Getting Marriage In New York For Foreigners – Guide

by ECL Writer
Marriage In New York For Foreigners

New York City is known for its iconic skyline, diverse culture, and romantic atmosphere. It’s no wonder that many couples from all over the world choose to tie the knot in the Big Apple. Getting married in New York City as a foreigner can be a unique and exciting experience, but it can also come with its own set of challenges. From obtaining a marriage license to navigating cultural differences, there are several factors to consider before saying “I do” in a city that never sleeps. In this article, Eastcoastlaws.com will explore what foreigners need to know before getting married in NYC and offer tips for making the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

What Is The Legal Age To Get Married In New York

In New York, the legal age to get married is 18 years old. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Individuals who are 16 or 17 years old can get married with their parents’ consent. Additionally, individuals who are 14 or 15 years old can get married if they have permission from a judge in addition to their parents. It is important to note that no one under the age of 14 can legally get married in New York. Couples must obtain a marriage license from the City Clerk before getting married in New York.

Do You Have To Be A New York Resident To Get Married In NYC?

No, you do not have to be a New York resident to get married in New York City (NYC). However, there are certain requirements that both you and your partner must meet in order to obtain a marriage license in NYC. These requirements include:

  • Both parties must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Both parties must provide valid photo identification, such as a driver’s license or passport.
  • Both parties must provide a social security number or, if they do not have one, a letter from the Social Security Administration indicating that they do not have a social security number.
  • If either party was previously married, they must provide a certified copy of the divorce decree or death certificate of their former spouse.

If you meet these requirements, you can obtain a marriage license from the City Clerk’s office in any of the five boroughs of NYC. Once you have obtained your marriage license, you can get married anywhere in New York State, including in New York City.

Marriage In New York For Foreigners

Getting married in New York City is a straightforward process for individuals who are not U.S. citizens or foreigners. Whether you hail from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or any other foreign country, the process is relatively uncomplicated.

Call Your consulate

If you are married in the United States, first be sure your native nation will accept your marriage. You can inquire at the consulate of your nation in the United States if you are already there.

Get a New York Marriage License

To get married in New York, a couple must first apply for and receive a marriage license. To secure a marriage license in New York City, couples have the option to book an in-person appointment through the online scheduling system. These appointments become available three weeks in advance, precisely at 9 a.m. Eastern Standard Time every Thursday.

Have Your NYC Marriage Ceremony

Getting married in NYC City Hall is the fastest way to get married in New York. If you’ve opted for a City Hall wedding, it’s essential to arrange a ceremony appointment. Be sure to bring your marriage license, a government-issued photo ID, and a credit card to cover the $25 ceremony fee. Currently, the allowance is for up to four adult guests, with one of them serving as your witness. The ceremony itself is incredibly brief, lasting approximately one minute or two, but you’re allowed an additional minute inside the room for photo opportunities. However, it’s unlikely that you traveled all the way to New York City just to capture moments in a room – the vibrant city outside beckons for exploration!

If a government-building wedding doesn’t align with your vision, there’s no need to worry. As long as you have a New York-ordained officiant to conduct the ceremony and handle the necessary paperwork, you have the flexibility to tie the knot at any location of your choice within New York City.

Get an Extended Marriage Certificate from the New York Marriage Bureau

There are two types of marriage certificates available: a “short” certificate and an “extended” certificate. The short certificate serves as the standard form. However, if you are a foreigner getting married in New York City, the extended certificate is an expanded version of the Certificate of Marriage Registration. It includes additional details such as the names of both parents and their countries of birth, the name and title of the Marriage Officiant, and the name and location of the ceremony venue. For some foreigners, obtaining an extended certificate may be necessary to ensure the marriage is recognized outside the United States. To confirm this requirement, you can contact your consulate and inquire about the necessity of an extended license.

Here for a detailed step-by-step on how to get an extended marriage certificate in NYC. 

