Requirements

Age Requirements

  • If either applicant is under 17 years of age, a marriage license cannot be issued.
  • If either applicant is 17 years of age, such applicant(s) must present the written consent of both parents and a justice of the Supreme Court or a judge of the Family Court having jurisdiction over the town or city in which the application is made.

If both applicants are 18 years of age or older, no consents are required.

One parent alone may consent to a minor's marriage if:

  •  The other parent has been missing for one year preceding the application;
  • The parents are divorced and the consenting parent was given sole custody of the child when the divorce decree was awarded;
  • The other parent has been judged incompetent; or the other parent is deceased.

Parents, guardians or other people consenting to the marriage of a minor must personally appear and acknowledge or execute their consent before the town or city clerk or some other authorized official. If the notarized affidavit is made before an official outside of the State of New York, it must be accompanied by a certificate of authentication when the consent is filed in New York State.

 

Proof of Age & Identity

A person is required to establish both proof of age and identity by submitting to the issuing clerk one of the following age related documents:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Baptismal Record
  • Naturalization Record
  • Census Record

Those under 18 years of age must be accompanied by parents.

AND one of the following identity related documents:

  •  Driver’s License
  • Passport
  • Employment Picture ID
  • Immigration Record


Familial Restrictions

A marriage may not take place in New York State between an ancestor and descendant, siblings (full or half blood), an uncle / aunt and a nephew / niece, regardless of whether or not these persons are legitimate or illegitimate offspring.

Previous Marriages

Documentation regarding previous marriages must be furnished when applying for a marriage license. Providing a certified copy of the Decree of Divorce, or a Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage or certified Death Certificate is required.

Surname Options

A person’s last name (surname) does not automatically change upon marriage, and neither party to the marriage must change his or her last name. Parties to a marriage need not have the same last name.

One or both parties to a marriage may elect to change the surname by which he or she wishes to be known after the solemnization of the marriage by entering the new name in the appropriate space provided in the Affidavit Section of this application. 

Such entry shall consist of one of the following surnames:

    1. the surname of the other spouse; or
    2. any former surname of either spouse; or
    3. a name combining into a single surname all or a segment of the premarriage surname or any former surname of each spouse; or
    4. a combination name separated by a hyphen or space, provided that each part of such combination surname is the premarriage surname, or any former surname, of each of the spouses.

 

Middle Name Options

One or both parties to a marriage may elect to change the middle name by which he or she wishes to be known after the solemnization of the marriage by entering the new name in the appropriate space provided in the Affidavit Section of this application. Such entry shall consist of one of the following options:

    1. the current surname of the spouse electing to change his or her name; or
    2. any former surname of the spouse electing to change his or her name; or
    3. the surname of the other spouse.

 The use of these options will have the effect of providing a record of the change of name. The marriage certificate, containing the new name, if any, constitutes proof that the use of the new name, or the retention of the former name, is lawful.


Changes at a Later Date

Whether or not you decide use either of these option at the time of your marriage license application, you still have the right to adopt a different name through usage at some future date. However, your marriage license cannot be changed to record a surname you decide to use after your marriage.