Marriage

"Getting Married in New York State" is also available in Adobe PDF format (PDF, 240KB, 2pg.)
Marriage Equality Act

The Marriage License

Where do you get one?

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 by both the bride and groom in the presence of the town or city clerk. A representative cannot apply for the license on behalf of the parties getting married. This applies even if the representative has been given the Power of Attorney. Notarized marriage license affidavits signed by the individuals getting married cannot be substituted for their personal appearance.

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 it 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 fee includes the issuance of a Certificate of Marriage Registration. 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.

If the license is to be issued by the City Clerk of the City of New York, please contact the New York City Clerk's Office for current fees and requirements. The City Clerk's Office can be reached at (212) 669-2400 or via their web site at New York City Marriage Bureau.

Is a premarital physical exam required?

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

What are the age and consent requirements for minors?
  • 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. 
  • If both applicants are 18 years of age or older, no consents are required. 
  • One parent alone may consent to a minor's marriage if:
    • The other parent has been missing for one year preceding the application; 
    • The parents are divorced and the consenting parent was given sole custody of the child when the divorce decree was awarded; 
    • The other parent has been judged incompetent; or the other parent is deceased. 
    • Parents, guardians or other people consenting to the marriage of a minor must personally appear and acknowledge or execute their consent before the town or city clerk or some other authorized official. If the notarized affidavit is made before an official outside of the State of New York, it must be accompanied by a certificate of authentication when the consent is filed in New York State. 
Proof of Age and Identity

A person is required to establish proof of age and identity by submitting to the issuing clerk one of the following age related documents:

  1. Birth Certificate 
  2. Baptismal record 
  3. Naturalization record 
  4. Census record 

And one of the following identity related documents:

  1. Driver's license 
  2. Passport 
  3. Employment picture ID 
  4. Immigration record 
Familial Restrictions

A marriage may not take place in New York State between an ancestor and descendant, a brother and sister (full or half blood), an uncle and niece or an aunt and nephew, regardless of whether or not these persons are legitimate or illegitimate offspring.

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.

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. The bride and groom 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.

Where can a marriage take place?

A New York State marriage license may be used within New York State only. Please note that if you go out of New York State to be married, your New York State marriage license will not be filed in New York State.

What about the ceremony?

There is no particular form or ceremony required except that the parties must state in the presence of an authorized member of the clergy or public official and at least one other witness that they take each other as husband and wife. There is no minimum age for a witness. However, in selecting a witness, choose at least one person who you feel would be competent to testify in a court proceeding as to what he or she witnessed.

Who can perform a marriage ceremony?

To be valid, a marriage ceremony must be performed by any of the individuals specified in Section 11 of the New York State Domestic Relations Law. These include:

  • the mayor of a city or village; 
  • the former mayor, the city clerk or one of the deputy city clerks of a city of more than one million inhabitants; 
  • a marriage officer appointed by the town or village board or the city common council; 
  • a justice or judge of the following courts: the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern or Western Districts of New York, the New York State Court of Appeals, the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, the New York State Supreme Court, the Court of Claims, the Family Court, a Surrogates Court, the Civil and Criminal Courts of New York City (including Housing judges of the Civil Court) and other courts of record; 
  • a village, town or county justice; 
  • a member of the clergy or minister who has been officially ordained and granted authority to perform marriage ceremonies from a governing church body in accordance with the rules and regulations of the church body; 
  • a member of the clergy or minister who is not authorized by a governing church body but who has been chosen by a spiritual group to preside over their spiritual affairs; 
  • other officiants as specified by Section 11 of the Domestic Relations Law. 

The person performing the ceremony must be registered with the City of New York in order to perform a ceremony within the New York City limits. The officiant does not have to be a resident of New York State. Ship captains are not authorized to perform marriage ceremonies in New York State.

Where can I get copies of my records?

For copies of marriage licenses issued anywhere in New York State except the five (5) boroughs of New York City, a certified copy of the marriage record may be obtained from the office of the town or city clerk who issued the license, or from the New York State Department of Health. The fee is $10 if you obtain a certified copy from the town or city clerk who issued the license. If applying to the New York State Department of Health, the fee is $30. For a certified copy, write to:

Certification Unit
Vital Records Section 
New York State Department of Health 
P.O. Box 2602 
Albany, New York 12220-2602

For marriage licenses issued in New York City, do not apply to the New York State Department of Health. For an application, current fees and ordering information contact the City Clerk of New York at (212) 669-2400 or visit their web site at New York City Marriage Bureau. You can also write them at:

New York City marriage records from 1930 to 1995 can be obtained solely from the Manhattan Office.​

Court Appearance without A Plea by Mail

A third option is to appear in court on the date designated on the face of the ticket. At that time you can enter a plea and/or ask for a trial. You will have the opportunity to provide any explanation you would like the judge to hear. Your explanation will be considered in the resolution of the case.

