Our essential guide to applying for a license for your New Jersey wedding

Congratulations on planning your dream wedding in New Jersey! You’ve probably got a million things to think about right now, from finding your perfect bridal gown, to choosing your bridesmaids, to selecting your wedding menu. But while the excitement is building, it’s crucial not to overlook the essential step of getting your marriage license in NJ. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the whole process as well as some frequently asked questions. This way, you can ensure that you experience zero hiccups before your big day. 

However, bear in mind that regulations can change and that Registrar Offices in different New Jersey municipalities might have slightly different requirements. So please use the following information as a general guide, but make sure to check all the specifics with your local registrar. With that in mind, here’s what you need to know:

1. Who is eligible for a New Jersey marriage license?

To get married in New Jersey, you must be at least 18 years old and not currently in another civil union, domestic partnership, or marriage recognized by the state of New Jersey.

2. Do we have to apply for a New Jersey marriage license in person?

Yes, applying in person is essential, so you’ll have to book an appointment at a local New Jersey Registrar Office. You’ll also have to apply for your license in the same New Jersey municipality where either you or your partner lives. 

3. Can we apply for a New Jersey marriage license if we’re not residents of the state?

Don’t worry, you can still get married in the Garden State whether you live there or not. But in your case, you’ll have to apply for a marriage license in the municipality where your ceremony is taking place instead. That’s why making a decision on your New Jersey wedding venue will be crucial.

4. How do we make an appointment for a New Jersey marriage license?

Every municipality’s Local Registrar has their own system, so it’s best to contact yours in advance to see if you need an appointment. Allow for the possibility that there might be a waiting period for appointments during busy times, so factor this into your marriage license application timeline. Make sure to also check which ID and documents you and your partner will need to bring.

5. Do we need to take a witness to our New Jersey marriage license appointment?

Yes, you will need to take along a witness who is aged 18 or over and they must have a US Social Security number. 

6. What documents do we need for a marriage license in New Jersey?

You, your partner, and your chosen witness will need the following documents:

  • Proof of identity such as a passport or driving license.
  • Proof of residency (for NJ residents only).
  • Social security numbers.

7. What are the steps to getting a marriage license in New Jersey?

Step 1: Book a marriage license appointment at your local New Jersey Registrar Office, otherwise known as a Local Vital Records Office (or, if you’re not an NJ resident, at the local Registrar Office in the municipality where your ceremony is taking place).

Step 2: Arrange for a witness to attend the appointment with you.

Step 3: You, your partner, and your witness should gather all of your required ID documents in advance and make sure that none of them are missing, damaged, or expired. You don’t want a last-minute panic!

Step 4: Attend your appointment with your partner and witness, show your documents, complete your marriage license application form, and sign it in front of the official.

Step 5: Pay your fee.

Step 6: Once everything is approved, wait for your marriage license to be issued and posted out to you.

8. What does a marriage license in New Jersey cost?

The marriage license application fee for NJ is currently $28. A civil union license costs the same.

9. How long does it take to get a marriage license in New Jersey?

There is normally a 72-hour waiting period between attending your appointment at the Registrar Office and having your marriage license mailed out to you. Bear in mind that there could be delays due to busy periods, unforeseen circumstances, or postal issues. 

You should also allow yourself lots of time to secure your appointment, just in case your local office books up fast. In other words, plan ahead and don’t leave anything until the last minute.

10. What could cause our New Jersey marriage license application to be delayed or rejected?

Your application might be rejected if there are errors, missing information, or wrong information on your form. Or if the identity documents required from you, your partner, or your witness are missing, damaged, or expired. If your application is rejected and needs corrections, then you might also be charged an additional fee.

11. How long is a New Jersey marriage license valid for?

Once you get your marriage license it’s valid for six months. You can also apply to extend it to one year, with prior approval.

12. Can we use our New Jersey marriage license to get married in a different state or abroad?

Unfortunately no, your marriage license is valid only within New Jersey. (But hey, why would you want to get married anywhere else but the gorgeous Garden State?)

13. How do you get a re-marriage license in New Jersey?

If you are remarrying, then you will need to provide proof of your previous marriage (for instance, a marriage certificate). Other than that, the rest of the procedure is generally the same, although make sure to double check this with your local Registrar Office.

14. Do you need a license for a civil union in New Jersey?

Yes, the same application process applies to civil unions.

15. Can the City Clerk marry us in New Jersey?

No, only authorized officiants such as judges or religious figures can perform wedding ceremonies in New Jersey. The City Clerk can only issue marriage licenses.

16. Do you need witnesses for a New Jersey wedding ceremony?

Yes, you must have two witnesses for your wedding and this can’t include your officiant.

17. How do I apply for my New Jersey marriage certificate after my wedding?

On your wedding day, you will have to sign your license in front of your officiant and two witnesses. Then, you will have to file the first two pages of the marriage license with the municipality where the ceremony took place. After this, your marriage certificate will be issued—and it’s a terrific feeling when you finally get it!

No matter what your plans are for your big day, getting a New Jersey marriage license is a crucial step. So make sure you’re well-informed, have all your documents ready, and get your appointment booked well ahead of time. This way, you can enjoy a seamless journey into marital bliss (well, once you’ve decided on your perfect wedding floor plan, naturally).

For more information on marriage regulations in NJ, check out the State of New Jersey’s official website.

Ready for your New Jersey wedding?

Now that you’re up to speed on how to get your marriage license, it’s time to pick the perfect New Jersey wedding venue. With our chandelier ballroom and Italian gardens, you can create lifelong memories at Il Tulipano in Cedar Grove. Our venue has just had a makeover and been praised by New Jersey Bride, The Knot, and Wedding Wire. The Il Tulipano team will treat you like family, so get in touch with us today and let’s plan your dream wedding.

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