10 Essential Facts to Know Before Officiating a Wedding in New York

The facts below cover all the important aspects of what requirements you need to meet to be able to legally officiate a wedding ceremony in New York.


Who Can Officiate Weddings in New York?

This is the relevant exerpt from the Laws of New York § 11 .

" 1. 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. "

Basically, this means that as long as you are ordained through any church, you can officiate weddings.


Are Online Ordinations Recognized in New York?

Yes. All online ordained ministers, including those ordained through AMM are recognized in New York.

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Is Government Registration Required to Officiate a Wedding in New York?

Depends. You are required to register as an officiant with the New York City Marriage Bureau before you officiate a wedding. Outside of NYC, you need to check with the local city or town clerk.


What Office Do I Register with Before Officiating a Wedding in New York?

The Marriage Bureau in New York is responsible for officiant registration.


What is the Minimum Legal Age to Officiate a Wedding in New York?

All Wedding Officiants in New York must be at least 18 years old.


Does my Residency Affect the Registration Process?

No. Your state or country of residence is irrelevant to the officiant registration process in New York.


Does the New York Government Provide an Application I Need to Complete?

Maybe. All Wedding Officiants in NYC must complete the NYC Marriage Officiant Registration Form. Outside of New York City, you will have to check with the local Town or City Clerk.


Do I Need to Submit Proof of my Ministry Credentials to the New York Government?

Depends on where. In NYC you are required to submit an official copy of your Ministry Credentials to the Marriage Bureau. Outside of NYC it is up to the Town or City Clerk.


How Much Does the Officiant Registration Process Cost in New York?

It will cost you about $15 to register as a wedding officiant in New York.


How Long Does it Take to Register as a Wedding Officiant in New York?

Normally, registration is done in person and takes no more than 1 hour. Considering the COVID epidemic, plan for delays in this process. That being so, it should not take long once you have all the required materials.

New York Officiant Registration Step-by-Step Instructions

For a more detailed guide on how to complete the officiant registration process in New York, check out our New York Officiant Registration page by clicking the button below.



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