How To Perform Marriage in New York

A Step-by-Step Guide to Officiating Weddings

Ministers in New York : 30,556


Minister Registration Summary

Who Can Perform Marriage?
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, A mayor of a village, a county executive of a county, or a mayor, recorder, city magistrate, police justice or police magistrate of a city, a former mayor or the city clerk of a city of the first class of over one million inhabitants or any of his or her deputies or not more than four regular clerks, A judge of the federal circuit court of appeals for the second circuit, a judge of a federal district court for the northern, southern, eastern or western district of New York, a judge of the United States court of international trade, a federal administrative law judge presiding in this state, a justice or judge of a court of the unified court system, a housing judge of the civil court of the city of New York, a retired justice or judge of the unified court system or a retired housing judge of the civil court of the city of New York
Are AMM Ministry Credentials Recognized?
Yes | Order Your Ministry Credentials
Is government registration required?
Yes | Laws of New York 11
With what office do I need to register?
New York City Clerk Marriage Bureau
Does my residency affect registration?
No
What is the minimum age for an officiant?
18
Do I need to complete a Gov. application?
Required Only in NYC
Do I need to provide Gov. ID?
Yes
Do I need to submit my Ministry Credentials?
Yes for NYC
How much does registration cost?
$15 in NYC
BECOME AN AMM MINISTER

4 Steps to Performing Marriage in New York




Step 1 GET ORDAINED WITH AMERICAN MARRIAGE MINISTRIES

Getting Ordained with American Marriage Ministries is your first step towards performing marriage in New York. American Marriage Ministries is the only IRS Certified 501c3 Non-Profit that offers online ordinations. Getting ordained with AMM is free, quick, and easy!

Beyond ordination we provide all the information and resources you need to learn how to prepare for and officiate weddings. Whether it is your minister registration requirements, learning how to write a wedding ceremony script, or making sure you understand your legal responsibilities when completing the marriage license, we have you covered!

We welcome people of all walks of life. As long as you have a sincere desire to bring communities together through marriage, it is not important to us if you are religious or non-religious, gay or straight, black or white, rich or poor. Ordination as an AMM minister is about celebrating our commonalities.

As a Minister of American Marriage Ministries we encourage you to officiate weddings that reflect the values and beliefs of you and the couple. With over 658,819 Ordained Ministers and hundreds of thousands of successful weddings, what are you waiting for?

Apply For Ordination!


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Step 2 NEW YORK MINISTER REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS

SELECT CITIES AND TOWNS REQUIRE MINISTER REGISTRATION

In New York it is up to each city and town to determine its own minister registration requirements. Most cities and towns do not require minister registration before performing marriage.

That being said, you should always check with the local city or town clerk before performing marriage in that jurisdiction. Call the city or town clerk’s office where the couple intends to get married. That office will inform you as to whether you need to register with their office and/or submit your ministry credentials.

If you plan on Officiating Weddings in New York City then you are required to register with the NYC Clerk's Office Marriage Bureau.

HOW TO REGISTER AS AN OFFICIANT WITH THE NYC MARRIAGE BUREAU

Our How to Officiate Wedding in NYC page provides detailed instructions on how to register with the NYC Clerk's office. We will also cover the basics here.

In order to successfully register with the NYC Marriage Bureau you will need to submit:

  • 1. Your Ordination Certificate

  • 2. Your “NYC Letter of Consent” (Addressed to the City Clerk)

  • 3. Your Completed NYC Marriage Officiant Registration Form

  • 4. Valid Government ID (Driver's License, Military ID, Passport, or Birth Certificate)


  • HOW TO GET YOUR ORDINATION CERTIFICATE AND LETTER OF CONSENT

    Order your New York Minister Ordination Package for your Official Ordination Certificate and Letter of Consent. The Letter of Consent is addressed to the NYC Clerk, signed by a church officer, notarized, and formatted per their specifications.

    Your package also includes a partially completed Marriage Officiant Registration Form for your convenience.

    HOW TO BEGIN YOUR NYC OFFICIANT APPLICATION ONLINE

    While you wait for your package to arrive, you can begin your registration process with the NYC Clerk's office with their Online Marriage Officiant Registration Application.

    It should take you no more than 15 minutes to complete this application.

    Do not complete this online application more than 21 days before you finish your registration in person. The application expires after 21 days, at which point you will have to re-submit the online application.

    HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR OFFICIANT APPLICATION TO THE NYC MARRIAGE BUREAU

    At this point you should have completed the online application and have all your required paperwork in hand. You are now ready to complete your registration with the NYC Marriage Bureau.

