Planning a wedding is a big undertaking, to be sure. But sorting out the legal paperwork before you say "I Do" can be even more challenging. To help get you organized before your Big Day, The Huffington Post has put together a comprehensive, state-by-state guide to getting married. Read on for everything you need to know about getting hitched in all 50 states. --Sue Hargis Spigel
Residency Requirement And Waiting Period
No residency requirement exists for marriage in New York. There is a
: Residents of legal marital age applying for a marriage license receive it immediately, but the wedding may not occur for 24 hours from the exact time that the couple receives their license. An order from the state Supreme Court or a county court can waive that waiting period if both applicants are age 16 or older.
The legal age to get married without parental consent is 18. If either party is age 16 or 17, he or she must present written consent from both parents. Anyone age 14 or 15 must show both parents' written consent along with that of a justice of the state Supreme Court or judge of a family court with jurisdiction in the town or city where the marriage is to take place. One parent's consent is acceptable if the parent is divorced and has sole custody, if the other parent is deceased or judged incompetent, or if the other parent has been missing for one year. Consenting parents or guardians must appear to present their written consent in front of a city or town clerk. No one younger than 14 is allowed to get married in New York.
Outside of New York City, marriage licenses cost $40. In the city, the
. Couples have 60 days, beginning the day after they receive the license, to get married. They
at a city or town clerk's office, and they must use the license in the state of New York.
Applicants can prove their age with a birth certificate, baptismal certificate, census record or naturalization record and prove their identity with a passport, driver's license, immigration record or a photo employee identification card. Previously married applicants have to provide proof of divorce or of the death of the ex-spouse.
Witnesses And Officiants
A variety of government officials and clergy members are able to perform wedding ceremonies. Officiants do not need to be residents of the state, but those performing ceremonies in New York City must be registered in the city. Officiants can be a village, town or county justice; mayor or former mayor; city clerk; marriage officer; judge or justice of various courts; an ordained minister or clergy member of an organized religious body; or a minister who is the selected head of a spiritual group. Ship captains may not perform wedding ceremonies in New York state. At least one witness besides the officiant must be present; no minimum age is required for the witness.
in New York as of June 24, 2011, when Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed the Marriage Equality Act into law. As of that date, same-sex couples were able to apply for licenses, although many of the offices were closed on the actual first day the bill passed, as it was a Sunday (plus, the standard 24-hour waiting period to get married after obtaining a license was still in effect).
Did You Know?
Although New York has no law requiring residence in the state to get married in the state, divorce is another matter. To begin divorce proceedings, one or both spouses must fulfill one or more requirements regarding legal residence, length of residence in the state and other stipulations.
by the New York City courts.
See the full set of laws and regulations regarding marriage in New York.
A name change following marriage in New York can be a hassle. It's a good idea to start by getting certified copies of your marriage certificate, filing a name change petition, then changing your name on your driver's license and vehicle registration. Name changes must also be submitted to your employer, as well as the Social Security Administration and the U.S. passport agency. Also consider changing your name on voter registration forms, bank accounts, credit cards, frequent-flier accounts and utilities providers.