Ahhh the marriage license! That important little document is often completely forgotten until days before the wedding. Working with brides and grooms, we get a lot of questions about the mysterious little document, so we have decided, once and for all, to spill out everything you need to know to obtain a marriage license if you are getting married in the Western New York area. Here it goes!
- Even if you live out of state, since you are getting married in the State of New York, you will still need to apply in person at any town or city clerk in the state. Both of you will need to be present to sign.
- Do not wait until the last minute! Once the license is signed and issued you must wait at least 24 hours for the ceremony to take place. The license is valid for 60 days, beginning the day after it is issued.
- As long as you are registering in a town or city outside of New York City, the license should cost you $40.
- You will have to establish your proof of age (must be at least 18) and identity. Bring with you:
- A current Driver’s license with photo or a state issued photo ID such as a non-driver’s license, passport, etc;
- A Certified Birth Certificate listing parents’ names
- Social Security Number
- Be prepared to include information regarding previous marriages. A certified copy of the Decree of Divorce or a Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage may be required.
- There is no specified way in which the ceremony must occur except that the authorized clergyman/public official and one other witness must observe you stating that you take each other as man and wife. There is no minimum age for a witness, however it is wise to select at least one person that you feel would be competent enough to testify in court.
To find a clerk near you or if you have any more questions, visit NYS Department of Health: Information on Getting Married or US Marriage Laws- New York for a great online resource. We hope this makes figuring out the marriage license a little bit easier!
(Page Last Updated: 6/12/14)
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