Marriage License

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. Here you will find instructions on how to obtain a Marriage License, have a civil Marriage Ceremony in our offices or have a private religious or civil Marriage Ceremony elsewhere.

Marriage License

Introduction

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. Marriage licenses are issued between 8:00 AM and 3:30 PM.

Fee

The fee for a Marriage License is $40  payable in cash or U.S Credit Card.

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.

Application Procedure

Listed below are the general rules of the application process.

  • You and your prospective spouse must complete the process by appearing at the Office of the City Clerk in person, together and at the same time.
  • Proxy marriage is not permitted in New York, so no other party may apply on behalf of either spouse.
  • You must complete the application in our office.
  • Your Marriage License will be processed while you wait.
  • You should carefully read your Marriage License to make sure there are no mistakes.
  • You will take the Marriage License with you to 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.

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 name; current address; city, state, ZIP code and country; country 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. You must include your previous spouse’s full name; 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.
  • You may be asked to produce the final divorce decree.
  • If your spouse is deceased, you must provide such spouse’s full name and date of death.

Proper Identification (Proof of Age and Identity)

You and your prospective spouse must have one form of proper identification in order to apply for a Marriage License.

Age related documents; (1)

  • Birth certificate
  • Baptismal Record
  • United States Certificate of Naturalization
  • Census Record

And one of the following Identity related documents; (1)

  • 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
  • Employment Picture ID
  • Immigration Record

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, the surname change takes legal effect at the conclusion of the Marriage Ceremony.
  • The name change option does not apply to your first or middle name.

Under the Age of Eighteen (18)

If either you or your prospective spouse is under the age of 18 years, you are required to have written parental consent to obtain a Marriage License.

  • Please be prepared to show proof of your date of birth. You may show one of the following forms of identification to prove your age:

Original or certified copy of birth certificate

Baptismal record

Passport

Driver license

Naturalization record

Court records

  • Both of your parents must be present to consent and have proper identification at the time of application for the Marriage License and at the Marriage Ceremony if the ceremony is performed in our offices.
  • If one parent is deceased, the surviving parent must appear and a death certificate Certificate for the deceased parent must be produced.
  • If both parents are decease, the legal guardian must appear instead.
  • If either prospective spouse is under the age of 16 years, in addition to parental consent, the written approval of a Judge of the Supreme Court or Family Court is needed.
  • A person under the age of 14 cannot be married.

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 Judge to waive this requirement .
  • You can request a Judicial Waiver from the County Clerk in the county where you obtained your Marriage License.
  • There is no 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.

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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