New York Marriage Laws

New York Outline

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 York. Ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church have successfully performed thousands of legal marriages in New York. 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 York.

Quick Facts
  • ULC Ordination Accepted: Yes
  • Minister Registration Required: Yes*
  • Minister's Residency: Irrelevant
  • Minister's Minimum Age: 18
  • Marriage License Waiting Period: 1 Day
  • Marriage License Valid For: 60 Days
  • Marriage License Return Within: By Expiration

1 How to Become an Ordained Minister in New York

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 York

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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3 License to Marry in New York

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 York to get an Ordination Package. Please attempt to leave at least 3 weeks between the date of the wedding ceremony and your order, to ensure that you receive all of your materials in advance.

Please note that ministers who plan to perform a wedding in New York City are required to register with the city. If you plan to perform a wedding in New York City, you need to purchase a New York City Wedding Officiant Package. If you are mailing your application, the authorities in New York require a minimum of 30 days to process your minister registration, so purchase and submit this paperwork as soon as possible. Walk in submissions are processed same day.

4 How to Perform a Wedding in New York

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 York marriage license from the appropriate office. Note that a marriage license in New York must be signed and returned to the issuing office within 60 days after the completion of the wedding ceremony. At the Universal Life Church we receive several calls from wedding officiants in New York, 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 York 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 York Marriage Code

Marriage in New York State is governed by Section 11 of the New York State Domestic Relations Law. Below, you will find that we have reproduced the relevant excerpts of this code.
A clergyman or minister of any religion, or by the senior leader, or any of the other leaders, of The Society for Ethical Culture in the city of New York, having its principal office in the borough of Manhattan, or by the leader of The Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, having its principal office in the borough of Brooklyn of the city of New York, or of the Westchester Ethical Society, having its principal office in Westchester county, or of the Ethical Culture Society of Long Island, having its principal office in Nassau county, or of the Riverdale-Yonkers Ethical Society having its principal office in Bronx county, or by the leader of any other Ethical Culture Society affiliated with the American Ethical Union. The term "clergyman" or "minister" when used in this article, shall include those defined in section two of the religious corporations law. The word "magistrate," when so used, includes any person referred to in the second or third subdivision.

View the New York Statutes on the official state site
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Per Article 3, Section 11 of the Domestic Relations code: "The term "clergyman" and the term "minister" include a duly authorized pastor, rector, priest, rabbi, and a person having authority from, or in accordance with, the rules and regulations of the governing ecclesiastical body of the denomination or order, if any, to which the church belongs, or otherwise from the church or synagogue to preside over and direct the spiritual affairs of the church or synagogue."

Officiant Registration: Registration is conducted on Monday thru Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Section 11-b of the Domestic Relations Law requires that all persons authorized by law to perform marriages register with the City Clerk's office before performing wedding ceremonies within New York City. Therefore, if you intend to perform a marriage ceremony within New York City you must register. If your activities are outside of New York City the registration requirement does not apply to you. There is a $15 charge, payable in money order only, for registration.

Albany County

24 Eagle Street, Room 202
Albany, New York

Albany County website »

Allegany County

1 Schuyler Street
Village of Belmont, New York

Allegany County website »

Bronx County

141 Worth Street
New York, New York

Bronx County Marriage Laws »

Broome County

38 Hawley St.
Binghamton, New York

Broome County website »

Cattaraugus County

1 Leo Moss Drive
Olean, New York

Cattaraugus County website »

Cayuga County

City Hall, 24 South Street
Auburn, New York

Cayuga County website »

Chautauqua County

200 East Third St.
Jamestown, New York

Chautauqua County website »

Chemung County

317 E. Church St.
Elmira, New York

Chemung County website »

Chenango County

One City Plaza
Norwich, New York

Chenango County website »

Clinton County

41 City Hall Place
Plattsburgh, New York

Clinton County website »

Columbia County

520 Warren St.
Hudson, New York

Columbia County website »

Cortland County

25 Court St.
Cortland, New York

Cortland County website »

Delaware County

5 Elm St.
Delhi, New York

Delaware County website »

Dutchess County

1 Overocker Road
Poughkeepsie, New York

Dutchess County website »

Erie County

65 Niagara Square, Room 1308
Buffalo, New York

Erie County website »

Essex County

7563 Court Street
Elizabethtown, New York

Essex County website »