MANHATTAN

Municipal Building
1 Centre Street, Room 252 South
New York, New York 10007

Traffic Violations: 

Online payments may be made by clicking on the image 
below or calling 1(800) 701-8560. A convenience fee will apply.

If you are convicted of a violation that occurred while your car was moving (e.g. speeding, failing to stop for a red light, failing to stop at a stop sign, etc), points will be assigned to you based on a schedule adopted by the New York State legislature. If you accumulate three speeding violations or 11 point within an 18-month period, the Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend your license. If you accumulate 6 or more points within an 18 month period (which could result from just 1 conviction of 21 mph over the speed limit), you will have to pay the NY State driver assessment fee of $100.00 per year for 3 years plus $25.00 for each additional point accumulated. The number of points attributed to various infractions are as follows:

It is now a 2 point violation for a conviction of cell phone use in a motor vehicle without a hands free device.

Violation Points

  • Speeding (mph over posted limit):
    1 to 10 (3)
    11 to 20 (4)
    21 to 30 (6)
    31 to 40 (8)
    More than 40 (11)
    Reckless Driving (5)
  • Failing to stop for school bus (5) 
  • Following too closely (tailgating) (4) 
  • Inadequate brakes (4) 
  • Inadequate brakes (While driving employer's vehicle) (2) 
  • Failing to yeild right-of-way (3) 
  • Violation of traffic signal, stop sign, or yeild sign (3) 
  • Railroad crossing violation (3) 
  • Improper passing or lane use (3) 
  • Leaving scene of an incident involving property damage 
  • or injury to an animal (3)
  • Child safety restraint violation (3)

Office of Franklin County District Attorney 
335 West Main Street 
Malone NY 12953 
(518) 481-1544 
da@co.franklin.ny.us


Duane Justice Court

The Duane Town Court is located at Duane Fire Station on County Route 26. The town of Duane is situated in the center of Franklin County. Adjoining towns are Malone, Bellmont, Santa Clara, Franklin and Brighton.

Form​s:

Application for Assigned Counsel PDF
Affidavit Statement of Qualification PDF (must be completed and submitted with Application for Assigned Counsel)

BROOKLYN

Municipal Building 
210 Joralemon Street, 2nd Floor, Room 205 
Brooklyn, New York 11201

The New York State Division of Local Government Publications page has a link to the State of New York Local Government Handbook which describes Small Claims Court in the chapter on the Judicial System and the New York State Unified Court System webpage includes a link to a Small Claims Court Question and Answer page on the Small Claims Court process. The New York State Magistrates Association provides a Small Claims Quick Check list that summarizes the Small Claims Court process.

SMALL CLAIMS HANDBOOK.doc
SMALL CLAIMS COURT APPLICATION.doc

QUEENS:

Borough Hall Building 120-55
​Queens Boulevard 
Kew Gardens, New York 11424



NYS Courts Information

There are close to 1300 Town and Village Courts (collectively known as the Justice Courts) located in most of New York State’s town and villages (none are located in New York City). The nearly 2,200 Town and Village judges handle close to 2 million cases a year. The hours and frequency of operation of the individual Justice Courts varies, depending on the size of the locality and the size of the court’s caseload.

What are the functions of the Town and Village Courts?

The Town and Village Courts play a vital role in the New York State Unified Court System. These courts have broad jurisdiction and they hear both civil and criminal matters.

On the civil side, the Town and Village Courts hear actions seeking monetary awards up to $3,000 and small claims proceedings for awards up to $3,000. These courts also handle landlord/tenant matters that may result in an eviction as well as a money judgment for back rent that is due.

Town and Village Courts are best known for their small claims parts. Small claims proceedings are intended to provide a low-cost, simplified and informal procedure for individuals to resolve disputes involving limited monetary claims. Often individual litigants do not use an attorney in these matters and are not required to do so.

