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What to Know About New York's New One-Day Marriage Officiant License

Published Tuesday, Jan. 3rd, 2023

Wedding officiant for a day: Everything you need to know about the new one-day marriage officiant permit in New York 


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AMM Audio Articles · What to Know About New York's New One-Day Marriage Officiant License




New York Governor Kathy Hochul just approved a new one-day marriage officiant designation! 


This new one-day permit authorizes lay individuals to perform a single wedding ceremony on a specific day without first becoming an ordained minister or government official. In other words, it expands the options for couples and officiants in the state.


The license will be issued by the Town or City Clerk Office in the town or city where the couple will be married, and is scheduled to become available at the end of March, 2023, when the law goes into effect. 


(Initially, officiants' applications were to be filed with the Secretary of State, however this was amended in March, 2023 such that Town and City Clerks will issue the one-day license. This article was revised to reflect the change.)


Legislation for one-day officiant status was sponsored by State Assemblymember Sandra Galef, State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, and several others. The twin bills (S739A/ A06300) were introduced last year after multiple attempts to pass similar measures failed in the past, and were signed into law by Gov. Hochul yesterday. 


“Joining individuals in marriage is a beautiful moment that should be shared with an officiant selected by the spouses-to-be," Gov. Hochul said. "By signing this legislation into law, we are eliminating any barriers to becoming an officiant so friends and family members can share such a meaningful time with loved ones of their choosing and have their marriage recognized under New York State law.” (via NY State Governor’s Office)



Below, we explain the details about the new license. You’ll also find useful information comparing the potential benefits and drawbacks of a one-day license versus online ordination through AMM. 


What is a one-day marriage officiant designation in NY? 


This new designation authorizes lay-individuals (non-clergy) in New York to solemnize a single marriage on a specific day. 


Previously, only ordained clergy (such as AMM Ministers) and certain government officials could perform legal weddings in the state. Now there is a new category of people who are able to officiate.


How do you apply for one-day officiant designation? 


To apply for this one-day license you must pay a fee and submit the required documents to the Town or City Clerk Office in the same town or city where the couple is to be married, at least 30 days before the ceremony. Applicants are not required to apply in person. 


The fee for the one-day license has been set at $25 (as of March 3, 2023). 

Who can apply for one-day officiant designation? 


Applicants must be at least 18 years old and be able to provide valid identification. You don’t need to be a New York resident to apply. 


Applicants must provide the exact date and location of the wedding ceremony; the full names, addresses, and birth dates of the people getting married; and their own personal details (date of birth, address, email address, etc.).  


How long does it take to have a one-day officiant designation application approved? 

Under the new law, applicants may not be notified whether their application is accepted (or not) until 7 days before the ceremony, even when applying 30 days or more in advance. 


It’s important to note that this could leave couples with less than a week to find a new wedding officiant if an application is denied. 


How does one-day officiant designation compare to online ordination with AMM? What are the pros and cons? 




The one-day officiant license is good for solemnizing a single marriage on a specific day. This fee will need to be paid for each marriage you wish to solemnize in the state. The price for this license has been set at $25 (as of March 3, 2023). 


Alternatively, online ordination is always free with AMM and never expires. AMM Ministers are authorized to solemnize marriage in New York and may need to pay a fee of around $15 to register with the local county or city office, depending on where the ceremony takes place, including New York City (NYC).

Wait time:  


Applicants for a one-day license may wait 23 days or more to be notified as to whether their application has been approved or not. They will always be notified within at least 7 days of the wedding date. 


Alternatively, ordination with AMM takes only a few minutes to complete, and most counties in the state do not require AMM Ministers to register locally. 


In New York City, where registration is required, AMM Ministers should complete the minister registration process with the NYC Clerk's Office Marriage Bureau.

Secular versus spiritual : 


Much of the appeal of the one-day marriage officiant designation is that it offers a secular option for lay people who don’t want to become ordained within a specific church or denomination. This is a valid and understandable reason to choose a one-day license. 


Ordination is a meaningful decision, and we encourage anyone considering ordination to officiate weddings to research their options carefully.  


American Marriage Ministries is an inclusive, interfaith church that ordains people of all faiths and beliefs, including Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Atheists, Pagans, Muslims, Agnostics, and many others. We’re a charitable organization and proud advocates for LGBTQ+ families, interracial couples and their families, marriage equality, healthy communities, and environmental stewardship. 


We don’t require our ministers to hold any specific religious or spiritual beliefs, only that they agree to the 3 Tenets that guide our organization: 


  • All people, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, have the right to marry.
  • It is the right of every couple to choose who will solemnize their marriage.
  • All people have the right to solemnize marriage.



Watch now:


Everything You Need to Know About New York's One Day Marriage Officiant License





Article updated : March 10th, 2023


Read our previous coverage of this topic: 





Get ordained online for free with AMM


♦  How to Become a Wedding Officiant in New York 


♦ Conviértase en un Oficiante de Bodas en New York


Friends and family members can perform wedding ceremonies in New York if they’ve been ordained. Get ordained online with AMM to get started.





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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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