To obtain a marriage license in New York State couples must:
1) be at least 18 years of age (parental consent or permission
of a judge is required between the 14th birthday and prior to the 18th
2) appear together in person at any town or city hall issuing a marriage
3) be of the opposite sex.
Bring two forms of identification (at least one photo ID)
If either party has
been previously married, proof of legal dissolution by death, divorce
or legal annulment must be presented as evidence to the issuing town
or city hall; these include:
1) a death certificate,
2) a divorce decree, or
3) papers of annulment.
How many witnesses are required? Is there a minimal
Only one witness is required. Most couples use two, their Best Man and
Maid of Honor. There is no minimum age set by law. It is assumed that
a competent individual has been chosen; one who could testify with an
understanding of what had occurred. Using children from a previous relationship
is a common practice.
Neither blood tests nor physical examinations are required in New York.
What constitutes a marriage ceremony?
Article 3 Section 11 of Domestic Relations Law specifically states those
who are empowered to solemnize a marriage: 1) A clergyman or minister
of any religion..., 2) A mayor..., or 3) A justice or judge of a court
of record. (Not recognized are mail-order clergy, e.g. Universal
Life Church, or a ship's captain.)
Once issued, a marriage license is valid for 60 days excluding the first
24 hours. (A Family Court Judge may waive the 24 hour waiting period.
Ask the Town Clerk for details.)
Article 3 Section 12 of Domestic Relations Law states, No particular
form or ceremony is required ...but the parties must solemnly declare
in the presence of a clergyman...and the attending witness...that they
take each other as husband and wife. In every case, at least one witness
beside the clergyman must be present.
For DETAILED infomation go to NYS
BUREAUS in the 5 boroughs and Long Island.