New York State Marriage License Information


~ New York State Marriage License Information ~


While the depths of love you and your beloved share run far
deeper than mere words can ever hope to express, there is still the licensing and paperwork, held so dear by the laws of man and state, to be dealt with. Yes, ever since the beginning of time it seems that when it comes to marriage there was always a contract!

The New York State Marriage License
This link is to the New York State Department of Health and the information there is straight from the horses mouth so to speak, on how to get married in New York State.The license is a state wide license, so it can be issued from anywhere in the State of New York and the ceremony can take place anywhere in the state. If you are being married in New York you must have a New York Marriage License. If you are from another state, a license from your home state is NOT valid here, and it cannot be used in New York.

To get a New York State Marriage License, you will need 2 forms of ID for Long Island Town and City Halls. This means Birth certificate or Baptismal Certificate plus Drivers License or Passport. See link above for alternate forms of ID.

The City of New York now accepts a single piece of ID if it’s a Passport or Drivers License. See link below for more NYC information.

If you or your fiancé were previously married you will need proof of the divorce
Where do you get that? Here ya go!

The license is good for 60 days, but takes 24 hours to mature.

Your officiant has 5 business days to return the Marriage License to the clerk’s office that issued it. The clerk then sends the couple a Certificate of Marriage. Processing time depends on the office and the time of year, however you are legally married from the date and time you took your vows, as indicated on the Marriage License.

The City of New York is different than Long Island on some points.
They offer a service where you can fill out the marriage online,
then go there together within 20 days with your ID to pick it up.
(City of NY City Clerk’s Website)

NYC does NOT TAKE CASH $35.00 money order, certified check, or credit card.
On LI it’s $40.00 and cash is good.

Lost your original Birth Certificate? No problem here’s where to get a replacement:

Where do you go to get a Marriage License?
City and Town Hall Locations 

Already Married, have your Certificate of Marriage in hand and are ready to Change your name? Name Change Forms

Online Ordinations

Thinking about having a friend or family member ordained to marry you?
Who can legally marry you on Long Island is a can of worms. When you ask at Town Hall if online ordinations are legal, most of the clerks on Long Island  will tell you to consult your lawyer. This is because the the case that will hopefully put an end to the controversy is still making it’s way through the court system. 

Nassau and Suffolk do not require registration and do not check credentials when processing a license. Honestly, you could fill it out at the kitchen table yourselves, using the names of your favorite TV characters, and Town Hall would process it. The problem would be if one of you wanted no longer to be married, and to disenfranchise the other by having the marriage declared invalid because the officiant did not meet the state’s requirements. There have been cases where this has happened, and it opens the door to other liability. Things like health care benefits that were paid but not due, taxes that were filed jointly without legal right, all of these issues come into question. It becomes a mess.

On top of all that, after the case is finally through the Supreme Court, if they don’t make the ruling retroactive, everyone married prior to the ruling will still be in a grey area.

I’m not suggesting that if you have chosen a friend to marry you, that you change who you have performing the public celebration of your marriage. But the license is another matter.

The fee at the City Clerks Office in Manhattan is $35.00 and most Long Island town clerks have a day where they will perform ceremonies for town residents. Babylon has 2 a month, Thursday mornings, and it is
Free to Town of Babylon residents. If you call several town halls and ask for more details, the variation of answers is quite upsetting. List of Numbers here  Protect yourselves and your future by making this decision carefully… This is also true of banquet managers, DJ’s and Photographers who offer officiant services. Many do not understand that it is a grey area, still undetermined by NY courts. See Full Article

How can you be sure that I am legally able to marry you?

If you get your marriage license at the Town of Babylon or the Town of North Hempstead, they will give a list of officiants who can marry you. I am on those lists.

The City of New York, the only place in the state that recognizes online officiants, did not start doing so until 2006. Anyone registered before 2006 has had their credentials checked and has complied with what are the rest of the state wide requirements, that the City of New York formerly used.

There is no such thing as a State wide registration. NYC is the only place that requires officiants to register. I am registered with the City of New York – Office of the City Clerk as Officiant #9484. Click here for documentation.


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