Helpful Information

The State of New Jersey Department of Health web site outlines how to apply for a marriage license. From this site you can download the license application form.

This is a quick summary of what you need to do (I go over it in detail when we meet).

  1. Contact the clerk’s office in your municipality and ask if you need an appointment. You can find your clerk’s info here:
  2. Both partners go to the clerk’s office with one witness (over age 18).
  3. All 3 of you fill out the application.
  4. All 3 of you present your ID and sign the application.
  5. Pay the $28 fee.
  6. Either partner returns no sooner than 72 hours after submitting your application to pick up the actual license.

As long as one of you is a resident in the State of New Jersey, your marriage license must be obtained from the registrar in the municipality in which you reside. A license issued in this manner is valid for 30 days and good for use anywhere in the State of New Jersey.

If both of you are not residents of New Jersey, the license may only be obtained from the clerk of the municipality where the ceremony is to be performed. It’s valid for 30 days but is only good for use in that municipality.

Find your clerk.

A marriage ceremony can be performed by any federal, state, municipal judge or magistrate (even if they are retired); any county clerk; any mayor or deputy mayor of a town; chairman of any township committee; and every minister/reverend of every religion, including Internet ministries.

You can submit the marriage license application up to six months prior to your wedding date, although most couples usually go a few weeks before the actual date. The clerk can’t issue a marriage license sooner than 72 hours after the application has been submitted (see example below). Once the license is issued, it is good for 30 days from the date of issuance.

The marriage license application must be completed by both of you and your witness before the license is issued.

Example: If your ceremony is scheduled for a Saturday or Sunday, the latest the application can be submitted is the preceding Tuesday in order to have your license back by Friday. However, waiting until this late is not recommended unless there is no other option. (Clerks are generally not available on Saturday, Sunday or any public holiday.)

Each applicant is required to provide the following, as applicable:

  • Valid identification that establishes your name, age, date of birth and proof of residency (e.g., driver's license, certified copy of a birth certificate, military identification, passport or state/county identification card).
  • Proof of your Social Security Number (state law requires that this be kept confidential).
  • If one or both parties are divorced, have had a previous civil union dissolved or previous domestic partnership terminated, you should bring a copy of the final legal decree(s).
  • If one or both parties have had a marriage legally annulled, you should bring the annulment documents.
  • If one or both parties were in a previous marriage, civil union or domestic partnership where the previous partner is deceased, you should bring a certified copy of the death certificate.
Yes. Your witness must be 18 years or older and have the proper identification. Only one witness is necessary as long as he/she knows both parties.
Yes. There is a $28.00 application fee payable in cash or by check.
Yes. There is a 72-hour (3 business days) waiting period before you can return to pick up your license.
Your officiant must file the license with the clerk of the municipality where the ceremony was performed. The license must be filed within five (5) days after the ceremony.
Your marriage certificate is usually available five (5) days after receipt by the appropriate clerk. You may pick it up from the local clerk in the municipality where the ceremony occurred. Call first to confirm what the cost is for a marriage certificate.

You may submit your information via my Contact Me page, email me at, cell/text to (908)208‑6130 or by phone at (732)745‑7576.

We’ll set a date/time and place to meet that is mutually convenient. If you live outside New Jersey and won’t be here soon, we can set up our initial meeting via Skype or Facetime.

Before we meet, I’ll email you sample ceremonies to review along with some information about the NJ marriage license process.

At our meeting we’ll discuss the details about your bridal party, what type of ceremony you have in mind and whether or not you’ll want any rituals or traditions included, or if you’ll want friends or family members to participate (e.g., readings, unity candle/sand ceremony). We’ll also review in detail the process for obtaining your NJ marriage license.

I’ll leave two copies of my contract with you, pre-signed by me, and ask that you take some time to consider what we’ve discussed and determine if I am the “right” officiant to join you in marriage.

I’m always deeply honored when asked to take on the responsibility of performing a wedding ceremony.

Return one signed contract to me with your retainer check. (The balance is due on or before the day of your ceremony.) We’ll work together via email to develop your ceremony, until we get it exactly the way you envision it.

You can use any of the ceremonies on my samples page or from the group I email you before our meeting. Very often, you’ll find specific words from different sample ceremonies that truly reflect your beliefs and dreams – we can use this content to get your draft started. You’re encouraged to include readings in your own ceremony and any traditions, customs or rituals you have in mind. We’ll work together to achieve our ultimate goal — creating a unique ceremony that you and your guests will agree does, indeed, reflect your personalities and your special love for each other.
If you choose to have a rehearsal, and I’m available, I’ll meet with you and any family members and/or friends and we’ll “walk” through the Processional & Recessional, as well as what will happen during the ceremony. (The rehearsal should take under an hour.)
On the day of your ceremony, I’ll arrive approximately 45 minutes early. Your witnesses and I will sign your NJ marriage license and, if there is a balance due, you’ll make final payment to me for my services.
On the next business day after your ceremony, I’ll mail the completed NJ marriage license to the appropriate clerk’s office in the municipality where you were married and confirm this with you by email. In that email, I’ll also provide you with the clerk’s contact information so you can call and arrange to obtain your marriage certificate.