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New Jersey Wedding Laws

The Garden State might be on the smaller side, but it offers couples plenty of unique destinations to tie the knot. However, some of the laws surrounding marriage in the state of New Jersey can come across as confusing to couples. To make life a bit easier for those wishing to wed in N.J., the Universal Life Church Ministries has put together a guide covering all the ins and outs of marriage law. Review these points and prepare for a perfect Jersey wedding.

How to Become a Wedding Officiant in New Jersey

Min. Age of Minister:
Age 18
Residency:
Not Required
Document(s) Required:
Varies by County
Online Ordination Recognized:
Yes
Relevant Office of Registration:
Local Registrar
Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
Varies by County
Minister I.D. # Issued:
No

The requirements for the officiant in New Jersey are somewhat broad. The state recognizes both religious and civil figures who have been given authority to solemnize weddings by a larger institution. This includes religious officiants like priests and ministers, as well as judges and other representatives of the municipality.

Officiants who have been given their status by the Universal Life Church are considered religious actors. In some cases, ULC ministers will need to show that they have official paperwork confirming their official status. In order to provide all that a minister might require, the ULC offers a Classic Wedding Package for New Jersey officiants that includes all necessary paperwork.

Getting Married in New Jersey

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
No
Minister Required to be Present:
Yes
Number of Witnesses Required:
2
Min. Age of Witnesses:
None
Couple's Consent Required:
Yes
Pronouncement Required:
Yes

There are no major restrictions in New Jersey when it comes to how a wedding ceremony is conducted. The couple can include whatever religious or spiritual customs they wish in order to bring their special day to life. The only requirement by the state is that both members of the marrying couple are physically present at the event. Additionally, the couple must make a declaration of consent regarding the union in front of at least two witnesses and the officiant.

How to Get a New Jersey Marriage License

Who Picks Up License:
The Couple
Where License is Valid:
Any County in New Jersey
Marriage License Pick-Up:
In Person Only
Cost of License:
$28.00
Accepted I.D. Types:
Photo ID
Proof of Divorce Required (If Applicable):
No
Blood Test Required:
No

To obtain a marriage license in N.J., the couple must visit the county clerk or state registrar to receive an application. The state requires both members of the couple to be physically present at the time of requesting the application, though an attorney-in-fact can fill in as a substitute in certain circumstances. Again, those who are not official residents of New Jersey will need to visit the county clerk where their ceremonies will be held to receive an application.

The state requires applicants to bring photo identification and at last one other item to verify identities. The cost of the application is consistent between counties, currently sitting at $28.

Applying For a Marriage License in New Jersey

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Religious
Mandatory Waiting Period:
72 Hours
License Valid For:
30 Days
License Must Be Submitted:
Within 5 Days of Ceremony

Once a couple receives the application for a license, New Jersey state law requires that they wait a minimum of 72 hours before they can receive the license. However, this waiting period can be waived by following the proper channels through a Superior Court. When picking up the marriage license, the couple must bring along one individual of legal age to act as a witness to the transaction. At this point, the couple becomes solely responsible for getting the license to their officiant in order for it to be completed after the ceremony.

After the wedding is conducted, the officiant must bring the completed license back to the county clerk or state registrar where it was issued. This must be done within 5 days of the ceremony in order for the license to be considered valid.

New Jersey Marriage Requirements

Min. Age of Couple:
Age 18
Residency:
Not Required
Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
First Cousins
Marriage Equality:
Yes

The requirements for a couple looking to walk down the aisle together in New Jersey are somewhat straightforward. Same-sex couples, both residents and out-of-state visitors, are permitted to wed. However, non-residents must apply for a license in the county where the ceremony will be conducted. New Jersey law forbids marriage between any individuals under 18 years of age, regardless of parental consent.

Additionally, it is illegal to marry anyone considered a relative, which can include siblings, dependents, ancestors, or first cousins. It does not matter if the individuals are related by blood or through legal union.

Finalizing the Union

Officiant's Title on Marriage License:
Minister
Church/Ordaining Body:
Universal Life Church Ministries
Address of Church:
Minister's Home Address

The final steps of the process occur once the ceremony has come to an end. Upon the completion of the declaration of consent and related rituals, the officiant must fill out the rest of the license along with the couple. It is up to the minister and the couple to look over all of the paperwork and determine if any lines have been left blank. Once the entirety of the license has been completed, it must be brought back to the clerk or registrar where it was initially issued. The documents must be returned to the office within 5 days of the completion of the ceremony in order for the license to be considered valid.