All persons who intend to get married in New York State must obtain a Marriage License. This page explains the procedure for obtaining a Marriage License from the Office of the New York City Clerk.
The fee for a Marriage License is $35 by credit card or money order payable to the City Clerk.
Duration of the Marriage License
A New York State Marriage License is valid for 60 days (except for active military personnel. for whom the validity runs for 180 days). A Marriage License issued in New York can be used anywhere within New York State but may not be used outside New York State.
Listed below are the general steps and rules of the application process.
- You can begin the application process to receive a Marriage License online via "City Clerk Online ". This will speed up the process which then must be completed in person at the Office of the City Clerk.
- Regardless of whether you started the application process online, or will be filling out a paper form for a Marriage License, you and your prospective spouse must complete the process by appearing at the Office of the City Clerk in person, together and at the same time.
- Proxy marriage is not permitted in New York, so no other party may apply on behalf of either spouse.
- You will receive the application from the information desk and you must complete the application in our office.
- Your Marriage License will be processed while you wait.
- You should carefully read your Marriage License to make sure there are no mistakes.
- You will take the Marriage License with you when you leave our office.
- You must wait a full 24 hours before your Marriage Ceremony can be performed unless you obtain a Judicial Waiver .
A blood test is not required to obtain a Marriage License in the State of New York.
Name Change Options
We ask you to carefully consider whether to change your surname.
- Various surname options are listed on the back of the application.
- You must state your choice of surname on the application. If you elect to make a surname change on your application, the surname change takes legal effect at the conclusion of the Marriage Ceremony.
- The name change option does not apply to your first name or middle name.
- If you wish to change your surname through this office after your Marriage Ceremony, you must remarry.
- Although you may correct mistakes in your Certificate of Marriage Registration, a surname choice is not considered a mistake and cannot be changed through our Amendment process.
Duplicate Marriage License
- If the Marriage License is lost, stolen, or mutilated, you must obtain a Duplicate Marriage License in order to get married.
- The fee for a Duplicate Marriage License is $25 by credit card or money order payable to the City Clerk.
- Either prospective spouse may apply for a Duplicate Marriage License by returning to the office that issued the original Marriage License and completing a Duplicate Marriage License affidavit.
Under the Age of Eighteen
If either you or your prospective spouse is under the age of 18 years, you are required to have written parental consent to obtain a Marriage License.
- Please be prepared to show proof of your
date of birth. You may show one of the following forms of identification to prove your age:
- original or certified copy of birth certificate,
- baptismal record,
- driver license,
- naturalization record, or
- court records.
- Both of your parents must be present to consent and have proper identification at the time of application for the Marriage License and at the Marriage Ceremony if the ceremony is performed in our offices.
- If one parent is deceased, the surviving parent must appear and a death certificate for the deceased parent must be produced.
- If both parents are deceased, the legal guardian must appear instead.
- If either prospective spouse is under the age of sixteen years, in addition to parental consent, the written approval of a Judge of the Supreme Court or Family Court is needed.
- A person under the age of fourteen years cannot be married.
- A 24 hour waiting period after you and your prospective spouse obtain your license is required by New York State Law.
- In the event that you and your prospective spouse must marry before the 24 hour waiting period is over, you can request permission from a Judge to waive this requirement.
- You can request a Judicial Waiver from the County Clerk in the county (borough) where you obtained your Marriage License. Learn more about County Clerks .
- There is no fee to obtain a Judicial Waiver.
- Give the Judicial Waiver to your Marriage Officiant to enable them to perform the ceremony within the 24 hour waiting period.
- The Marriage Officiant must attach the Judicial Waiver when returning the Marriage License to our office.
Same Sex Marriage Information
On June 24, 2011, the New York State Legislature passed the Marriage Equality Act which was signed into law by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo the same day. This new law took effect on July 24, 2011. Since that date the New York City Clerk has been issuing marriage licenses and providing civil marriage ceremonies to same-sex couples. State law generally requires couples to wait 24 hours after receiving a license before they can be married.
The following is a list of all domestic and international jurisdictions that perform same sex marriages as of June 26, 2015:
Same-sex marriage is now legal in all the states and territories of the United States including the District of Columbia as per the Supreme Court's decision in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges.
- French Guiana
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- United Kingdom (England, Scotland, and Wales)
Lawfully married individuals, including individuals in same-sex marriages, are entitled to more New York State rights and benefits than those registered as domestic partners here in New York City. If an individual lawfully enters into a same-sex marriage in a jurisdiction outside New York, they are entitled to most of the New York State rights and benefits available to people lawfully married in New York. If you are considering entering into a marriage in one of the jurisdictions listed above, it is recommended that you contact that jurisdiction beforehand in order to learn about any applicable marriage requirements or restrictions.