New Jersey Outline

New Jersey Marriage Laws

Congratulations! If you've found yourself at this page it is likely that you are either planning to be married or have been asked to perform a wedding ceremony in New Jersey. Ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church have successfully performed thousands of legal marriages in New Jersey. The information provided below will walk you through the steps one must follow to become a minister and perform a valid wedding ceremony in the state of New Jersey.

Quick Facts
  • ULC Ordination Accepted: Yes
  • Minister Registration Required: Sometimes
  • Minister's Residency: Irrelevant
  • Minister's Minimum Age: 18
  • Marriage License Waiting Period: 3 Days
  • Marriage License Valid For: 30 Days
  • Marriage License Return Within: By Expiration

1 How to Become an Ordained Minister in New Jersey

If you haven't already, you should get ordained online with the Universal Life Church. Ordination is free and can be completed in just a matter of minutes. Thousands of legally valid marriages are performed by ULC ministers around the world every year. Begin the process by clicking the big blue button below!

2 How to Officiate a Marriage in New Jersey

Next, you should contact the office of your local marriage authority (typically your county clerk). Let them know that you are a minister of the Universal Life Church in Seattle, and ask what they will require of you to officiate a legal marriage.

Select your county to quickly generate the contact information for your local marriage authority.

Select a county

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New Jersey's Top Wedding Spot

Cape May, where venues include the town's Victorian gazebo and bed-and-breakfasts like Hotel Macomber

3 License to Marry in New Jersey

After you've contacted your marriage authority, you should visit our online store to purchase whatever documentation will be required. We typically advise ministers in New Jersey to get an Ordination Package. Minister registration is required for ministers who are not residents of the state, but even if you are a resident you may be asked to display proof of your ordination. Additionally, please attempt to leave at least 30 days between the date of the wedding ceremony and your order, to ensure that you receive all of your materials in advance.

Please note that while minister registration is not codified statewide, we often hear from ULC Ministers and wedding officiants in New Jersey that they are asked by clerks in some counties to display proof of their ordination. The documents included in the Ordination Package should provide sufficient proof for any inquiring marriage authority.

4 How to Perform a Wedding in New Jersey

Now that you've done all of the above, you are ready to perform the wedding! Be sure that the couple has picked up their New Jersey marriage license from the appropriate office. This license is valid for 30 days, and there is a 3-day waiting period between when the couple picks up the marriage license and when the ceremony may legally be conducted. The signed license must be returned to the issuing office by its date of expiry. At the Universal Life Church we receive several calls from wedding officiants in New Jersey, after they've received their license to marry by getting ordained online, asking for guidance on how to perform a wedding ceremony. Once the legal matters have been taken care of, officiating a wedding (while a sometimes-daunting task) can be a great deal of fun. We would suggest that new New Jersey wedding ministers concerned about the ceremony peruse one of our helpful wedding guides. The minister training section of our website should offer a helpful refresher for more experienced ministers.

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New Jersey Marriage Code

Marriage laws in New Jersey are primarily directed by Title 37 of the New Jersey statutes, which defines the persons authorized to perform a marriage in the State of New Jersey. This includes ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church, among other individuals. We've reproduced a portion of this code below.
37:1-13 Authorization to solemnize marriages 37:1-13. Each judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, each judge of a federal district court, United States magistrate, judge of a municipal court, judge of the Superior Court, judge of a tax court, retired judge of the Superior Court or Tax Court, or judge of the Superior Court or Tax Court, the former County Court, the former County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, or the former County District Court who has resigned in good standing, surrogate of any county, county clerk and any mayor or the deputy mayor when authorized by the mayor, or chairman of any township committee or village president of this State, and every minister of every religion, are hereby authorized to solemnize marriage between such persons as may lawfully enter into the matrimonial relation; and every religious society, institution or organization in this State may join together in marriage such persons according to the rules and customs of the society, institution or organization.

New Jersey marriage laws are governed by New Jersey Permanent Statute 31. Many of the requirements of New Jersey's wedding laws are similar to other states. In order to obtain a marriage license, you must have appropriate identification such as certified copies of birth certificates, passports or drivers' licenses. United States citizens will also need to furnish their Social Security numbers. If you are under the age of eighteen, you must have your parent's consent to the marriage in front of two witnesses. If you are under the age of sixteen, judicial consent is necessary. The fee for a marriage license is $28.

