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Town and City Clerks to Issue Certificates of Marriage Registration; Form

As marriage is legal relationship, records of marriages are maintained by the government. Once a marriage is solemnized, the marriage must be registered and a certified marriage certificate produced. According to Dom. Rel. Law section 14-a, town and city clerks have the responsibility of issuing certificates of marriage registration. It is important that you receive a certified copy of your marriage certificate, as you will need it as legal proof that you are married. While the process of getting married in New York is uncomplicated, there are legalities related to marriage and other aspects of family relationships that can be quite complicated, especially if not handled properly. If you are concerned about a legal matter related to your marriage or any other family matter, contact an experienced New York family lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis. We can help ensure that your interests are protected.

Marriage registration

Once you get married and your marriage is solemnized by an authorized person, that person must endorse your marriage license, it must be sent to the proper city or town clerk. The clerk will then record and index your marriage record and issue you a certified marriage license. It must be sent to you within 15 days of receipt of the completed marriage license. The certified marriage record will state your first names, your pre- and post- marriage surnames, place and date of birth of each person, your address, and the date you were married. The seal of the clerk will be affixed on the document.

Certified copies of marriage record

You may need multiple certified copies of your marriage records. If so, you can contact the Vital Records Unit of the New York State Department of Health. Certified marriage records will only be issued to either of the spouses, anyone who has a documented judicial or other proper purpose, or anyone with a New York State court order.

A few examples of when you would need your marriage certificate include legally changing your last name with the social security administration, providing proof of marriage as a life event for changing health insurance after open enrollment, and to change your name on your driver’s license.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Marriage licenses: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 13
  2. Time within which marriage may be solemnized: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 13-b
  3. Duty of clerk issuing marriage license: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 13-d
  4. Town and city clerks to issue marriage licenses; form: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 14
  5. Duty of town and city clerks: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 15
Domestic Relations Law, section 14-a: Town and city clerks to issue certificates of marriage registration; form

1. Upon receipt of the return of the marriage license, properly endorsed and completed by the person who shall have solemnized a marriage as provided in this article, the town and city clerks of each and every town or city in the state shall, after abstracting, recording and indexing the statement of performance of solemnization, issue to the couple within fifteen days after such receipt or return of the completed marriage license a certificate of marriage, which certificate shall be substantially in the following form and contain the following facts:

Record No.․․․․․․․․․․․․ of Year ․․․․․․․․

THIS IS TO CERTIFY

that, first name, premarriage surname, new surname (if applicable)

residing at, who was born on ․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․, at, date

and, first name, premarriage surname, new surname (if applicable) residing at,

who was born ․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․, at, date

were married on ․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․ at, date

as shown by the duly registered license and certificate of marriage of said persons on file in this office.

(SEAL)

․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․

 Town or City Clerk

Dated at ․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․, N.Y.

․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․

No other facts contained in the affidavits, statements, consents or licenses shall be certified by such town and city clerks, unless expressly requested in writing by the man or woman named in such affidavit, license, statement or record.

2. a. Such town and city clerks shall be entitled to a fee for such certificate, payable at the time of issuance of the marriage license, in a sum not exceeding ten dollars, to be fixed in the case of town clerks by the town board, and in the case of city clerks by the common council or governing body of such cities. The town and city clerks shall, upon request of any applicant whose name appears thereon, issue a similar certificate of marriage, as set forth above, and similarly expanded with additional facts upon the express additional request, for all marriages heretofore indexed and recorded in the office of the town or city clerks. For such certificate of marriage, the town and city clerks shall be entitled to a fee not exceeding ten dollars, to be fixed in the case of town clerks by the town board, and in the case of city clerks by the common council or governing body of such city.

b. In addition to the foregoing, upon request of any applicant whose name appears thereon for a certificate of marriage, the town or city clerk may issue a photograph, micro-photograph or photocopy of the marriage record on file in the office of such clerk. Such photograph, micro-photograph or photocopy, when certified by the town or city clerk, shall be deemed an original record for all purposes, including introduction in evidence in all courts or administrative agencies. For such certificate of marriage and the certification thereof, the town or city clerk shall be entitled to a fee not exceeding ten dollars, to be fixed in the case of town clerks by the town board, and in the case of city clerks by the common council or governing body of such city.

3. No fee shall be charged for any certificate when required by the veterans administration or by the division of veterans' affairs of the state of New York to be used in determining the eligibility of any person to participate in the benefits made available by the veterans administration or by the state of New York.

4. A copy of the record of marriage registration when properly certified by the city and town clerks or their duly authorized deputies, as herein provided, shall be prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated and in all actions, proceedings or applications, judicial, administrative or otherwise, and any such certificate of registration of marriage shall be accepted with the same force and effect with respect to the facts therein stated as the original certificate of marriage or certified copy thereof.

5. Upon request of any applicant whose name appears thereon for a certificate of marriage, the town or city clerk shall be authorized to correct any errors on such marriage certificate where:

a. such error was not the result of any intended fraud, deception or attempt to avoid the effect of any valid law, regulation or statute; and

b. either party to the marriage provides proof, satisfactory to the clerk, of the accuracy of the facts presented in support of correcting the error.

To effectuate such correction and provide certified copies of the amended certificate, the town or city clerk shall be entitled to a fee not exceeding ten dollars to be fixed in the case of town clerks by the town board, and in the case of city clerks by the common council or governing body of such city. The clerk shall forward a copy of such amended certificate to the commissioner of health.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

With over 20 years of experience, the New York family lawyers at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates can help you with your family-related legal issues. We have the skill and resources to help with sensitive legal issues such as divorce, spousal divorce, child custody, child support, and other family matters. We will help you achieve your goal. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Nassau County, Queens, Suffolk County, Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Staten Island, and Westchester County.

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