New York's Marriage Equality Act was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on June 24, 2011, allowing same-sex couples to marry legally in New York for the first time.
Since many same-sex couples have waited years to get married, the City is expecting a high demand for marriage licenses when the law goes into effect, so the City Clerk will offer extended hours that Sunday and during the following week to accommodate the increased demand.
Couples who reside in New York or in another state or country are welcome to marry in the state, even if you were previously married in another jurisdiction. Under existing law, the State of New York recognizes valid marriages performed elsewhere, including same-sex marriage.
However, keep in mind that getting married in New York City is a multi-step process. So couples must complete an application and receive a Marriage License at the City Clerk's office before they can legally wed.
If you plan to get married, here are some important things to keep in mind:
- You can submit an application for a Marriage License to the City Clerk via City Clerk Online. You will be given a confirmation number when you complete the application online. Bring that number with you when you go to the City Clerk's office. Beginning the application process online helps in two ways. First, it will save you time when you appear at the City Clerk's office because you will not have to fill out a paper application, only your confirmation number. Second, it will give the City Clerk an idea of how many couples are applying.
- Once you arrive at the City Clerk's office you will proceed to the information desk, where someone will guide you toward the next steps. Your Marriage License will be processed while you wait.
- You will need at least one witness 18 years of age or older. After your marriage ceremony, the couple, the person who performs the ceremony, and the witness(es) must all sign the Marriage License.
- If you like, the City Clerk's office can also perform a civil marriage ceremony for you. The law requires a 24-hour waiting period before your marriage ceremony can be performed, unless you obtain a Judicial Waiver. If you obtain a Judicial Waiver, then the City Clerk's office can perform a civil marriage ceremony the same day.
- You must bring valid, government-issued identification and the necessary fees. It is also a good idea to bring proof of any previously terminated marriage(s). The following types of identification are acceptable:
- Driver's license, non-driver identification card, or learner's permit, with photograph, from any state or United States territory;
- Active United States Military Identification Card;
- Valid passport;
- United States Certificate of Naturalization (less than ten years old);
- United States Alien Registration Card; or
- United States Employment Authorization Card.
- The City Clerk's fee for a Marriage License is $35. The fee for a marriage ceremony at the City Clerk's office is $25. Fees are payable with money order or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express). Cash and personal checks are not accepted.
For more information, go to the City Clerk's website.
The City Clerk’s office in Brooklyn:
Brooklyn Municipal Building
210 Joralemon Street, Room 205
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Regular Hours: 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday
Sunday, July 24, 2011: 8:30am-4:30pm
Monday, July 25 through Friday, July 29: 8:30am-6:30pm
(Please note you must be in the Office's doors by 3:45pm on July 24 and 5:45pm on July 25 through July 29 to be guaranteed service)