New York Marriage Laws

Created and reviewed for accuracy by researchers at the Universal Life Church Ministries
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.

New York Flag

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

Phone: (518) 434-5090
Albany County website »

Allegany County

1 Schuyler Street
Village of Belmont, New York

Phone: (585) 268-5522
Allegany County website »

Bronx County

141 Worth Street
New York, New York

Phone: (212) 639-9675
Bronx County Marriage Laws »

Broome County

38 Hawley St.
Binghamton, New York

Phone: (607) 772-7005
Broome County website »

Cattaraugus County

1 Leo Moss Drive
Olean, New York

Phone: 716-701-3599
Cattaraugus County website »

Cayuga County

City Hall, 24 South Street
Auburn, New York

Phone: 315-255-4100
Cayuga County website »

Chautauqua County

200 East Third St.
Jamestown, New York

Phone: 716-483-7561
Chautauqua County website »

Chemung County

317 E. Church St.
Elmira, New York

Phone: (607)737-5672
Chemung County website »

Chenango County

One City Plaza
Norwich, New York

Phone: (607) 334-1230
Chenango County website »

Clinton County

41 City Hall Place
Plattsburgh, New York

Phone: 518-563-7702
Clinton County website »

Columbia County

520 Warren St.
Hudson, New York

Phone: (518) 828-1030
Columbia County website »

Cortland County

25 Court St.
Cortland, New York

Phone: (607) 756-6521
Cortland County website »

Delaware County

5 Elm St.
Delhi, New York

Phone: (607) 746-8696
Delaware County website »

Dutchess County

County Office Bldg. 22 Market Street
Poughkeepsie, New York

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

Erie County

65 Niagara Square, Room 1308
Buffalo, New York

Phone: 716-851-5431
Erie County website »

Essex County

7563 Court Street
Elizabethtown, New York

Phone: 518-873-6555
Essex County website »

Franklin County

343 W. Main St.
Malone, New York

Phone: (518) 483-4570
Franklin County website »

Fulton County

33-41 East Main St.
Johnstown, New York

Phone: (518) 736-4011
Fulton County website »

Genesee County

1 Batavia City Ctr
Batavia, New York

Phone: (585) 345-6305
Genesee County website »

Greene County

422 Main Street, 2nd Floor
Catskill, New York

Phone: (518) 943-3830
Greene County website »

Hamilton County

2679 State Rt. 8
Lake Pleasant, New York

Phone: 518-548-3625
Hamilton County website »

Herkimer County

114 N Prospect St
Herkimer, New York

Phone: (315) 866-2690
Herkimer County website »

Jefferson County

245 Washington St.
Watertown, New York

Phone: (315) 785-7780
Jefferson County website »

Kings County

141 Worth Street
New York, New York

Phone: (212) 639-9675
Kings County Marriage Laws »

Lewis County

5535 Bostwick St.
Lowville, New York

Phone: (315) 376-2834
Lewis County website »

Livingston County

4630 Millennium Dr.
Geneseo, New York

Phone: 585-991-5000
Livingston County website »

Madison County

City Clerks Office
Your City, New York

Phone: (315) 697-7547
Madison County website »

Monroe County

30 Church St.
Rochester, New York

Phone: 585-428-6617
Monroe County website »

Montgomery County

2-4 Park St.
Fonda, New York

Phone: (518) 853-3031
Montgomery County website »

Nassau County

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

Phone: 516-489-5000
Nassau County Marriage Laws »

New York County

141 Worth Street
New York, New York

Phone: (212) 639-9675
New York County Marriage Laws »

Niagara County

City Clerk, One Locks Plaza
Lockport, New York

Phone: 716.439.6776
Niagara County website »

Oneida County

City Clerk, One Kennedy Plaza
Utica, New York

Phone: (315) 792-0113
Oneida County website »

Onondaga County

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

Phone: (315) 448-8216
Onondaga County website »

Ontario County

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

Phone: (585) 396-5021
Ontario County website »

Orange County

83 Broadway, First Floor City Hall
Newburgh, New York

Phone: (845) 569-7314
Orange County website »

Orleans County

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

Phone: (585) 589-9176
Orleans County website »

Oswego County

City Clerk, 13 West Oneida St
Oswego, New York

Phone: (315) 342-8116
Oswego County website »

Otsego County

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

Phone: (607) 547-2411
Otsego County website »

Poughkeepsie (Town of)

1 Overocker Road
Poughkeepsie, New York

Phone: (845) 485-3600
Fax: (845) 485-3701
Poughkeepsie (Town of) website »

Putnam County

Town Clerk, 60 McAlpin Ave
Mahopac, New York

Phone: (845) 628-1500 x153
Putnam County website »

Queens County

141 Worth Street
New York, New York

Phone: (212) 639-9675
Queens County Marriage Laws »

Rensselaer County

City Clerk, 433 River St.
Troy, New York

Phone: (518) 279-7134
Rensselaer County website »

Richmond County

141 Worth Street
New York, New York

Phone: (212) 639-9675
Richmond County website »

Rockland County

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

Phone: 845-352-1100 x 108
Rockland County website »

Saratoga County

Village Clerk, 12 Spring St.
Schuylerville, New York

Phone: (518) 695-3644 ext 311
Saratoga County website »

Schenectady County

105 Jay Street, Room 107
Schenectady, New York

Phone: 518-382-5199 ext 5303
Schenectady County website »

Schoharie County

284 Main Street
Schoharie, New York

Phone: (518) 295-8316
Schoharie County website »

Schuyler County

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

Phone: (607) 535-2736
Schuyler County website »

Seneca County

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

Phone: (315) 568-8013
Seneca County website »

St. Lawrence County

Village Clerk, 60 Main St.
Canton, New York

Phone: (315) 386-2871
St. Lawrence County website »

Steuben County

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

Phone: (607) 776-7013
Steuben County website »

Suffolk County

City Clerks Office
Townhall, Your City, New York

Phone: (212) 639-9675
Suffolk County Marriage Laws »

Sullivan County

Village Clerk, 2 Pleasant St.
Monticello, New York

Phone: 845-794-6130 ext 305
Sullivan County website »

Tioga County

2354 State Route 434
Apalachin, New York

Phone: (607) 687-0123 Dept #2
Tioga County website »

Tompkins County

108 E. Green St.
Ithaca, New York

Phone: (607) 274-6570
Tompkins County website »

Ulster County

City Clerk, 420 Broadway
Kingston, New York

Phone: (845) 334-3915
Ulster County website »

Warren County

City Clerk, 742 Bay Road
Queensbury, New York

Phone: (518) 761-8234
Warren County website »

Washington County

City Clerk, 118 Broadway
Fort Edward, New York

Phone: 518-747-5212
Washington County website »

Wayne County

Town Clerk, 43 Phelps St.
Lyons, New York

Phone: 315-946-6252
Wayne County website »

Westchester County

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

Phone: 914-422-1227
Westchester County website »

Wyoming County

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

Phone: (585) 786-2120
Wyoming County website »

Yates County

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

Phone: (315) 536-8911
Yates County website »