How to Get Your Marriage License
in New York City
How to Get Your Marriage License in NYC
By Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway
The New York Marriage Bureau used to be a shabby, run-down office in the Municipal building. Now it is at a new address and has become very high-tech and trendy. They also have a lovely little chapel there. Whether you get hitched there, in a church, or in Central Park, you will need a valid New York State marriage license that must be signed by you, your mate, at least one witness, and your officiant.
By law, you can get your marriage license anywhere in the state of New York--and it must be from NYS--but if you are getting married in the City, why not have the full NYC experience? It is such a fun and romantic time when you get your license.
Project Cupid Post-Covid
There have been changes to the process since COVID. The City launched Project Cupid to enable couples to get their marriage licenses during the long time period in which the Clerk's Office was shut down. The offices in all the boroughs have reopened but they have left some of the protocols as well as virtual options in place.
For example, you now need an appointment to visit the Clerk's office (you once were able to just walk in). But they still allow you to fill out your application for your marriage license online. The process leads you to obtain your license virtually.
As of September 10, 2023, the official NYC Marriage Bureau website says: "You can schedule an in-person appointment for a Marriage Ceremony, Marriage License, and other select services through Project Cupid. The option to schedule a virtual appointment for a Marriage License also remains available."
When you click Project Cupid it takes you to this page. You can choose from this menu and you can click on the area you need from this web page.
Tips for Getting Married in New York City
You can access all general information about getting married in New York from the official NYC Marriage Bureau site.
Here are some general tips:
Any couple getting married in NYC must have a valid marriage license issued within the State of New York. You can attain the license anywhere in the state, and it is only valid in New York State.
A New York State Marriage License remains valid for up to 60 days, and you must have it in hand for no less than 24 hours before your ceremony can be performed.
Try not to stress yourself by leaving it until the last minute if you can avoid it ... but if you are coming from out of town to get married and will have limited time before your ceremony, please make sure the Clerk's Office is open on the days before your wedding. (They close on weekends and for some holidays).
Here is some information on how to get your marriage license from the New York City Clerk's Office, which has five offices in the boroughs of NYC.
* The fee for a Marriage License is $35 payable in a money order or credit card only. (They do not accept checks or cash).
* Both bride and groom must appear together in person to apply for a Marriage License. However, the application can be started online and ready for you when you arrive at the Clerk's office. (Check to see what the availability and protocol is for virtual appointments for getting your license online).
* If you or your beloved have been married before you must list all prior marriages and must be prepared to include prior spouse's full name, date the divorce was granted and the place the divorce was filed. It is strongly advised that you bring along a copy of the final divorce decree (just in case). Widowers must provide similar information. (Needless to say, all divorces, annulments, and dissolutions must be finalized before applying for a new Marriage License.)
* Your Marriage License is generated based on the information you provide. It will be prepared while you wait, and you will take it with you upon your departure.
* Make sure you proofread it and ask for any corrections before you leave the clerk's office.
* Remember you must wait a full 24 hours before your Marriage Ceremony can be performed.
* A blood test is not required to obtain a Marriage License in New York State. There is no residence or citizenship status requirement to be married in New York City.
You must bring valid and acceptable forms of identification when applying for a Marriage License. Expired forms of ID will not be accepted.
Acceptable forms of identification include:
1. Valid driver's license (from the United States or one of its territories)
2. Non driver's identification card (from the United States or one of its territories)
3. Learner's permit from New York State only
4. Active United States Military Identification Card
5. Valid passport
6. U.S. Certificate of Naturalization (issued within the past ten years)
7. Valid United States Alien Registration Card with expiration date
8. Employment Authorization Card issued by the United States Immigration Authorities