The Duane Town Court hears criminal cases originating within the Town and has full jurisdiction for non-felony cases (misdemeanors and violations) to accept guilty pleas or hold trials. On felony charges, the court conducts the arraignment and preliminary inquiry and may set bail or hold without bail. If the charges are not reduced to misdemeanors, the Town Court transfers them to Franklin County Court for final disposition. The Town Court may not accept pleas in felony cases. The Town Court must set bail or order release in all non-felony cases.

Defendants have the right to legal counsel for all criminal cases, including felony, misdemeanor and violation cases. They also have the right to counsel for traffic misdemeanors (DWI). The Franklin County Public Defender's Office provides legal services to criminal defendants who have been determined to be indigent.

Attention: The material on this page is only for information about the Town of Duane Court and is not intended to provide legal advice. The Town of Duane makes no claim as to the accuracy of this information.

Duane Justice Court

Hon. James J. Lalonde 

Legal Advice 
Whether or not you need an attorney to handle your traffic infraction is a personal decision that only you can make. If your license is in jeopardy based on the point system or if a traffic charge resulted from an accident, you are well advised to consult an attorney.

Attention: The material on this page is only for information about the Town of Duane Court and is not intended to provide legal advice. The Town of Duane makes no claims about the correctness or completeness of this information. 

Payment of Fines

The Duane Town Court accepts cash, money orders, certified bank checks, and Visa or Mastercard. No personal checks are accepted for payment. A credit card processing fee of 2.99% will be charged for credit payments when fine is paid by filling out the credit card information on fine notice and mailing or faxing directly to the court. 

RICHMOND

Borough Hall Building 
10 Richmond Terrace, 3rd Floor, Room 311 
Staten Island, New York 10301 

Pleading Guilty

You can plead guilty by mail by following the instructions on the ticket and sending the completed form to Duane Town Court, 172 County Route 26 Duane, Malone, NY 12953. Upon receipt of your guilty plea a judge will determine the fine and the court will notify you of the amount by mail.

Pleading Not Guilty

You can plead not guilty by mail, using your copy of the ticket given to you by the Officer. If charged with a misdemeanor, a court appearance is required. Follow the instructions and send the completed form to:

Duane Town Court 
172 County Route 26, Duane 
Malone NY 12953

You have the option of requesting a supporting deposition which is a sworn statement from the ticketing officer that contains a more detailed explanation of the basis for the charge than is provided on the ticket. The supporting deposition is usually generated by the Officer at the time of the stop now that most tickets are being written electronically. If you mail a not guilty plea you do not need to appear in court on the date stated on the ticket.

Upon receipt of your not guilty plea the court will schedule a trial and mail you a notice of the trial date. You have the option of contacting the District Attorney for a possible resolution to your case through the traffic reduction / diversion program. If the matter is not resolved to your satisfaction you may proceed to trial on the scheduled date. A trial is the proceeding at which a judge will make a determination whether you are guilty or not guilty. At the trial the officer who issued the ticket will testify and you will have the opportunity to cross-examine him/her. Thereafter you and your witnesses, if any, will have the opportunity to testify. The Assistant District Attorney can cross-examine your witnesses and you. When the testimony is completed the judge will make a decision and will usually announce it in court at the trial. If you are found not guilty, the matter is completed. If you are found guilty, the judge will determine the fine and arrangements for payment will be made.

Traffic Diversion / Plea Reduction Program

Document Form:

DA Reduction_Diversion Paperwork

Description:

Welcome to the Franklin County Traffic Diversion Program established by Derek P. Champagne, former Franklin County District Attorney. This program is designed to assist first time traffic ticket offenders who are seeking a disposition of their current Vehicle and Traffic Tickets.

The Franklin County Traffic Diversion Program is part of an on-going effort to provide an efficient and judicious service to the residents of Franklin County and other non-resident drivers traveling the Franklin County region.

Accordingly, the goals of the program are as follows:

Promote Safe Driving. Every participant in the Traffic Diversion Program will be required to complete a Defensive Driving Course;

Promote Driver Financial Responsibility. Every participant in the Traffic Diversion program shall be required to have a valid automobile insurance policy in effect in order to be eligible to participate. This request will reduce the number of uninsured drivers on Franklin County roads.

Efficiently Resolve Cases. The Traffic Diversion Program is designed to free up valuable prosecution resources, allowing the District Attorney's Office to focus on more complex criminal cases. In addition, because the applicant pays the cost of the program, the District Attorney's Office is able to offer this program at no additional cost to the taxpayers of Franklin County.