If you have been previously married, you must supply the county clerk with a copy of your divorce decree if it has been finalized in the last thirty days, or a copy of the death certificate of your former spouse if your spouse passed away in the last thirty days. The wedding officiant will be required to furnish his or her ordination papers to the county clerk as well as his or her current contact information. Covenant marriages and proxy marriages are not permitted according to New Jersey wedding laws though marriages between first cousins are permitted. The ULC Monastery strongly advises that its ministers check with the local county clerk where you intend to perform a marriage ceremony for any county-specific requirements.

There is no residency requirement to marry in New Jersey for the bride, groom or an online ordained minister; ULC Monastery ministers from outside New Jersey are thus free to perform ceremonies there. However, if either the bride or groom is a resident of New Jersey, the couple should obtain a marriage license in the county where the bride lives. If the bride is not a resident, according to New Jersey wedding laws the couple must apply for a marriage license in the county where the groom lives. If neither are residents of the state, obtaining a marriage license from the county clerk where the ceremony will be held is acceptable. Military personnel are considered to be residents in the county where they are posted. After the wedding license is issued, there is a three day waiting period. Re-marriages or renewal of vows are exempt from the three day waiting period.

View the New Jersey Statutes on the official state site
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Atlantic County

5901 Main Street
Mays Landing, New Jersey

Phone: (609) 641-7867
Fax: (609) 909-5111
Atlantic County website »

Bergen County

One Bergen County Plaza
Hackensack, New Jersey

Bergen County website »

Burlington County

49 Rancocas Road
PO Box 6000
Mount Holly, New Jersey

Phone: (609) 265-5122
Fax: (609) 265-0696
Burlington County website »

Camden County

101 South 5th Street
Camden, New Jersey

Phone: (856) 225-5300
Fax: (856) 225-7100
Camden County website »

Cape May County

City Hall
643 Washington Street
Cape May, New Jersey

Cape May County website »

Cumberland County

60 West Broad Street
Bridgeton, New Jersey

Phone: (856) 453-4860
Fax: (856) 455-1410
Cumberland County website »

Essex County

P.O. Box 690
Newark, New Jersey

Essex County website »

Gloucester County

P.O. Box 129
Woodbury, New Jersey

Phone: (856) 853-3237
Fax: (856) 853-3327
Gloucester County website »

Hudson County

257 Cornelison Avenue
Jersey City, New Jersey

Phone: (201) 369-3470
Fax: (201) 369-3478
Hudson County website »

Hunterdon County

71 Main Street
PO BOX 2900
Flemington, New Jersey

Phone: (908) 788-1214
Fax: (908) 782-4068
Hunterdon County website »

Mercer County

209 South Broad St.
Trenton, New Jersey

Phone: (609) 989-6464
Fax: (609) 989-1111
Mercer County website »

Middlesex County

P.O. Box 1110
New Brunswick, New Jersey

Middlesex County website »

Monmouth County

33 Mechanic Street
Freehold, New Jersey

Monmouth County website »

Morris County

P.O. Box 315
Morristown, New Jersey

Morris County website »

Ocean County

P.O. Box 2191
Toms River, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 929-2018
Fax: (732) 349-4336
Ocean County website »

Passaic County

401 Grand Street
Paterson, New Jersey

Phone: (973) 225-3632
Fax: (973) 754-1920
Passaic County website »

Salem County

92 Market Street
P.O. Box 18
Salem, New Jersey

Phone: (856) 935-7510
Fax: (856) 358-3857
Salem County website »

Somerset County

20 Grove Street
P.O. Box 3000
Somerville, New Jersey

Phone: (908) 231-7006
Fax: (908) 253-8853
Somerset County website »

Sussex County

83 Spring St.
Newton, New Jersey

Phone: (973) 579-0900
Fax: (973) 383-7493
Sussex County website »

Union County

2 Broad Street
P.O. Box 6073
Elizabeth, New Jersey

Union County website »

Warren County

413 Second Street
Belvidere, New Jersey

Phone: (908) 475-6211
Fax: (908) 475-6208
Warren County website »