Legal Requirements for Getting Married in New York, USA
Allow at least 2 days from arrival in New York the planned wedding date to process paperwork (24 hours waiting period from receiving marriage license to wedding celebration). We recommend giving yourself more time due to preparation, weekends, holidays or unexpected delays.
Necessary legal documents:
Please note that all documents must be submitted in English. Contact the Embassy in your home country or your Embassy in the Unted States for an authorized translator. If your documents are translated, be prepared to submit the original copies in your native language for verification as well as the translated version.
- Original or certified copy of birth certificates
- Valid Passports or driver’s license
- Certified copy of divorce decree or death certificates, if applicable
Legal requirements to get married:
- Ceremony (Civil/Religious)
Civil and religious ceremonies are legally recognized weddings preformed in New York. The officiate must be authorized to conduct a wedding ceremony.
- Age and Relation
The bride(s) and/or groom(s) must be at least 18 years of age. If they are underage, parental consent is necessary. With parental consent, either party can be no younger than 16 years of age. Special circumstances involving parental consent and Family or Supreme Court involvement may allow a 14 or 15 year old to marry. Note that the legal age in your home country must be met to be recognized. The couple cannot be closely related by blood.
One witness must be present for the ceremony and provide identification.
Take all paperwork to apply in person to any Town or City Clerk’s Office within state of New York. Call prior to arriving to set up an appointment, if possible. The couple must wait at least 24 hours from the time the license was issued to the wedding ceremony. You will be applying for your Marriage License. The Marriage License is valid for 60 days, to be used only within the state of New York.
- The bride(s), groom(s), witness and officiate will sign the Marriage License at the ceremony.
- Following the ceremony, the officiate will send the completed Marriage License back to the issuing town or city clerk’s office.
- 15-28 days later the town or city clerk’s office will send the newlyweds their Certificate of Marriage Registration.
Note: This information can change at any given moment. For up-to-date information, contact your embassy in the country in which you plan to marry.
We invite you to contact us with any new information. Be sure to note, “Update Marriage Requirements in New York, USA” in the subject line.