Marriage License

Marriage License

Introduction

Thank you for visiting the Marriage section of our web site. Niagara Falls is a legendary place for marriages.  The office of the City Clerk is dedicated to offering those who wish to marry in Niagara Falls a truly elegant experience. Through this office you will receive instructions on how to obtain a Marriage License, have a civil Marriage Ceremony performed by City Officiants in City Hall or outdoors with the majestic Niagara State Park as a backdrop (weather permitting). Private religious or civil Marriage Ceremony elsewhere is also an option.

All persons who intend to get married in New York State must obtain a Marriage License. This page explains the procedure for obtaining a Marriage License from the Office of the Niagara Falls City Clerk.

Fee

The fee for a Marriage License is $40. Payment by cash, money order made out to ‘City Clerk’ or U.S Credit Card (AMEX not accepted. *$1.95 processing fee added to credit card transactions) will be due at time of appointment.

Duration of the Marriage License

A New York State Marriage License is valid for 60 days (except for active military personnel, for whom the validity runs for 180 days). A Marriage License issued in New York can be used anywhere in New York State but not outside of New York State.

Required Information

Listed below is the information you will need to fill out the Marriage License Application:

  • The application is an affidavit where you and your prospective spouse must list your names; current address; city, state, ZIP code and place of birth; date of birth; name and country of birth of your parents; Social Security number; and marital history.
  • When you sign the affidavit, you are making a sworn statement that there are no legal impediments to the marriage.
  • If you were married before, you must list all prior marriages, the date the divorce decree was granted and the city, State and country where the divorce was issued.
  • All divorces, annulments, and dissolutions must be finalized before you apply for a new Marriage License.
  • Copies of final divorce decrees if applicable.
  • If your spouse is deceased, a copy of death certificate is required.

Application Procedure

The process of applying for a marriage license has been adjusted in light of COVID-19 precautions.

  • You must attach the completed application, copies of identification (acceptable types listed below) and any applicable documents in an email to city.clerk@niagarafallsny.gov. *
  • Once reviewed and all components are in order, you will be contacted to schedule an appointment where both parties will need to be present. Your marriage license will be processed at that time.
  • Proxy marriage is not permitted in New York, so no other party may apply on behalf of either spouse.
  • You should carefully read your Marriage License to make sure there are no mistakes.
  • You will take the Marriage License with you when you leave our office.
  • You must wait a full 24 hours before your Marriage Ceremony can be performed unless you obtain a Judicial Waiver through Supreme Court.

* Request may be submitted through U.S Mail to the following address:

City Clerk’s Office
745 Main St.
Niagara Falls, NY 14301

Upon receipt you will be contacted to schedule an appointment for both parties to complete the process in the City Clerk’s office.

Proper Identification (Proof of Age and Identity)

You and your prospective spouse must have one of the following government issued identifications in order to apply for a Marriage License:

  • Driver License with photograph (from the United States or any of its territories)
  • Non-Driver Identification Card with photograph
  • Active United States Military Identification Card
  • Passport
  • Immigration Record
  • Benefits card with photo

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 niece, or an aunt and nephew, regardless of whether or not these persons are legitimate of illegitimate offspring.

Blood Test Not Required

A blood test is not required to obtain a Marriage License in New York State.

Name Change Options

  • Various surname options are listed on the back of the application.
  • You must state your choice of surname on the application. If you elect to make a surname change on your application, you may make notifications at your convenience.
  • The name change option does not apply to your first or middle name.
  • Birth certificate required if reverting to maiden name when not indicated on divorce document.

Age Requirements

  • If either applicant is under 17 years of age a marriage license cannot be issued.
  • If either applicant is 17 years of age, such applicant(s) must present the 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 both applicants are 18 year of age or older, no consents are required.

Judicial Waiver

  • A 24 hour waiting period after you and your prospective spouse obtain your license is required by New York State Law.
  • In the event that you and your prospective spouse must marry before the 24 hour waiting period is over, you can request permission from a Supreme Court Judge to waive this requirement. An appointment is required.
  • There is a fee to obtain a Judicial Waiver.
  • Give the Judicial Waiver to your Marriage Officiant to enable them to perform the ceremony within the 24 hour waiting period.
  • The Marriage Officiant must attach the Judicial Waiver when returning the Marriage License to our office. *Typically the Supreme Court Judge will perform ceremony at the time waiver is granted due to urgency involved.

Same Sex Marriage Information

On June 24, 2011, the New York State Legislature passed the Marriage Equality Act which was signed into law by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo the same day.  Since that date New York State has been issuing Marriage Licenses and providing civil marriage ceremonies to same-sex couples.


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