Check with your consulate to make sure your country will recognize your marriage using the documents typically provided. Some countries will require an extended certificate (long form) instead of the short form one typically provided. (I know my UK couples often get this. For other countries, double-check!) This is a 3 step process which can be done in person if you have time OR by mail. (FYI: By mail it could take 4-6 weeks for the certificate, another few weeks for the extended certificate, 8-10 weeks for the county clerk certification, and another few weeks for the apostille!) Please see this page for additional info.
Take your short-form certificate (given to you when you marry at a marriage bureau after your ceremony) to the nearest Marriage Bureau to get the extended certificate (long form, contain parent's names etc) for $35. You should do this directly after your ceremony OR make a records appointment for the next day available via Project Cupid. If you do not get the extended copy right away, you can request one by mail.
If you were married by an officiant, you will first need to have the signed license processed. You can mail it in OR have it processed via a records appointment at a marriage bureau available via Project Cupid. Once you receive your certificate (usually 4-6 weeks after the wedding) follow the above link to request the extended copy. Purchase your money orders and some Forever stamps for your SASE. BEFORE leaving the US.
Once you have your extended copy:
Take the document to the nearest County Clerk’s Office. (In Manhattan, it is located in the Supreme Court building across the street, County Clerk’s Notary Desk at 60 Centre Street, Room 141B) to authenticate the City Clerk’s hand signature, for a fee of $3. Payment of the $3.00 fee in person may be made in cash or by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, or American Express).
Send the document to County Clerk of New York County, New York County Courthouse, 60 Centre Street, Room 161, New York, NY 10007; if the documents are in proper order, the County Clerk will authenticate them and return them to the applicant by mail. The submission by mail must be accompanied by a certified personal check or U.S. postal order, payable to the County Clerk of New York County, in the amount of $3.00.
If you know you are going to do this while visiting, you will need an appointment:
"Individuals who have a documented emergency circumstance or travel plans within two weeks may schedule an appointment to have their documents completed at our Albany or New York City customer service office. Please be advised that this in-person service is by appointment-only at this time, and walk-ins are not permitted without a prior appointment. Please send an email with this priority request to Licensing@dos.ny.gov. Please provide copies of the certified documents that need to be authenticated along with your travel itinerary, or other documentation showing the need for a priority appointment and include ‘Apostille Priority’ in the subject line of email. You will be contacted with date and time of appointment. Please call 518-474-4429 with any questions regarding Apostille or Authentication."
If you are able to get an appointment, take document to the New York State Department of State for the authentication of the County Clerk’s signature and the attachment of an “Apostille,” for a fee of $10. Payment is only accepted by money order, available for purchase at drug stores, which are all over the city.
Please visit this site for the instructions to have your Marriage Certificate apostilled by mail.
The Department of State is located at:
New York State Department of State
Division of Licensing Services
123 William Street, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10038
(Hours: 9 AM - 3:30 PM)
Updated June 22,, 2023