to bring an original or certified copy of the same at the time of application for your marriage license.

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. 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 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 pre-marriage 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 pre-marriage surname, or any former surname, of each of the spouses.

The use of the last mentioned 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 marriage license application, you still have the right to adopt a different name through usage at some future date. However, your marriage license cannot be changed to record a surname you decide to use after your marriage.

What if I make a mistake in filling out the application for marriage license?

The Office of the City Clerk has built in several safeguards in the application process to minimize error. At the time of your application for a marriage license you will be shown the information you have provided on screen. Any errors can be corrected at that time. After your marriage license is completed and handed to you, you are encouraged to proofread the license. Any errors are corrected for free within the immediate 24-hour period after issuance of the license. After such grace period, corrections may be done at a cost of $25. There is yet another opportunity to correct errors without charge: upon receipt of the marriage certificate if a mistake is alleged and (ii) such error is claimed (a) twenty-four hours after receipt of the marriage certificate for ceremonies performed in our offices or (b) two weeks after receipt for marriage certificates sent out via mail the marriage certificate will be corrected without charge. (In calculating the two-week period, five days will be allowed for mailing in the continental U.S., after which the two-week period starts to run; for overseas mail the two-week period starts to run after the date of receipt stamped on the envelope.)

After the foregoing period certain changes are permissible through an amendment.

Where can a marriage take place?

A New York State marriage license may be used within New York State only. Please note that at present marriage records are not universal so if you go out of New York State to be married, your New York State marriage records will not be filed in New York State but in the state or country in which you married.

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 who must be at least eighteen years old that they take each other as husband and wife. In fact, pursuant to Section 11(4) of the Domestic Relations Law, a marriage may be solemnized by a written contract. Both parties and at least two witnesses must sign the contract and all signatures must be given within the state. The contract must state the place of residence of each party and of each witness and must state the date and place of marriage. Both the parties and the witnesses before a judge of a court of record of the State of New York must acknowledge the contract.

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 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.

Where can I get copies of my records?

For marriage licenses issued in New York City apply to the borough office of the City Clerk of New York in the borough where the license was issued if your marriage occurred after 1995. All other records are obtainable in person at the Office of the City Clerk located at 1 Centre Street, Room 252. The fee is $15 per copy unless you need the so called “extended version for foreign use” which costs $35. Records are also obtainable by mail.

If you plan to use your married name at work, be sure to have your name changed in Social Security records. This way, you will get credit for all your earnings. It’s easy and it’s absolutely free. Contact any Social Security office. Look in the telephone book for the address and phone number. You will need documentary evidence showing both your old name and your new name.

Can I have both a religious and civil ceremony?

Yes. For one reason or another some couples have a civil ceremony performed while preparing or waiting for a religious ceremony. The marriage officiant of the subsequent religious ceremony may require that a license be presented before performing the ceremony. In that case a couple already legally married may apply for a second or subsequent license. As is the case with the first ceremony, the Office of the City Clerk will once again issue a Certificate of Marriage Registration.

What can I do if the person who performed my marriage ceremony fails to return my marriage license or the marriage license is lost?

In that case, you must present to the Office of the City Clerk a letter from the marriage officiant (person who performed the marriage) addressed to the City Clerk and written on such marriage officiant’s official stationery stating that the ceremony did occur and the date of occurrence. On reliance on such letter and an affidavit you will be asked to sign, a so-called duplicate marriage license will be issued to you at the cost of $25. Upon proper completion of such marriage license and submission to the Office of the City Clerk a Certificate of Marriage Registration will be issued to you.