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New York Marriage Laws

New York State Marriage Laws and New York Marriage License Requirements

New York State offers so much when it comes to having a perfect wedding. Whether you are planning a destination wedding in New York, planning to elope, or planning a wedding in your home town the state of New York is dotted with wonderful wedding locations. New York City has Central Park; some of the favorite Central Park locations are the Tavern on the Green, The Boat House restaurant, and the historic Central Park Church. Besides Central Park the Empire State building also allows for weddings to take place on the main observation deck. If a city wedding is not for you then maybe the beautiful backdrop of Niagara Falls would be more your style. Whatever you choose the first thing you need to check off your wedding planning list is making sure you can get a New York State marriage license and that you meet all the requirement needed to satisfy both state marriage laws and New York Marriage License Requirements for each county.

Valid US ID

New York State requires identification for both verifying your age and identify. Your identity can be validated by either a drivers license, passport, immigration record, or a employment picture ID. Your age can be validated by a document such as a birth certificate, naturalization record, census record or a baptismal record. You will need these pieces of identification for both the bride and groom.


No. There is not a residency requirement to marry in the state of New York.

Waiting Period

There is a 24 hour waiting period from the exact time the New York State marriage license is issued. There are some provisions for waiving the 24 hours, but you will have to get a New York Supreme Court judge to sign off. If the bride or groom are under the age of 16 then a family court judge from the county of there residence is required.

Length Marriage License is Valid

Once the 24 hour waiting period has elapsed the license will be good for 60 days.

Medical and Other Tests

There are no blood tests or medical exams required in order to receive a license in New York.

Age Requirements

Age 18 Years and Older
Once the bride and groom are 18 there is no parental consent needed.
Age 16 or 17
For those trying to marry at the age of 16 or 17 then there will need to be a parental consent for filled out by both parents.
Age 14 or 15
The law does provide for a 14 or 15 year old to marry. Both parents of the bride and groom will have to give consent. On top of the parental consent either a New York State Supreme Court justice or a local Family Court judge will have to give their consent.
Under Age 14
No one under the age of 14 can marry in the state of New York.

Marriages by Proxy

New York State Marriage Laws do not provide for a proxy marriage.

Previously Married

If either the bride or groom where previously married then they will need to show documentation of how the previous marriage ended.

Fees and Taxes

A New York marriage license will coast between $40 and $50 dollars. Unlike most County Clerk Offices some of New York’s County Clerk Offices require a money order and will not accept cash or personal check.

Marrying a Cousin

You are allowed to marry a first cousin in the state of New York.

Common Law

There are no common law marriages allowed in New York.

Same Sex Marriages

Same sex marriages are not allowed in New York.

Wedding Officiants

An officially ordained clergy member or public official in the State of New York may perform marriages. Public officials include mayors, city clerks, deputy city clerks, appointed marriage officer, justice, or judge. New York city requires that any officiant be registered with the City of New York. Also ship captains may not perform marriages in the state of New York.


Please remember that marriage laws very from county to county, so make sure you contact the particular county you wish to marry in for exact details. Also make sure you ask if you have any questions because chances are the county clerk will only give you the very basics as far as requirements go. If you have any questions or concerns then you will have to ask some very direct question.

Obtaining a Copy of Marriage Certificate

To get a copy of your marriage license you will need to write to New York state department of health at the address below.
Vital Records Section
New York State Department of Health
Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York 12237-0023

Premarital Counseling

Premarital counseling in not required or officially promoted by the state of New York.

Topics: New York | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “New York Marriage Laws”

  1. Diana Says:
    May 4th, 2008 at 8:05 am

    Are these the same requirements for New Jersey?

  2. Regina Says:
    January 6th, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Same for new jersey?