New York State Marriage License

Where to obtain:

  • A couple intending to marry in New York State must apply in person for a marriage license to any town or city clerk in the state.
  • Town Clerk's Office, Town of Clarkson
    3710 Lake Road
    Clarkson, NY 14430

    Town of Clarkson's office hours are:
    Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri - 8 AM - 4 PM
    Tuesdays 8 AM - 6:00 PM

  • The application for a license must be signed by both the bride and groom in the presence of the town or city clerk.
  • A representative cannot apply for the license on behalf of the bride or groom. This applies even if the representative has been given the Power of Attorney.
  • Notarized marriage license affidavits signed by the bride and groom cannot be substituted for their personal appearance.

When to obtain:

  • There is a 24-hour waiting period once the license is issued.
  • The license is valid for 60 days beginning the day after issuance.

Documents required to obtain:

  • A person is required to establish proof of age and identity by submitting to the issuing clerk one of the following age-related documents: 1. Birth Certificate 2. Baptismal record 3. Naturalization record 4. Census record

and...

  • one of the following identity-related documents: 1. Driver's license 2. passport 3. Employment picture ID 4. Immigration record
  • If previously married, a certified copy of the Decree of Divorce or a Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage is required
  • If spouse is deceased, a copy of the death certificate is required.

Cost to obtain:

  • $40 – cash or check
  • Fee includes issuance of the Certificate of Marriage which is automatically sent to the applicants within 15 days after returned by the officiant (person who performs the ceremony)
  • This will be your notification that a record of the marriage is on file. Couples who do not receive a Certificate of Marriage Registration within four weeks of the wedding should contact the town or city clerk who issued the license.

Who can perform the ceremony:

  • To be valid, a marriage ceremony must be performed by any of the individuals specified in Section 11 of the New York State Domestic Relations Law.
    They are:
  • The mayor of a city or village
  • The city clerk or one of the deputy city clerks of a city of more than one million inhabitants
  • A marriage officer appointed by the town or village board or the city common council
  • A justice or judge of the following courts: the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the US District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, or Western Districts of New York, the NYS Court of Appeals, the Appellate Division of the NYS Supreme Court, the NYS Supreme Court, the Court of Claims, the Family Court, a Surrogate Court, the Civil and Criminal Courts of New York City and other courts of record
  • A current or retired village, town or county justice
  • A member of the clergy or minister who has been officially ordained and granted authority to perform marriage ceremonies from a governing church body but who has been chosen by a spiritual group to preside over their spiritual affairs
  • Other officiants as specified in Section 11 of the Domestic Relations Law
  • Ship captains are not authorized to perform marriage ceremonies in New York State

    Marriage Officer for Clarkson:  Sharon S. Mattison, Town Clerk, 637-1130

What about the ceremony:

  • There is no particular form or ceremony required except that the parties must state in the presence of an authorized member of the clergy or public official and at least one other witness that they take each other as husband and wife.
  • There is no minimum age for a witness However, in selecting a witness, choose at least one person who you feel would be competent to testify in a court proceeding as to what he or she witnessed.

Where can a marriage take place:

  • A New York State marriage license may be used within New York State only. Please note that if you go out of New York State to be married, your New York State license will not be valid.

Where can I get copies of my records?

  • For copies of marriage licenses issued anywhere in New York State except the five (5) boroughs of New York City, a certified copy of the marriage record may be obtained from the office of the town or city clerk who issued the license, or from the New York State Department of Health.
  • The Town of Clarkson charges a $10 fee to search marriage records

For a certified copy, write to:
Certification Unit Vital Records Section
New York State Department of Health
P.O. Box 2602
Albany, New York 12220-2602

To find out more information on this topic please contact
New York State Department of Health Vital Records Section

What are the age and consent requirements for a minor:

  • If either applicant is under 14 years of age, a marriage license cannot be issued
  • If either applicant is 14 or 15 years of age, they must have written consent of both parents and a justice of the Supreme Court or a judge of the Family Court having jurisdiction over the town or city in which the application is made.
  • If either applicant is 16 or 17 years of age, they must have the written consent of both parents.
  • One parent alone may consent to a minor's marriage if:
    - The other parent has been missing for one year preceding the application
    - The parents are divorced and the consenting parent was given sole custody of the child when the divorce was awarded
    - The other parent has been judged incompetent
    - The other parent is deceased
    - Parents, guardian or other people consenting to the marriage of a minor must personally appear and consent before the town or city clerk or present a notarized statement.
  • If a notarized affidavit is made before an official outside of New York, it must be accompanied by a certificate of authentication when consent is filed in New York State
  • If both applicants are 18 years of age or older, no consents are required.
  • NOTE: BOTH bride and groom are required to come in together to apply.

Is a premarital physical exam required?

  • No premarital examination or blood test is required to obtain a marriage license in New York State

Surname options:

  • Every person has the right to adopt any name by which he or she wishes to be known simply by using that name consistently and without intent to defraud. A person's last name (surname) does not automatically change upon marriage, and neither party is required to change his or her last name. The bride and groom need not take the same last name.
  • One or both parties to a marriage may elect to change the surname by which he or she wishes to be known after the marriage by entering the new name in the appropriate space provided on the marriage license.
    - The use of this option will provide a record of your change of name. The marriage certificate, containing the new name, if any, is proof that the use of the new name, or the retention of the former name is lawful.
  • If you choose to change your surname, the local Social Security Administration Office should be notified and your social security identification card changed to reflect your new name. There is no charge for this service. You will need documentary evidence showing both your old name and new name.

Familial restrictions:

  • A marriage may not take place in New York State between an ancestor and descendant, a brother and sister (full or half blood), an uncle and a niece, or an aunt and a nephew, regardless of whether or not these persons are legitimate or illegitimate offspring