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. Marriage License Information
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(see also Q&A: How To Get A Marriage License In New York State below.)
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Before any Wedding Bells ring, a couple must obtain a Marriage Licence. You do not need an appointment (except in Staten Island), but both halves of the couple must appear together with identification. The fee is $30, payable by Money Order Only. For more specific information on convenient locations, ceremonies, and domestic partnership certification, call the Marriage Licence Bureau (see CONTACT list below).

Note: If you wish to get married at a park in New York City, you must get a special events permit from the city in the borough where you wish to get married. Call one of the numbers below to receive an application. A $25 fee must be returned along with the permit. These next seven numbers are for Park Permits Only. For Marriage License info see the "CONTACT" numbers further down.
  • Manhattan: (212) 408-0226
    • The Central Park Conservatory Garden is a special case. There is a $200 fee for the garden, and the application comes from the Central Park Conservancy. Call Norma Soto at (212) 360-2766.
  • Bronx: (718) 430-1847
  • Brooklyn: (718) 965-8912
    • For Brooklyn's Prospect Park, (718) 965-8969
  • Queens: (718) 520-5941
  • Staten Island: (718) 390-8023

CONTACT:

The Marriage Licence Bureau web site can be found at: NYCMarriageBureau.com
Check the web site for the most current Office Hours and Location Information.

Manhattan Main Office
New York Marriage License Bureau
Municipal Building
1 Centre Street, 2nd Floor South
New York, NY 10007
212-669-2400

Bronx
Supreme Court Building
851 Grand Concourse
Bronx, New York 10451
718-590-5307

Brooklyn
Municipal Building
210 Joralemon Street, 2nd Floor, Room 205
Brooklyn, New York 11201
718-802-4107

Queens
Borough Hall Building
120-55 Queens Blvd.
Kew Gardens, New York 11424
718-286-2846

Staten Island
Borough Hall Building
10 Richmond Terrace, 3rd Floor, Room 311
Staten Island, New York 10301
718-816-2290
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Q&A: How To Get A Marriage License
In New York State

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Where do you get one?
A couple who intends to be married in New York State must apply in person for a marriage license to any town or city clerk in the state. The application for a 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?
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?
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 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 license is returned by the 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 town or city clerk who issued the license.

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?
If both applicants are 18 years of age or older, no consents are required.

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.

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.

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 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 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.

Where can a marriage take place?
A New York State 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 State 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 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.
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