New York Marriage Requirements: Blood Tests and Licenses

Learn about New York marriage requirements, plus same-sex and common-law marriage information.

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What are the requirements for getting legally married in New York?

New York generally does not require a blood test before a marriage license will be issued, but African American and Hispanic applicants are required to take a sickle cell test. You can marry 24 hours after your marriage license is issued, and your license is good for 60 days after it's issued. After that time, you'll have to get a new one before you can marry.

In New York, as in most states, you must be of the age of consent, not be too closely related to your intended spouse, not be married to anyone else, and have sufficient "mental capacity," meaning you understand what you are doing when you marry.

Does New York have common-law marriage?

No. In New York, you must obtain a marriage license and enter into a legal marriage in order to be considered married. Living together and taking the same name don't create a common-law marriage.

Does New York have same-sex marriage?

No. New York doesn't allow partners of the same sex to marry, nor does it recognize domestic partnerships, civil unions, or reciprocal beneficiaries. For trends in same-sex marriage laws, see the article Same-Sex Marriage: Developments in the Law.

Learn about the proper legal steps to define and protect your relationship in the eyes of the law with Living Together: A Legal Guide, by Attorney Ralph Warner, Toni Ihara, J.D. and Attorney Frederick Hertz (Nolo), or Legal Guide for Lesbian & Gay Couples, by attorneys Denis Clifford, Frederick Hertz and Emily Doskow (Nolo).

Last updated 09/10/08

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