  • In-person: Take the document to the nearest County Clerk’s Office located in the Supreme Court Building, 60 Centre Street, Notary Desk, Room 141B. The fee is $3, payable in money order, credit or debit card. They are closed every Wednesday
  • By mail: Enclose the marriage certificate and a money order payable to “New York County Clerk” in the amount of $3. Mail to: New York County Clerk, Attention: Notary Division, 60 Centre Street, New York, NY 10007. It’s recommended you enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Please be sure your return address is clearly indicated.

How To Get Married In New York City

Getting married in New York City is a straightforward process that involves obtaining a marriage license and planning the wedding ceremony. Here are the steps to get married in NYC:

Obtain a marriage license

Couples can apply for a marriage license online or in person through the Office of the City Clerk. The fee for the license is $35, payable by credit card or money order. The license is valid for 60 days and can be used anywhere within the state of New York.

Ensure you have the correct paperwork

Couples must bring relevant identification documents to their appointment with the City Clerk. If either party has been married before, they must bring their official divorce decrees to the City Clerk’s office before obtaining a marriage license.

Plan the wedding ceremony

Couples can hire an officiant and get married at any location. Wedding ceremonies have resumed at New York City Hall, but only one witness is allowed. Couples can also choose to have their wedding ceremony at other iconic locations in the city, such as Central Park.

It is important to note that no walk-in visits are permitted, and couples must schedule an appointment and receive a confirmation email before visiting any office of the City Clerk

Obtaining A Marriage License As A Foreigner In NYC

Every couple planning a wedding must first obtain a marriage license from the state of New York. Online applications are available for couples to start. Upon application submission, you will be given a confirmation number and instructions on what supporting documents to bring to the New York City Clerk’s Office. Couples should apply for one no earlier than 2.5 weeks before they come to NYC, lest the application expires, as online applications are only valid for 21 days.

When you have completed your online application and are in New York, you should go to the City Clerk’s Office. Each borough has a location, with the Manhattan branch being at 141 Worth St. (see here for addresses). Plan properly because the Manhattan branch is open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Both parties must present official photo identification, like as a passport, that includes your picture, name, date of birth (you must be 18 or older to get married in the United States), and address. Below is a list of acceptable IDs.

A money order or credit card made out to the City Clerk may be used to pay the $35 fee for a marriage license. The City Clerk does not accept cash, so please be aware of that. You must get married before the license expires, which is after 60 days, in order to use it. To get married, you must, however, wait at least a full 24 hours after the marriage license has been obtained.

How Much Is A Marriage License In NYC

In New York City, the fee for a marriage license is $35. If you apply for a marriage license anywhere else in the state of New York, the fee is $40. The fee for a certified copy of your marriage certificate or transcript is $10. Couples can apply for a marriage license online or in person through the Office of the City Clerk. It is important to note that couples must schedule an appointment and receive a confirmation email before visiting any office of the City Clerk.

Marriage License NYC Appointment

To obtain a marriage license in New York City, couples must schedule an appointment to appear in person at the City Clerk’s Office or attend a virtual appointment through Project Cupid. No walk-in visits are permitted, and couples must receive a confirmation email before visiting any office of the City Clerk. Here are the steps to schedule an appointment for a marriage license in NYC:

  • Visit the NYC Marriage Bureau website: Couples can visit the NYC Marriage Bureau website to schedule an appointment for a marriage license.
  • Choose the type of appointment: Couples can choose between an in-person appointment or a virtual appointment through Project Cupid.
  • Provide the necessary information: Couples must provide their personal information, including their names, dates of birth, and contact information.
  • Choose the location: Couples must choose the location where they want to apply for their marriage license.
  • Select the date and time: Couples can select the date and time that works best for them.
  • Receive a confirmation email: Couples will receive a confirmation email with instructions on what to bring to their appointment.

It is important to note that couples must obtain a marriage license before getting married in New York City.

Planning A Wedding In NYC As Foreigners

The New York City Hall Wedding ceremony is a popular choice for Foreigners couples who want a simple, affordable, and memorable way to tie the knot. The City Clerk’s Office, located in the City Hall building in Lower Manhattan, offers marriage licenses and officiates weddings for couples from all over the world.

