New York Outline

New York 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 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

32 North Russell Road
Albany , New York

Phone: (518) 487-5100
Fax: (518) 487-5099
Albany County website »

Allegany County

7 Court Street
Belmont, New York

Phone: (585) 268-9270
Fax: (585) 268-9659
Allegany County website »

Bronx County

851 Grand Concourse
Bronx, New York

Phone: (866) 797-7214
Fax: (718) 590-8122
Bronx County website »

Broome County

P.O. Box 2062
Binghamton, New York

Phone: (607) 778-2451
Fax: (607) 778-2243
Broome County website »

Cattaraugus County

303 Court St.
Little Valley, New York

Phone: (716) 938-9111
Fax: (716) 938-9328
Cattaraugus County website »

Cayuga County

160 Genesee Street
Auburn , New York

Phone: (315) 253-1271
Fax: (315) 253-1653
Cayuga County website »

Chautauqua County

1 North Erie Street
PO Box 170
Mayville, New York

Phone: (716) 753-4331
Fax: (716) 753-4293
Chautauqua County website »

Chemung County

210 Lake Street
PO Box 588
Elmira, New York

Phone: (607) 737-2920
Fax: (607) 737-2897
Chemung County website »

Chenango County

5 Court Street
Norwich, New York

Chenango County website »

Clinton County

137 Margaret Street
Plattsburgh, New York

Phone: (518) 565-4700
Fax: (518) 565-4718
Clinton County website »

Columbia County

560 Warren Street
Hudson, New York

Phone: (518) 828-3339
Fax: (518) 828-5299
Columbia County website »

Cortland County

46 Greenbush Street
Cortland, New York

Cortland County website »

Delaware County

PO Box 426
Delhi, New York

Delaware County website »

Dutchess County

22 Market Street
Poughkeepsie, New York

Phone: (845) 486-2120
Fax: (845) 486-2138
Dutchess County website »

Erie County

New York State Department of Health
Corning Tower
Albany, New York

Erie County website »

Essex County

100 Court Street
P.O. Box 247
Elizabethtown, New York

Essex County website »

Franklin County

355 West Main Street
P.O Box 70
Malone, New York

Phone: (518) 481-1681
Fax: (518) 483-9143
Franklin County website »

Fulton County

223 West Main Street
Johnstown, New York

Phone: (518) 736-5555
Fax: (518) 762-9214
Fulton County website »

Genesee County

15 Main Street
Batavia, New York

Phone: (585) 344-2550 ext 2242
Fax: (585) 344-8521
Genesee County website »

Greene County

411 Main Street
Catskill, New York

Phone: (518) 719-3255
Fax: (518) 719-3284
Greene County website »

Hamilton County

Route 8
P.O. Box 204
Lake Pleasant, New York

Hamilton County website »

Herkimer County

109 Mary Street
Herkimer, New York

Herkimer County website »

Jefferson County

175 Arsenal Street
Watertown, New York

Jefferson County website »

Kings County

360 Adams Street
Brooklyn, New York

Kings County website »

Lewis County

Lewis County Court House
Lowville, New York

Phone: 315-376-5333
Fax: 315-376-3768
Lewis County website »

Livingston County

6 Court Street
Geneseo, New York

Phone: (585) 243-7010
Fax: (585) 335-1712
Livingston County website »

Madison County

New York State Health Department
Corning Tower, Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York

Madison County website »

Monroe County

101 County Office Building
39 W. Main St.
Rochester, New York

Phone: (585) 753-1600
Fax: (585) 753-1624
Monroe County website »

Montgomery County

P.O. Box 1500
Fonda, New York

Montgomery County website »

Nassau County

240 Old Country Rd
Mineola, New York

Nassau County website »

New York County

60 Centre Street
New York, New York

New York County website »

Niagara County

Niagara County Courthouse
P.O. Box 461
Lockport, New York

Phone: (716) 439-7025
Fax: (716) 439-7035
Niagara County website »

Oneida County

800 Park Avenue
Utica, New York

Oneida County website »

Onondaga County

, New York

Onondaga County website »

Ontario County

20 Ontario Street
Canandaigua, New York

Ontario County website »

Orange County

255 Main Street
Goshen, New York

Phone: (845) 291-2690
Fax: (845) 291-2691
Orange County website »

Orleans County

, New York

Orleans County website »

Oswego County

46 East Bridge Street
Oswego, New York

Oswego County website »

Otsego County

197 Main Street
Cooperstown, New York

Phone: 607.547.4276
Fax: 607.547.7544
Otsego County website »

Putnam County

40 Gleneida Avenue
Carmel, New York

Putnam County website »

Queens County

88-11 Sutphin Blvd.
Jamaica, New York

Queens County website »

Rensselaer County

105 Third Street
Troy, New York

Phone: (518) 270-4080
Fax: (518) 271-7998,
Rensselaer County website »

Richmond County

18 Richmond Terrace
Staten Island, New York

Richmond County website »

Rockland County

1 South Main Street
New City, New York

Phone: (845) 638-5070
Fax: (845) 638-5647
Rockland County website »

Saratoga County

40 McMasters St.
Ballston Spa, New York

Saratoga County website »

Schenectady County

620 State Street
Schenectady, New York

Phone: (518) 388-4220
Fax: (518) 388-4224
Schenectady County website »

Schoharie County

284 Main Street
PO Box 549
Schoharie, New York

Phone: 518-295-8316
Fax: 518-295-8338
Schoharie County website »

Schuyler County

105 Ninth Street
Watkins Glen, New York

Phone: (607)535-8133
Fax: (607)535-8130
Schuyler County website »

Seneca County

1 DiPronio Drive
Waterloo, New York

Seneca County website »

St. Lawrence County

Building #2
48 Court Street
Canton, New York

Phone: (315) 379-2237
Fax: (315) 379-2302
St. Lawrence County website »

Steuben County

3 East Pulteney Square
Bath, New York

Phone: (607) 776-9631 ext 3203
Fax: (607) 664-2157
Steuben County website »

Suffolk County

310 Center Drive
Riverhead, New York

Suffolk County website »

Sullivan County

100 Main St
Monticello, New York

Sullivan County website »

Tioga County

16 Court Street
Owego, New York

Phone: (607) 687-8660
Fax: (607) 687-8686
Tioga County website »

Tompkins County

320 N. Tioga Street
Ithaca, New York

Tompkins County website »

Ulster County

Ulster County Office Building
244 Fair Street
Kingston, New York

Phone: (845) 340-3288
Fax: (845) 340-3299
Ulster County website »

Warren County Municipal Center

1340 State Route 9
Lake George, New York

Warren County Municipal Center website »

Washington County

Building A
383 Broadway
Fort Edward, New York

Phone: (518) 746-2170
Fax: (518) 746-2177
Washington County website »

Wayne County

9 Pearl St.
PO Box 608
Lyons, New York

Phone: (315) 946-7470
Fax: (315) 946-5978
Wayne County website »

Westchester County

110 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
White Plains, New York

Westchester County website »

Wyoming County

143 North Main Street
Warsaw, New York

Wyoming County website »

Yates County

417 Liberty Street
Penn Yan, New York

Phone: (315) 536-5120
Fax: (315) 536-5545
Yates County website »