Marriage License is what you need in order to get married. You will bring this to your wedding Officiant. The Certificate of Marriage is what you get back from the state confirming the Marriage is on record.

In order to get married in the state of New York, you must visit any one of the county clerks offices in New York state. They are not open on weekends.

The couple to be married must go together in person the the clerks office. In New York City, you go through metal detectors, get a ticket and then wait for your number to be called. Instead of filling out all of your details at the clerks office, you can do it ahead of time online at: https://www1.nyc.gov/cityclerkformsonline/

Manhattan Office – 141 Worth Street
Marriage Bureau Hours: 8:30 am to 3:45 pm, Monday through Friday
Lobbying Bureau Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday Through Friday
(Walk-in hours until 3:45pm)

You will confirm that the information is correct, show them your government issued photo ID (any state, any country, must be over 18) and pay a fee of $35 and they will give you your Marriage License and a return envelope. You must wait 24 hours from the time stamped on the license before you can get married. You then have up to 60 days to get married before the License expires.

When I perform your ceremony, I will review the License, then fill out my information and my license number (Wedding Officiants in NYC must have their own License Number), the date, time and location of your ceremony and finally view the government issued photo ID of your witness. By law, only one witness is required, but there is room for 2 witnesses. It makes them feel special, so ask 2 people. There is technically no age limit or residence requirements so anyone can be a witness as long as they have ID. You and your witnesses will sign the license (practice if you are changing your name!) and then I will mail the License back to the clerks office. It can take anywhere from 1-6 weeks to get your Certificate of Marriage mailed to you. If you wish to speed up this process, one of you can go back to the clerks office (it doesn’t have to be both of you this time) and they will issue you your Certificate of Marriage instantly without any additional fees.

Other details about the Marriage License can be found here: http://www.cityclerk.nyc.gov/html/marriage/license.shtml

If you have a previous marriage or are a widow, please bring divorce papers or death certificate.

Non US Citizens getting Married in New York

If you live in another country, but are coming to New York to get married, you may need additional documents for your country to recognize your marriage. Request this information from your countries local authority to determine if the standard Certificate of Marriage is fine or if you are required to add the three steps below.

1. Obtain An “Extended” Certificate of Marriage

After your wedding ceremony is over (the next few days after), take the completed Marriage License that was filled out by your Officiant, back to the same Clerks Office where you picked up your Marriage License originally. The Extended Certificate of Marriage that you are requesting, has same information as a regular Certificate of Marriage that US Citizens get,  but will also include the names of both parents and their country of birth, the names of both witnesses, and the number of previous marriages. There is a $35 fee for this.

Manhattan Office – 141 Worth Street
Marriage Bureau Hours: 8:30 am to 3:45 pm, Monday through Friday
Lobbying Bureau Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday Through Friday
(Walk-in hours until 3:45pm)

Some Non US citizens may need this. If your country requires it, you will also need to take additional steps noted below.

2. Get Signature of Marriage Bureau Certified

Take the Extended Certificate of Marriage to the nearest County Clerk’s Office (60 Center Street) to authenticate the City Clerk’s hand signature thats on the back, for a fee of $3.

3. Apostille

Take the document to the New York State Department of State (123 William Street – 19th Floor) for the authentication of the County Clerk’s signature and the attachment of an “Apostille,” for a fee of $10.

Australian Citizens Getting Married in New York, USA

Pretty simple as the steps are the same for US citizens.

You can read more here: https://www.bdm.vic.gov.au/marriages-and-relationships/overseas-marriages

U.K. Citizens Getting Married in New York, USA

Pretty simple as the steps are the same for US citizens.

You can read more here: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/family/living-together-marriage-and-civil-partnership/getting-married/