New York State Marriage License Info

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

General Information:

The links above are to the New York State Department of Health and the NYC Marriage Bureau. The information there is the most up to date on how to get married in New York State. The NYS license is a ‘statewide 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 getting married in New York you must have a New York Marriage License. If you are coming 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 anywhere in NYS – except in NYC – you will need 2 forms of ID. The first form is a Passport or Driver’s License. The second form is Birth or Baptismal Certificate. If your Birth Certificate is not in English, they will ask for a certified translation. See link above for alternate forms of ID.

The City of New York is the only place in New York State that accepts a single form of ID for a marriage license. So, a Passport or Driver’s License is all you need at any of the five NYC City Clerk’s Offices.
Here’s the link:

Need replacement, duplicate or official copies of records?

You can also contact the issuing city clerk’s office if you know which one it came from. Note, the Department of Health is saying to expect a 6-8 week lag time before delivery of a replacement document (including birth certificates), so don’t delay!

Lost your birth certificate?
No problem here’s where to get a replacement:

If you or your fiancé were previously married and were divorced, you will need proof of the divorce. Where do you get that? Right here:

If you or your beloved have been widowed, you will need a death certificate. Here’s some more info:

Please Note: A New York State Marriage License is good for 60 days, but takes 24 hours to mature. So if you get it at noon on January 1st, you can’t be legally married until 12:01 on January 2nd.

Military Exception:
The City of New York issues special Marriage Licenses to Active Military that are good for 180 days. Active Military. You will need valid military ID. The Manhattan Location also allows couples to return their own licenses for faster turnaround. This is normally the legal responsibility of the officiant.

Name Changes:
With regards to name changes, visit this link:
There is also info for NYC’s policy here:

Are you already Married and have your Certificate of Marriage in hand and are ready to Change your name?
Click here for a link to Name Change Forms and additional Information.

Adults can legally change their names when they get married. A child’s name doesn’t change when a parent gets married. A child’s name can be changed through adoption, citizenship, a Paternity case in Family Court, or by asking a civil court for a Child Name Change.

You can choose to change your middle name and last name when you marry by putting the new name right on the marriage license application. You can’t change your first name by marriage. The new middle and last names are officially yours when the marriage ceremony is completed. Your marriage certificate is proof of your new name and can be used to change your name on other identification papers such as your driver’s license.

License Returns:
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.

Note: The City of New York is different from Long Island on some points.
The City of New York has online forms that you can fill out at home. The information stays in their system for 21 days and the license is good for 60 days from the day you go there with your ID and pick it up.

NYC does NOT TAKE CASH $35.00 money order, certified check, or credit card.

On LI it’s $40.00 and cash is good.

Where do you go to get a Marriage License?
Click here for our page of New York City and Town Hall Locations:

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