The Franklin County Traffic Diversion Program is a valuable tool in Franklin County District Attorney Derek P. Champagne's ongoing effort to service Franklin County with initiatives designed to protect the public, promote lawful conduct, and reduce inefficiency in the criminal justice system without decreasing services to Franklin County residents.

ELIGIBILITY

In order to be eligible for the Traffic Diversion Program you must meet the following requirements:

  1. You are charged with an eligible offense;
  2. You have not been convicted of any moving violation of the Vehicle and Traffic Law within the last 18 months;
  3. You have a valid license and insurance at the time of the offense;
  4. You are able to pay a non-refundable fee of one hundred and fifty dollars ($150.00) effective April 1, 2011.
ELIGIBLE OFFENSE

"Eligible Offense" means any New York State Vehicle and Traffic violation, but specifically excludes, any V&T §1192 Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drug Charge; V&T §1212 Reckless Driving; V&T §511 Aggravated Unlicensed Operation; any sections of the Transportation Law; V&T §1174 Passing a Stopped School Bus; Accidents that resulted in physical, serious physical injury or death; V&T §600-1a leaving the scene of an Accident or V&T §600-2a Leaving the scene of a personal injury accident; or any offense committed in a school or construction zone.

OUTCOME

If approved for the Traffic Diversion Program, the applicant will be required to complete the course for "Point and Insurance Reduction Program" given by an agency approved by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (see link below for providing agencies). Once the applicant completes the Defensive Driving Course, the offender is required to submit proof of completion to the District Attorney's Office. Upon completion of the Traffic Diversion Program, the District Attorney's Office will move to dismiss the pending traffic ticket(s).

Document Form:
DA Reduction_Diversion Paperwork

(518) 481-1544
District Attorney Hours of Operation:
Mon - Fri :8:00am - 4:00pm
Sat - Sun :Closed

DMV Point System​

BRONX

Supreme Court Building 
851 Grand Concourse 
New York, New York 10451

Small Claims Court 

The Court hears small claims cases up to $3000 when the Defendant resides in, is employed in, or has a place of business within the Town. Individuals and sole proprietors of businesses may bring a suit against an individual, corporation, partnership, association or assignee in Small Claims Court by filing a claim with the Court. There is a filing fee of $10 for claims up to $1000 and $15 for claims up to $3000. You may not file a claim in Small Claims Court for over $3000.

Small Claims Court is intended to provide a simple, informal and inexpensive procedure for prompt determination of small claims. The hearings are conducted in a way that ensures justice according to law without requiring a detailed knowledge of courtroom procedures or rules. 

Landlord/Tenant Court

The Court also hears Summary Proceedings/Evictions when the property and the Respondent are located within the Town. These proceedings include non payment of rent or holdover evictions. Plaintiffs may claim the full amount in dispute as there is no arbitrary limit on the amount of the claim for which the Court has civil jurisdiction in such cases.

The Court hears both residential and commercial landlord/tenant cases.

Attention:

The material on this page is only for information about the Town of Duane Court and is not intended to provide legal advice. The Town of Duane makes no claims about the correctness or completeness of this information.

Criminal Cases

On the criminal side, these courts are authorized to handle matters involving the prosecution of misdemeanors and violations that are committed within the town's or village's geographic boundaries.

The Town and Village Courts also conduct arraignments and preliminary hearings in felony matters. In addition, these courts hear Vehicle and Traffic Law misdemeanors and traffic infractions.

Town and Village Justices are required to be on-call 24 hours a day and are often called upon to arraign misdemeanor and felony charges as well as to act as Family Court judges when Family Court is not in session. In cases involving domestic violence, the judges are also authorized to issue orders of protection.​

Directions and Contact information:

The court is located 12 miles south of Malone
​(NYS Route 30), proceed one mile east on Franklin County Route 26. The court is held at the Duane Fire Station.

Court is officially held the last Thursday of each month at 6:00 PM, Judge Lalonde is at the court every Thursday (except holidays) at 6:00 PM and requests that you be on time as he will not wait for people to appear who arrive late.

172 County Route 26, Duane
​Malone NY 12953

​Judge James J. Lalonde 
Phone (518) 483-0517 
Fax (518) 285-4378

(518) 483-4768