Franklin County

343 W. Main St.
Malone, New York

Franklin County website »

Fulton County

33-41 East Main St.
Johnstown, New York

Fulton County website »

Genesee County

1 Batavia City Ctr
Batavia, New York

Genesee County website »

Greene County

422 Main Street, 2nd Floor
Catskill, New York

Greene County website »

Hamilton County

2679 State Rt. 8
Lake Pleasant, New York

Hamilton County website »

Herkimer County

114 N Prospect St
Herkimer, New York

Herkimer County website »

Jefferson County

245 Washington St.
Watertown, New York

Jefferson County website »

Kings County

141 Worth Street
New York, New York

Kings County Marriage Laws »

Lewis County

5535 Bostwick St.
Lowville, New York

Lewis County website »

Livingston County

4630 Millennium Dr.
Geneseo, New York

Livingston County website »

Madison County

City Clerks Office
Your City, New York

Madison County website »

Monroe County

30 Church St.
Rochester, New York

Monroe County website »

Montgomery County

2-4 Park St.
Fonda, New York

Montgomery County website »

Nassau County

One Washington St., 1st Floor
Hempstead, New York

Nassau County Marriage Laws »

New York County

141 Worth Street
New York, New York

New York County Marriage Laws »

Niagara County

City Clerk, One Locks Plaza
Lockport, New York

Niagara County website »

Oneida County

City Clerk, One Kennedy Plaza
Utica, New York

Oneida County website »

Onondaga County

233 E. Washington St, Room 231
Syracuse, New York

Onondaga County website »

Ontario County

City Clerk, 2 North Main St.
Canandaigua, New York

Ontario County website »

Orange County

83 Broadway, First Floor City Hall
Newburgh, New York

Orange County website »

Orleans County

City Clerk, 35-37 East Bank St.
Albion, New York

Orleans County website »

Oswego County

City Clerk, 13 West Oneida St
Oswego, New York

Oswego County website »

Otsego County

Village Clerk, 22 Main St.
Village of Cooperstown, New York

Otsego County website »

Putnam County

Town Clerk, 60 McAlpin Ave
Mahopac, New York

Putnam County website »

Queens County

141 Worth Street
New York, New York

Queens County Marriage Laws »

Rensselaer County

City Clerk, 433 River St.
Troy, New York

Rensselaer County website »

Richmond County

141 Worth Street
New York, New York

Richmond County website »

Rockland County

Village Clerk, 200 N. Main St.
Spring Valley, New York

Rockland County website »

Saratoga County

Village Clerk, 12 Spring St.
Schuylerville, New York

Saratoga County website »

Schenectady County

105 Jay Street, Room 107
Schenectady, New York

Schenectady County website »

Schoharie County

284 Main Street
Schoharie, New York

Schoharie County website »

Schuyler County

Village Clerk, 303 N. Franklin St
Watkins Glen, New York

Schuyler County website »

Seneca County

Town Clerk, 130 Ovid St.
Seneca Falls, New York

Seneca County website »

St. Lawrence County

Village Clerk, 60 Main St.
Canton, New York

St. Lawrence County website »

Steuben County

Town Clerk, 110 Liberty St, Rm 103
Bath, New York

Steuben County website »

Suffolk County

City Clerks Office
Townhall, Your City, New York

Suffolk County Marriage Laws »

Sullivan County

Village Clerk, 2 Pleasant St.
Monticello, New York

Sullivan County website »

Tioga County

2354 State Route 434
Apalachin, New York

Tioga County website »

Tompkins County

108 E. Green St.
Ithaca, New York

Tompkins County website »

Ulster County

City Clerk, 420 Broadway
Kingston, New York

Ulster County website »

Warren County

City Clerk, 742 Bay Road
Queensbury, New York

Warren County website »

Washington County

City Clerk, 118 Broadway
Fort Edward, New York

Washington County website »

Wayne County

Town Clerk, 43 Phelps St.
Lyons, New York

Wayne County website »

Westchester County

Richard J. Daronco Courthouse
111 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
White Plains, New York

Westchester County website »

Wyoming County

Town Clerk, 15 South Main St.
Warsaw, New York

Wyoming County website »

Yates County

Town Clerk, 137 Main St.
Penn Yan, New York

Yates County website »