The Clerk of Essex County performs marriage ceremonies for a suggested donation of $50 at the Hall of Records, located at 495 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd. Suite 130 Newark NJ 07102.
Dates must be reserved in advance and prospective couples must apply for and receive a valid New Jersey Marriage License from the Registrar of Vital Statistics in the municipality where the bride-to-be resides. If only the groom is a New Jersey resident, then couples should apply in his municipality. A marriage license will not be issued sooner than seventy-two hours after the application has been made. Once the marriage certificate is issued, it is valid for 30 days. A marriage license permits a wedding to be lawfully performed. After it is signed by the Clerk of Essex County following the wedding ceremony, it becomes a marriage certificate – proof of marriage. A couple must visit the town Registrar of Vital Statistics with a witness in advance of the wedding, provide biographical information, and pay a fee. Then they must wait three days to return to the registrar to pick up the typed license. They return to pick up the license, which is split into four parts. The original goes to Trenton for record keeping. The first white carbon is the local registrar’s copy. The pink is given to the bride and groom and the blue goes to the officiate. After the ceremony, the couple waits two weeks to pick up a certified copy of the certificate at the Municipal Clerk’s Office.
The day of the ceremony, the bride and groom must bring the marriage license, two witnesses of 18 years or older, their rings, and the suggested donation of $50.00.
After the wedding, the marriage certificate is available and should be copied. Wives who have changed their names will need it for changes on their driver’s license and registration, car insurance, Social Security, credit cards, life insurance, wills, and passports.
If you are interested in having the Clerk of Essex County perform your wedding ceremony, please call (973) 621-4923 or (973) 621-4929.
Q: Where do we apply for a marriage license?
A: If you both live in New Jersey, or just the bride does, apply to the Registrar of Vital Statistics in the bride’s municipality. If only the groom is a New Jersey resident, apply in his municipality. If neither of you lives in New Jersey, apply where the marriage is to be performed.
Q: When should we apply?
A: In advance. The registrar will not issue a marriage license sooner than 72 hours after the application for a marriage license has been made. Once issued, it is good for 30 days.
Q: What should we bring?
A: If one or both of the applicants is divorced, bring a copy of the final decree for examination by the registrar or a statement by the judge as to when the final decree was signed (not the date of the final hearing). A form of identification e.g. original birth certificate, passport or picture driver’s license is required for both the bride and groom. If you are under 18, you must have permission of both parents. If under 16, both parental consents and judicial approval of such consents are necessary.
Q: Who can officiate?
A: Federal District Judges, US magistrates, judges of a municipal court, judges of the Superior Court, judges of a tax court, any mayor/deputy mayor or chairman of any township committee, village president of NJ, County Clerks, and ministers of every religion.