Marriage License


Where do you get a marriage license?

A couple who intends to be married in New York State must apply in person for a marriage license to any town or city clerk in the state. The application for a license must be signed both parties in the presence of the town or city clerk.

Is there a waiting period?

Yes. Although the marriage license is issued immediately, the marriage ceremony may not take place within 24 hours from the exact time that the license was issued.
When both applicants are 16 years of age or older, the 24-hour waiting period may be waived by an order of a justice of the Supreme Court or a judge of the County Court of the county in which either the bride or groom resides. If either person is under 16 years of age, the order must be from the Family Court judge of the county in which the person under 16 years of age resides.

How long is the license valid?

A marriage license is valid for 60 days, beginning the day after it is issued.

How much does the license cost?

If the marriage license is issued by a town or city clerk in New York State outside of New York City, it costs $40. This certificate is automatically sent by the issuing clerk to the applicants within 15 days after the completed license is returned by the officiant person who performs the marriage ceremony). It serves as notice 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.

Price: $40.00

Is a premarital exam required?

No premarital examination or blood tests required to obtain a marriage license in New York State.

Who can get married?

Age Requirements:
• 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, 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 either applicant is 16 or 17 years of age, such applicant(s) must present the written consent of both parents. (Notarized)
• if both applicants are 18 years of age or older, no consents are required.

Proof of Age

A person will be required to submit documentary proof of age in the form of a birth certificate, baptismal record, passport, driver’s license, life insurance policy, employment certificate, school record, immigration record, naturalization record or court record.  (You will need to bring 2 forms of proof of age) No other type of proof, such as a statement by parents, may be accepted.  Birth Certificate and Driver License are the most common combination of proof of Age.

Previous Marriages

Information regarding previous marriages must be furnished in the application for a marriage license. This includes whether the former spouse or spouses are living, and whether the applicants are divorced and, if so, when, where and against whom the divorce or divorces were granted. A certified copy of the Decree of Divorce or a Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage may be required by the clerk issuing the marriage license. The Town of Riga does have a Justice of the Peace and a Marriage Officer For a civil service, the Town of Riga does provide a Justice of the Peace and  the Town Clerk is a Marriage Officer that can perform your marriage.

You may call 585.293.3880 ext 122 for more information or to schedule a time for your ceremony.

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 to the marriage is required to change his or her last name. Either party 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 new name must consist of one of the following options:
the surname of the other spouse;
any former surname of either spouse;
• a name combining into a single surname all or a segment of the pre-marriage surname or any former surname of each spouse;
• a combination name separated by a hyphen, provided that each part of such combination surname is the pre-marriage surname, or any former surname, of each of the spouses.

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. The local Social Security Administration office should be contacted so that its records and your social security identification. card reflect the name change. There is no charge for this service. whether you decide to use or not use this option at the time of your marriage license application, you still have the right to adopt a different name through usage at some future date.

However, your marriage license cannot be changed to record a surname you decide to use after your marriage.  If you plan to use your married name at work, be sure to have your name changed in Social Security records. This way, you will get credit for all your earnings. It’s easy and it’s absolutely free. Contact any Social Security office. Look in the telephone book for the address and phone number You will need documentary evidence showing both your old name and your new name.

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