    You will have to complete your registration in person at the City Clerk’s office:

    Office of the City Clerk
    Marriage Officiant Registration Clerk
    141 Worth Street
    New York, NY 10013

    If you are not able to register in person and the circumstances are extenuating, you can make arrangements to with the City Clerk to complete your application by mail. Please be mindful that they only allow this on a case-by-case basis. For further questions you can contact the NYC Marriage Bureau at:

    Phone: (212) 669-8090
    Hours: M-F 8:30am-3:45pm

    APPROVAL OF YOUR OFFICIANT APPLICATION WITH THE NYC MARRIAGE BUREAU

    Providing there are no complications, your successful registration with the NYC Marriage Bureau should take no more than 30-60 minutes.

    Once approved you will have the authority to perform marriage in all five boroughs of New York City.

    THE BOROUGHS OF NEW YORK CITY

    The NYC Marriage Bureau has jurisdiction over the following boroughs that comprise New York City:

    1. Manhattan - New York County
    2. Brooklyn - Kings County
    3. Queens - Queens County
    4. The Bronx - Bronx County
    5. Staten Island - Richmond County






    MINISTER REGISTRATION OUTSIDE NEW YORK CITY

    If you plan on performing a marriage in New York State but outside of New York City, then you need to contact the office responsible for issuing the marriage license to the couple.

    That office will be able to inform you if they require ministers to register with their office before performing marriage. That being said, most jurisdictions outside NYC do not have registration requirements for ministers.

    KEEP OFFICIAL COPIES OF YOUR MINISTRY CREDENTIALS

    Whether registration is required of you or not, it is a good idea to keep personal records of your official Ministry Credentials. Proof of your ordination is essential in the event that the couple or government officials request to see proof of your status as an ordained minister.

    We encourage you to order your New York Minister Ordination Package for your official ministry credentials. Your package includes your Ordination Certificate and Letter of Good Standing. Your Letter of Good Standing is signed by a church officer, dated, and notarized.


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    Step 3 LEARN HOW TO OFFICIATE WEDDINGS

    Chances are good this will be the first wedding you officiate. This undertaking may seem daunting and we are here to guide you through the process. The Wedding Training section of our site will teach you how to officiate weddings like a pro.

    We break down the process of preparing for officiating a wedding into simple, easy-to-follow steps. We start with explaining the structure of a wedding ceremony and provide sample wedding ceremonies to help you get an idea of what other people have written.

    Once you have the first draft of your wedding ceremony script written, you can follow our guide on officiant best practices for advice on how to polish and practice reading your ceremony script.

    ASKED TO OFFICIATE | OFFICIANT TRAINING MANUAL

    If you are interested in a thorough resource that covers everything you could ever possibly want to know about officiating a wedding ceremony, we recommend purchasing a copy of our book Asked To Officiate. Originally written by two career wedding officiants, Asked To Officiate draws on their decades of experience officiating hundreds of wedding ceremonies.

    Asked To Officiate is also included in our Signature Wedding Officiant Package. This package covers all the bases, including your Ministry Credentials, a Wedding Stole, Asked To Officiate, and your Minister's Manual.


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    Step 4 OFFICIATE THE WEDDING!

    By this point you should be fully prepared to officiate the wedding. Have a fun and memorable wedding ceremony! After you have conducted the wedding you have one last and very important job… to complete the marriage license for the couple.

    COMPLETING THE MARRIAGE LICENSE

    This is your one legal responsibility. Fortunately, it is also an easy task to fulfill. Completing the marriage license simply involves completing your portion of the license and signing it with the couple in the presence of any required witnesses. That's it!

    We understand that you want to do everything correctly. That’s why you are the officiant! If you want to know more about what fields you may have to complete on the marriage license and what you should write, check out our Wedding Officiant Guidelines for Completing Marriage Licenses.

    RETURNING THE MARRIAGE LICENSE

    After the marriage license is completed it must be returned to its issuance office. This is usually the responsibility of the couple though some states require this to be done by the minister. When the couple receives their marriage license it should also come with instructions as to who must return it and how.

    Different states have different deadlines that dictate when the completed marriage license must be returned, so make sure that this duty be done as soon as possible. In most states this is as easy as mailing the marriage license back to the county clerk. Below is more information about New York marriage licenses.




    NEW YORK MARRIAGE LICENSE INFORMATION

    Prior to the wedding ceremony it is the couple’s responsibility to file for their marriage license. The marriage license issuance office is usually located at the county courthouse. Your job as the wedding officiant is to sign and complete your section of the license. Once the marriage license is completed and returned to the office where it was issued, the marriage is recorded and made legal.

    Marriage License Issuance Office

    City or Town Clerk

    Marriage License Fee

    $35

    Marriage License Waiting Period

    1 Day

    Marriage License Expiration

    60 Days

    Marriage License Return

    Before Expiration

    What Does Marriage License Waiting Period, Expiration, and Return Mean?


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