A couple who intends to be married in New York State must apply in person for a marriage license to any town or city clerk in the state. The application for a license must be signed both parties in the presence of the town or city clerk. A representative cannot apply for the license on behalf of the couple. This applies even if the representative has been given the Power of Attorney.
Notarized marriage license affidavits signed by either party cannot be substituted for their personal appearance.
Although the marriage license is issued immediately, the marriage ceremony may not take place until 24 hours after the exact time that the license was issued.
When both applicants are 16 years of age or older, the 24-hour waiting period may be waived by an order of a justice of the Supreme Court or a judge of the County Court of the county in which either party resides. If either person is under 16 years of age, the order must be from the Family Court judge of the county in which the person under 16 years of age resides.
A marriage license is valid for 60 days, beginning the day after it is issued.
If the marriage license is issued by a town or city clerk in New York State outside of New York City, it costs $40. If it is issued by the city clerk of the City of New York, it costs $30. The fee in either case includes the issuance of a Certificate of Marriage Registration.
Certificate of Marriage Registration
This certificate is automatically sent by the issuing clerk to the applicants within 15 days after the completed license is returned by the officiate (person who performs the marriage ceremony). It serves as notice that a record of the marriage is on file. Couples who do not receive a Certificate of Marriage Registration within four weeks of the wedding should contact the town or city clerk who issued the license.
Place of Marriage
A New York State marriage license may be used within New York State only.