Marriage is a beautiful union that binds two individuals in a lifetime commitment. If you’re planning to tie the knot in New York, there are certain documents that you’ll need to provide to make your marriage legal. Knowing what documents are required ahead of time can help streamline the process and prevent any last-minute surprises. In this article, Eastcoastlaws.com will explore the essential documents you need to get married in New York, from obtaining a marriage license to providing identification and proof of eligibility. Whether you’re a resident of the state or planning a destination wedding, understanding the necessary paperwork can help ensure a smooth and stress-free experience. So, let’s dive in and explore the documents you’ll need to make your big day official in the state of New York.
To obtain a marriage license in New York, you will need to provide valid identification documents that establish your identity, age, and residency. The following are the types of identification documents that are commonly accepted by the New York State Department of Health:
- Driver’s License: A valid driver’s license issued by any state or U.S. territory can be used as identification for obtaining a marriage license.
- Non-Driver ID: A non-driver ID is issued by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and can be used as identification for obtaining a marriage license.
- Passport: A valid U.S. passport can be used as identification for obtaining a marriage license.
- Military ID: A valid military ID issued by the U.S. Armed Forces can be used as identification for obtaining a marriage license.
- Permanent Resident Card: A valid Permanent Resident Card (also known as a “Green Card”) issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can be used as identification for obtaining a marriage license.
- Birth Certificate: A certified copy of your birth certificate can be used as identification for obtaining a marriage license.
Note that the identification requirements may vary depending on the county or city where you are applying for a marriage license. It is best to check with your local clerk’s office for specific requirements and to ensure that you have all the necessary documents before applying for a marriage license.
Proof Of Age
To prove that you are of legal age to marry in New York, you will need to provide a valid government-issued photo identification document that includes your date of birth.
Both parties are required to present to the clerk documentary proof of age. Possible documents include those listed below. Contact the clerk’s office where you plan to purchase your license to find out what they require.
- A certified copy of a birth record,
- a certification of birth issued by the state department of health, a local registrar of vital statistics, or other public officer charged with similar duties by the laws of any other state, territory, or country,
- a baptismal record,
- a passport,
- an automobile driver’s license,
- any government or school-issued identification card that contains a photograph of the applicant,
- a life insurance policy,
- an employment certificate,
- a school record,
- an immigration record,
- a naturalization record,
- a court record or any other document or record issued by a governmental entity, showing the date of birth.
Divorce or Annulment Decrees
If either applicant was previously married, they must provide proof of the dissolution of the marriage by providing a copy of their divorce decree or annulment decree. The following are the requirements for providing proof of divorce or annulment in New York:
- Divorce Decree: A certified copy of the divorce decree issued by the court where the divorce was granted must be provided. The decree must include the date and place of the divorce, the name of the court that granted the divorce, the docket or file number, and the signature of the judge.
- Annulment Decree: A certified copy of the annulment decree issued by the court where the annulment was granted must be provided. The decree must include the date and place of the annulment, the name of the court that granted the annulment, the docket or file number, and the signature of the judge.
In addition to providing the divorce or annulment decree, the applicant must also provide a statement that indicates whether any previous marriages were annulled or dissolved and the date and place of the annulment or divorce.
Note that if a divorce or annulment decree is in a language other than English, a certified translation must also be provided. It is best to check with your local clerk’s office for specific requirements and to ensure that you have all the necessary documents before applying for a marriage license.
Name Change Options
They will ask you to carefully consider whether to change your surname.
- Various surname or middle name options are listed on the back of the application.
- You must state your choice of surname or middle name on the application. If you elect to make a surname or middle name change on your application, the surname or middle name change takes legal effect at the conclusion of the Marriage Ceremony.
- The name change option does not apply to your first name.
- If you wish to change your surname or middle name through this office after your Marriage Ceremony, you must remarry.
- Although you may correct mistakes in your Certificate of Marriage Registration, a surname or middle name choice is not considered a mistake and cannot be changed through our Amendment process.
In New York, the number and qualifications of witnesses required to sign the marriage license depend on the type of wedding ceremony performed.
For a civil ceremony, which is typically conducted at a city or town hall, the couple and one witness who is over the age of 18 and able to understand the ceremony’s nature and purpose must be present to sign the marriage license.
For a religious or secular ceremony performed by a member of the clergy, there is no witness requirements for the ceremony itself. However, the couple and one witness over the age of 18 must be present to sign the marriage license after the ceremony.
It’s worth noting that New York also recognizes self-uniting marriages, in which the couple can legally marry without the presence of a registered officiant. However, in this case, the couple must obtain a self-uniting marriage license from the City Clerk’s office, and the signatures of two witnesses over the age of 18 are required on the license at the time of application.