Marriage in The Time of Covid-19

On April 18, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he would be issuing an executive order permitting New York residents to obtain a marriage license online and allowing clerks to perform marriage ceremonies via video conference.


Each county within New York state has its own criteria for issuing a marriage license and may be accepting applications via internet, mail or may even require a phone call in order to provide instructions on how to obtain a marriage license. The county clerk’s office in each county can issue a marriage license for its residence. The Office of the City Clerk for the City of New York has created an online portal allowing residents from any part of New York State to apply for a marriage license online.


The online marriage license application is accompanied by additional requirements including creation of an NYC.ID account and the provision of photo identification. There is also a $35 marriage license fee. Once the application is submitted the parties seeking the marriage license must schedule a meeting with the City Clerk. This meeting will be held via Microsoft teams conference or if using a smart phone, via video conference on the Project Cupid website. Both parties on the marriage license application must be in the same place within the state of New York during the conference with the City Clerk.


The New York City Clerk’s office is not presently performing marriage ceremonies, however, parties can select their own licensed marriage officiant. The marriage ceremony must be conducted within the State of New York. If the marriage ceremony is performed virtually, the officiant, the parties getting married, and the witnesses must all be present in the State of New York.


Once the marriage has been performed, the newly wed spouses must submit the signed marriage license, signed by both of the spouses and the officiant. To submit the completed marriage certificate to the City Clerk’s office the parties should log back into their NYC.ID account and upload it through the portal.


Though so much has changed during this public health crisis, it is always advisable to speak with an attorney prior to entering into a marriage. This is especially true if you have or anticipate having substantial assets that may become marital property once you tie the knot.


If you are interested in applying for a marriage license in the State of New York, you can begin your application at the following website: