How To Get a NYC Marriage License

Like most of the other states, getting a marriage license in New York has been made to be as easy as possible. This is done to encourage more people to make their marriage legal as most people would be tempted to forfeit the entire process if they feel that it would be too stressful. If you’re one of those planning to get married in New York, then this piece is for you.

Gether The Necessary Documents 

The first thing to do if you plan on obtaining a marriage license is to prepare your paperwork. This simply means that you have to gather some of the necessary documents you’d be needing. In New York, all applicants are expected to present a valid driver’s license, passport photograph, and a birth certificate. Depending on certain factors, you’d be asked to present a United States residency form and other documents as well. Those who have been married prior to this time will be required to present their legal divorce papers. Widows and widowers will also be required by state laws to provide a copy of the certificate of death of their spouse. These documents are required to ensure that an individual who has been married legally without divorce or the death of a spouse is not married again.

In New York and in some of the other states in the country, you’re required to have a witness present if you are to obtain a marriage license. Additionally, you and your spouse would have to be present. However, the state has made a few exceptions; a partner may not be present if he or she is hospitalized, incarcerated, or a member of the United States Armed Force and unable to make it to the clerk’s office.


Once you have successfully gathered the needed documents for this application, the next thing to do would be to fill out the application. Before you decide to fill out this application, it is best that you ensure that you are above the legal age of getting married (which is 18). In New York, individuals below the official age may get married if they provide a consent form from their parents or from a presiding judge. In addition to this, the underage couple will have to present proof that they are able to care for themselves financially.

Based on New York state laws, blood relatives cannot get married. This is exactly why a birth certificate and other necessary documents will have to be presented. On rare occasions, relatives that are not closer than third cousins could get married if they are old and unable to give birth to children. While filling out this application, it is best that you take into consideration these requirements stipulated by the state.

The Application Process

  1. Visit the county clerk’s office; to obtain a marriage license in New York and in any other state of the country, you are expected to pay a visit to the county clerk’s office. During this visit, you have to come with the necessary documents mentioned above. You also have to come with a witness. To ensure that you do not wait for a long period of time, it is advised that you book an appointment a day or two before your visit.
  2. Make a payment; while most states like Illinois charge $60 for a marriage license, the rate for this license in New York is $40. Note that you would only be issued this license if you meet the many predetermined state requirements. In New York, the $40 you pay for a marriage license covers the marriage registration issuance certificate.
  3. Sign the application; once you have made the payment, you’d have to sign the document. In New York, you’d be required to provide two witnesses who you will sign. Also, an officiating minister who could either be a judge or a religious leader must also sign.

Unlike some of the other states that will require applicants to get married only after 72 hours after their license has been approved, New York state laws specifically mention that this license is valid after 24 hours. That is, applicants can get married a day after receiving their license. Like Illinois, New York has a 60 days validity period.

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Written by Clare Louise

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