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Getting married is a momentous occasion in anyone’s life, and obtaining a marriage license is an essential step in the process. In fact, it is the most important step early in the wedding planning process, since you can’t complete a legal marriage without an approved license. If you’re planning to tie the knot in New Jersey, you’ll need to navigate the state’s requirements for obtaining a marriage license. 

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of obtaining a marriage license in New Jersey, from the initial application to the final issuance of the license. Make sure that this is one of the first things you start to think about when you begin planning your wedding. Windows on the Water is here to help answer any questions about the process as well. 

4 Steps to Obtaining a New Jersey Marriage License

When you’re looking to obtain a marriage license in New Jersey, here’s what you need to know.

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Documentation 

There are specific documents and information that you’ll need to bring with you when applying for your marriage license, so it’s essential to be prepared. You’ll need to provide documentation such as:

  • A valid photo ID
  • Proof of residency
  • Proof of dissolution of any previous marriages if you were married before
  • Your social security number
  • Names and addresses of both parties’ parents
  • Both party’s mothers’ maiden names

It’s important to gather all of this information and documentation ahead of time to streamline the application process. If you don’t have this information when you apply, you may have to start the process over again. 

Step 2: Bring Both Parties to the Courthouse

In every major city within the state, there is an office in the courthouse that handles marriage licenses. You have to go to this office in person to apply for the marriage license. It’s important to note that both parties must appear in person at the registrar’s office in the municipality where the marriage will take place to apply for a marriage license in New Jersey. 

This requirement is non-negotiable, as the government wants to see who is getting married and makes sure that they meet the requirements. Plan accordingly, as you cannot complete a legal marriage without completing this process. 

Plan to go to the registrar’s office one month before the date of your wedding. It will take almost a week to get the license paperwork, then you have 30 days to complete the ceremony and mail in the final paperwork. Otherwise, the application is invalid.

Step 3: Complete the Application and The Waiting Period

Once you have all of the necessary documentation, it’s time to visit the registrar’s office to apply. During your visit, you’ll complete the marriage license application and pay the required fee. The fee varies by municipality, so be sure to check the specific cost in the location where you plan to apply. 

After you’ve submitted your application and paid the fee, there is a 72-hour waiting period before the marriage license will be issued. This waiting period is mandatory, so it’s important to factor it into your wedding planning timeline. Once the waiting period has passed, you can return to the registrar’s office to pick up your marriage license. It’s essential to do this at least 72 hours before the marriage ceremony, as the license must be in your possession at the time of the ceremony. 

Step 4: Get Married, Sign the Witness Forms, and Mail-In

At this point, your work is essentially done. Make sure that you have the paperwork with you on the day of the wedding. The officiant who manages the ceremony has to fill out some of the paperwork. You also have to have two witnesses sign the paperwork as well. Then, the officiant can mail it back in. From there on, celebrate and enjoy your newly married life. 

Windows on the Water Can Help Every Part of Your Wedding Run Smoothly

Applying for a marriage license is a tedious task, but it can run smoothly if you are prepared. That is also true of every other part of your wedding. You just need the right help planning the whole thing. 

At Windows on the Water, we provide more than a top-quality venue – we also offer our years of experience in making wedding dreams come true. Call us at (609) 208-9475 or submit our contact form to discuss how we can best help you manage the wedding of your dreams.