Getting married in New York City Hall is the fastest way to complete the process. There are no reservations required, so if you decide a City Hall wedding is right for you, all you have to do is show up at the Marriage Bureau with your paperwork and be ready to wait in line. Bring your marriage license, a valid photo ID from the government, and a credit card to pay the $25 ceremony fee. You are given another minute or so to snap pictures after the ceremony, which lasts around one minute in total.

The ceremony typically lasts around 15 minutes and is conducted by a marriage officiant appointed by the City Clerk’s Office. After the ceremony, couples and their guests can explore the historic City Hall building and its surroundings, which offer plenty of opportunities for photos and sightseeing. The City Hall Park, located across the street, provides a beautiful backdrop for outdoor photos, with its fountains, gardens, and views of the surrounding skyscrapers.

Get An Extended Marriage Certificate From The New York Marriage Bureau

A “short” certificate and an “extended” certificate are two different forms of marriage certificates. The fundamental form is the brief certificate. However, if you’re getting married in NYC as a foreign national, an extended certificate is a lengthened version of the Certificate of Marriage Registration that contains extra details like the names of both parents and their countries of origin, the name and position of the Marriage Officiant, and the name and location of the venue where the ceremony took place. Some foreigners will want an extended certificate in order for it to be recognized outside of the United States. You can call your embassy to find out for sure if you require an extended license.

Language Barriers And Resources For Foreigners Getting Married In NYC

New York City is a popular destination for couples from all over the world to get married, but language barriers can be a challenge for non-native English speakers. However, there are many resources available to help foreign couples navigate the process of getting married in New York City.

First and foremost, the City Clerk’s Office provides marriage license application forms in multiple languages, including Spanish, French, Italian, and Chinese. In addition, the office has interpreters available on-site to assist couples who may have difficulty communicating in English.

For couples who prefer to work with a wedding planner or a bilingual officiant, there are many professionals available who specialize in working with non-native English speakers. These professionals can help with everything from translating legal documents to coordinating with vendors and venues.

In addition, there are many online resources available for foreign couples getting married in New York City, including wedding planning websites and forums where couples can connect with others who have gone through the same process. There are also translation apps and services that can help couples communicate more effectively with vendors and officials.

Where To Get Married In New York

New York is a popular destination for weddings, and there are numerous venues and locations where you can get married in the state. Here are some options:

  • City Hall: New York City’s City Hall is a popular choice for couples looking for a simple and cost-effective civil ceremony. You can make an appointment and have a judge marry you in a beautiful historic building.
  • Central Park: Central Park in New York City offers many picturesque spots for outdoor weddings. You can have your ceremony at locations like the Conservatory Garden, Bethesda Terrace, or the Ladies’ Pavilion.
  • Hudson Valley: The Hudson Valley region is known for its beautiful scenery and historic venues. You can choose from numerous vineyards, estates, and barns for a rustic and charming wedding.
  • Long Island: Long Island offers a variety of options for beach weddings, and there are also many elegant venues, including historic mansions and golf clubs.
  • The Adirondacks: If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, the Adirondacks offer a stunning backdrop for a mountain or lakeside wedding.
  • The Finger Lakes: This region is famous for its wineries and stunning lakeside settings. It’s a great choice for a romantic and picturesque wedding.
  • Upstate New York: There are many charming small towns and historic venues in upstate New York that can provide a lovely setting for your wedding.
  • The Hamptons: If you’re looking for a more upscale and beachy wedding, the Hamptons on Long Island is a popular choice.
  • Niagara Falls: For a truly unique wedding experience, you can get married near the iconic Niagara Falls, which is located on the border between New York and Canada.

Contact the City Clerk’s Office

The Office of the City Clerk welcomes any questions, comments, or feedback. You can contact us by phone, by mail, in person, or via the web.

By email

contact us by email

By phone

Dial 311, or 212-NEW-YORK from outside the five boroughs of NYC

By mail

The City Clerk, Clerk of the Council
Executive Office
141 Worth Street,
New York, NY 10013

In-person

Office hours and locations

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