If you are in love with New York City and want to start your married life there, you are not alone. The Big Apple can be surprisingly romantic. But whether you get married in one of the city's grand cathedrals, a beautiful park or City Hall, you need to follow some of the same steps. Here is how you do it.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- One of the five borough branch offices of the City Clerk's office
- Your soon-to-be spouse
- Proof of identification
- Proof of age
- Legal proof any previous marriages have ended, if necessary
- Money order
- Marriage officiant
- Certificate of Marriage Registration
Go to one of the City Clerk's offices to apply for your marriage license in person. Each of the five boroughs has a branch office. All are open from 8:30 a.m., and all except the Manhattan branch are open until 4:00 p.m. The Manhattan office closes at 3:45 p.m. Both parties to the marriage must apply for the license together in person.
Present the deputy clerk with one of the following forms of identification: a valid driver's license or identification card issued by a U.S. state or territory, a valid New York learner's permit, a passport, an active duty military identification, a certificate of naturalization or an employment authorization issued by the Department of Homeland Security.
Be prepared to show the deputy clerk proof of your current age. Documents accepted for this are birth certificates, census records, baptismal records, passports, a valid driver's license, a life insurance policy, a school record, your immigration or naturalization record if you have one, or a court record of some kind.
Provide proof that any previous marriages ended legally, if applicable. Divorced people must show the deputy clerk a certified copy of the Decree of Divorce or a Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage. Widows and widowers need a certified copy of their previous spouse's death certificates.
Pay the marriage license fee with a money order. Cash, checks or credit cards are not accepted at this time. Call (212) 699-8090 to find out the current fee.
Wait 24 hours from the exact time the marriage license was issued to hold the wedding ceremony, but no longer than 60 days afterwards. Know that military personnel have 180 days. There is no prescribed format for the ceremony, but New York does require that it be performed by a registered marriage officiant and that it be witnessed by at least one adult over the age of 18.
Sign your marriage license, along with your spouse and your witness. Your marriage officiant is required to submit it to the City Clerk within five business days, and you should receive your Certificate of Marriage Registration 15 days after they get your license. Congratulations.
Tips and warnings
- It is purely up to the deputy clerk if you need to show an additional document for proof of age. Some of the same documents you can use to prove identity can also be used as proof of age, but it is still a good idea to bring another document just in case.
- Here are the locations and phone numbers of each of the City Clerk's offices. Manhattan: the second floor of the Municipal Building at 1 Centre St., (212) 669-2400 Staten Island: the Borough Hall at 10 Richmond Terr., (718) 816-2290 The Bronx: 851 Grand Concourse, 161st St., (718) 590-5307 Brooklyn: the Municipal Building at 210 Joralemon St., (718) 802-3585 Queens: 120-55 Queens Blvd., (718) 286-2829
- You do not need to be a resident or a U.S. citizen to get married in New York City, nor do you need a premarital medical check-up or blood test.
- Any mayor in the state of New York, a former mayor of New York City, the City Clerk or any deputy city clerk, a marriage officer appointed by a town or village board or city council, almost any judge or justice of the peace or a member of the clergy can legally preside over your ceremony. If you want to double check that your officiant can legally preside over your wedding, call (212) 699-8090 to make sure he or she has the proper authorization.
- If you can't wait 24 hours, get an order from a Supreme Court judge or judge of the County Court where either the bride or groom lives to get the waiting period waived.
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