New York Marriage License

It is the couple’s responsibility to acquire a valid marriage license by applying in person to any town or city clerk in the state. It is the officiant’s responsibility to ensure that the officiant and witness portions of the license are properly completed and accurate. It is the couple’s responsibility to present their marriage license to the officiant and the witnesses.

The officiant’s job is to look over the license, confirm that the information is accurate, and complete the officiant’s section. Once completed, the officiant must return the original license to the own or city clerk where the license was purchased (usually by mail). Once the town or city where the license was purchased takes delivery of the accurate and finalized marriage license, a copy of the marriage license will be delivered to the New York State Department of Health to be recorded and filed.

The couple agrees that failure to have a valid marriage license at the time of the event means that the officiant cannot legally perform the ceremony. The officiant will perform a symbolic ceremony, which will have no legal merit. In the event, the marriage license is not received by the county recorder, the officiant will cooperate with the couple and county recorder to resolve the issue. Cost for a replacement license, if any, will be assumed by the couple. For privacy reasons, officiant does not maintain copies of the marriage license.

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