Common-law marriage has diverse names, from "marriage in fact", "marriage by repute and habit", "informal…
Where to Apply
How do I get a marriage license in New Jersey?
You may apply for a New Jersey marriage license at a municipal clerk's office.
May I apply at a county clerk's office too?
County clerks do not issue marriage licenses. Go to a local registrar.
How do I get a civil union license?
Marriage and civil union license rules are the same.
Who should I ask to see?
City, town, borough, township, village, and municipal clerks are local registrars.
Do I have to make an appointment?
Your local registrar may need you to schedule an appointment due to limited resources.
Does residency affect where I apply?
You live in New Jersey?
If either lives in New Jersey, apply in either's city or town of residence.
Neither lives in New Jersey?
If neither lives in New Jersey, apply in the city or town where the marriage will occur.
Is U.S. citizenship required to get married?
New Jersey marriage law treats U.S. citizens and foreigners the same.
Do I have to show proof of New Jersey residency?
If you claim New Jersey residence, show proof, such as a utility or credit card bill.
How much does a marriage license cost?
A New Jersey marriage license costs $28.
How much does a marriage certificate cost?
A certified copy of a New Jersey marriage certificate costs $25. Each extra is $2.
Where may I use my marriage license?
Are you a resident?
If either lives in New Jersey, marry anywhere in the state.
Are you both nonresidents?
If neither lives in New Jersey, marry in the city or town of application.
What if I cannot apply in person?
If you're a U.S. service member deployed overseas and cannot apply in person, an attorney-in-fact may apply on your behalf.
Are both of us able to apply absentee?
Only one party to a marriage may apply absentee by proxy.
Do I need to bring an application witness?
Bring one identifying witness aged 18 or over to vouch for both of you.
Will I, a proxy, or my witness have to take an oath?
Application participants must swear that what they convey is true. Untruths are perjury.
What goes on the application?
The license application will ask the following questions:
- Choose license type
- Marriage, remarriage, civil union, reaffirmation of civil union
- First, middle, last
- Birth surname
- Current name (if different)
- i.e., recent new name does not match ID
- Must be 18+
- Male, female, undesignated
- Date of birth
- Phone number
- One for both
- Mailing address
- One for both
- Residential address
- No PO Box
- Street, municipality, county, state, zip code
- Related to each other
- If yes, how
- Social security number
- If you have one
- Is kept confidential
- For child support purposes
- Not disclosed on public records
- Marriages, civil unions, domestic partnerships
- Document each
- End date
- End place
- End reason
- Total marriages
- Total civil unions
- Name of recent spouse or partner
- Current civil union, domestic partnership
- Start date
- Start place
- Remarriage or reaffirm civil union
- Original date
- Original place
- Ceremony details
- Expected date
- Expected municipality
- Officiant's name and address
- Birth names
- Places of birth
How old must I be to marry?
You must be at least 18 years old to marry.
Did New Jersey ban child marriage?
Is premarital education available?
New Jersey does not have a state-approved premarital education program.
When will I get my marriage license?
You'll get your marriage license 72-hours after applying.
Is it possible to waive the waiting period?
The Superior Court may waive the 72-hour waiting period for emergencies.
Who's allowed to pick up my marriage license?
You may assign anyone to pick up your marriage license.
What if I don't pick up my license after 72 hours?
Your marriage license will remain available for pick up for six months.
Does the wait apply to remarriage or civil union reaffirmation?
The 72-hour wait does not apply to remarriage or civil union reaffirmation.
When will my marriage license expire?
Your marriage license will expire 30 days after issuance.
Do I show ID?
Bring proof of identity, such as a driver's license, passport, or a state- or federal-issued ID card.
Do I show my birth certificate?
You need not bring your birth certificate.
Do I show my social security card?
You need not bring your social security card. Just recount the number.
Do I have to get a blood test or physical?
New Jersey abolished the syphilis blood test and physical exam rule in 1997.
Must I show proof of divorce?
Bring certified proof of your last dissolved marriage or civil union.
How soon may I marry after divorce?
You may marry as long as your divorce is final.
Must I show proof of being widowed?
You need not show a death certificate.
How soon may I marry after being widowed?
There is no waiting period between a spouse's death and remarrying.
How do I change my name through marriage?
Include a certified copy of your marriage certificate with your name change forms.
Will I be able to choose a new name when I apply?
The marriage license application does not have spots to choose a new name.
When do I update my driver's license?
Tell NJ MVC of a name change within two weeks to avoid a fine.
Must I bring witnesses to my ceremony?
Two witnesses must be present during your marriage ceremony.
Must witnesses sign?
Both witnesses must sign your marriage license and print their addresses.
Who may officiate our marriage?
A judge, magistrate, mayor, civil celebrant, clergy, or religious society may officiate your marriage.
May we officiate our own marriage?
You may not self-solemnize your marriage ceremony.
May we have a civil and religious ceremony?
You may ask for two marriage licenses if holding a civil and religious ceremony.
When must my marriage license go back?
Within five days after marriage, send your license to the local registrar in the municipality where the ceremony occurred.
How do I get a copy of my marriage certificate?
Buy from local registrar?
Contact the local registrar in the municipality where your marriage occurred.
Buy from state vital records?
NJ vital statistics sells certified copies of birth, marriage, and civil union records.
How much are certified copies?
Certified copies of New Jersey vital records are $25. Extras are $2.
Is marriage by proxy allowed?
You may marry by proxy if you apply by proxy.
May we both assign ceremony proxies?
Only one party to the marriage may assign a proxy.
When and how do I assign my ceremony proxy?
The proxy (AKA attorney-in-fact) who applies on your behalf must marry for you.
May I marry a cousin?
You may marry a first cousin.
May I marry a family relation?
You may not marry an ascendant, descendant, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew.
May I marry a half-blood relation?
For marriage, half blood and whole blood relations are equivalent.
May I marry a stepchild, -parent, or -sibling?
New Jersey law does not speak on marriage between current or former stepfamily.
Does prohibited family "mergers" apply to civil unions?
If you're barred from marrying a family member, a civil union is no recourse.
Is common-law marriage legal?
New Jersey will only recognize a common-law marriage created before December 1, 1939.
May we renew our vows?
Choose "remarriage" on the application to renew your marriage vows.
May we reaffirm our civil union?
Choose "reaffirmation of civil union" on the application to reaffirm your civil union.
Must we show proof of our marriage or civil union?
For remarriage or reaffirming a civil union, show proof of its existence.