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Published: Wednesday, Jul. 8th, 2020

NY Governor Cuomo extends online zoom wedding order, allowing NY couples to keep getting married online

Updated December 2020: Please scroll to the bottom of this article for updates on NYC's Project Cupid and information on performing a virtual marriage ceremony in New York State.

 

Although COVID-19 case counts continue to decline in New York, the state’s governor Andrew Cuomo isn’t taking any chances. He's extended a slew of emergency orders for another thirty days -- through August 6, 2020. That includes weddings officiated remotely via videoconferencing technology like Zoom and Skype. 

 

As the COVID-19 shutdown drags on, and social distancing becomes ingrained in our behavior, orders such as this indicate that wedding ceremonies could be dramatically changed by shifting norms and expectations -- making things like virtual ceremonies that would once have been considered crazy seem normal. 

 

The order extends the suspension and modifications of law, and any directives, not superseded by a subsequent directive, made by Executive Order 202.15 and each successor Executive Order up to and including Executive Order 202.21, and Executive Order 202.29, as continued and contained in Executive Order 202.39, for another thirty days through August 6, 2020.

 

 

Cuomo talks about online marriage license applications, witnessing, and solemnizing of wedding ceremonies, all online.

 

 

Two of the laws mentioned above, 202.29 and 202.39 detail the terms under which couples may get married, and how that ceremony can be officiated. 

 

For the duration of the order, any issuance of a marriage license application, marriage license, or witnessing or solemnizing of the marriage ceremony, that is required under New York State law is authorized to be performed utilizing audio-video technology provided that the following conditions are met: 
 

  • The couple seeking the marriage services, must present valid photo ID to verify identity whenever required by law the during the  video conference, not merely transmit it prior to or after; 
  • the video conference must allow for direct interaction between the couple and the town or city clerk, the witness or the person to solemnize the marriage (e.g. no pre-recorded videos of the person signing or engaged in the marriage ceremony); 
  • the couple must affirmatively represent that he or she is physically situated in the jurisdiction where the marriage is legally allowed to occur, within the State of New York;
  • the couple must transmit by fax or electronic means a legible copy of the signed document directly to the town or city clerk, the witnesses, the person to solemnize the marriage on the same date it was signed; 
  • the town or city clerk, witness or person who solemnizes the marriage may sign the transmitted copy of the document and transmit the same back to the person responsible for the document by law; 
  • to the extent practicable, all parties will use their best efforts to ensure the document is transmitted in the most confidential manner and information will not be released to any third party not associated with the marriage license and marriage ceremony;
  • and the electronic signed copy of the marriage license application or marriage license will become the official document for purposes of Domestic Relations Law. Local town and city clerks may provide guidance related to how marriage licensure applications and issuance will be implemented in their jurisdictions.

 

 

 

Updated December 2020: 

All offices of the City Clerk - NYC Marriage Bureau remain closed to the general public until further notice, and marriage licenses are available exclusively online through Project Cupid. Project Cupid allows for marriage licenses to be obtained virtually in just a few simple steps, as long as the above conditions are met. Couples must be physically located in the state of New York during their appointment with the clerk to be issued a marriage license. We encourage couples to check the guidelines closely on when scheduling an appointment to ensure they have the most up to date information as things continue to change quickly, and to call the county clerk in their area for answers to specific questions. 

 

Marriage ceremonies can also be performed virtually until further notice, as long as the above conditions are met.To read more about the conditions to officiate a virtual wedding, visit our NY Zoom Wedding Legal Information page. 

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