New York Officiant Government Registration Requirements

Learn what the marriage officiant registration requirements are in New York. This page covers everything you need to know to legally officiate wedding ceremonies in New York.

10 Useful Officiant
Registration Facts



1.

Who can officiate weddings in New York?

" 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. "
Laws of New York § 11

2.

Are online ordained ministers recognized in New York?

Yes. All online ordained ministers, including those ordained through AMM are recognized in New York.
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3.

Am I as the minister officiant required to register with the New York Government?

Maybe. 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.

4.

What New York office handles officiant registration?

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

5.

How old do I have to be to officiate a wedding in New York?

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

6.

Does my residency affect the registration process?

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

7.

Do I need to complete a government application before officiating a wedding?

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.

8.

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.

9.

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.

10.

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.

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What are the Wedding Officiant Registration Requirements in New York?

In New York each city and town determines its own officiant registration requirements. Most cities and towns do not require officiant registration before performing marriage. The one big exemption is New York City, which does require officiant registration.

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 a Wedding Officiant with the NYC Marriage Bureau

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

If you are planning on officiating weddings in any of these localities then you must first register with the New York City Marriage Bureau.

Our How to Officiate Wedding in NYC page provides detailed instructions on how to register with the NYC Clerk's office. You can also keep reading for step-by-step officiant registration instructions with the NYC Marriage Bureau.

REQUIRED REGISTRATION DOCUMENTS FOR NYC WEDDING OFFICIANTS

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)
  5. $15 Application Processing Fee

Below is a simple three step process to become a legal wedding officaint in NYC.

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STEP 1ORDER YOUR MINISTRY CREDENTIALS

Officiant Registration ORDER NOW Government Registration Guarantee

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. In short, your package contains the following required documents:


Minister Ordination Package

Everything you need to officiate your first wedding.

STEP 2START THE ONLINE NYC OFFICIANT APPLICATION PROCESS

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.

STEP 3SUBMIT 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. The last two items you need are:

  1. Valid Government ID - Driver's License, Military ID, Passport, or Birth Certificate.
  2. $15 Fee - Payable in person by credit card or a money order addressed to the "City Clerk".

Once you have everything you need, you can complete your officiant 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

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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.



Officiant 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

Officiant Registration ORDER NOW Government Registration Guarantee

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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Start Preparing for the Wedding Ceremony

Your next step is to learn how to officiate a wedding ceremony. If you have no experience, you are in good hands. Our New York Wedding Officiant Preparation Guide covers all aspects of how to prepare for a wedding ceremony.

You will learn everything from the format for a wedding ceremony, the names of the ceremony parts, how to write a wedding ceremony, and more.

PREPARE FOR THE NEW YORK WEDDING CEREMONY

Use Our AMM Wedding Helper

If the process of planning, scripting, and performing a wedding is daunting, then you need our Wedding Helper suite of tools.

We have distilled years of experience into an easy-to-use platform with training materials, quizzes, a personalized ceremony script generator, and tips to prepare you for performing marriage, all accessible through your minister profile.

That’s only the beginning. After the wedding, you can share your wedding on the AMM Wedding Wall with our nationwide network of ministers.

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Officiate a Wedding in New York as an AMM Officiant!