New York State lawmakers have approved legislation that enables anyone over the age of 18 to become a “marriage officiant for a day.”
The measure (S.739A/A.6300A) was signed into law on Wednesday by Governor Kathy Hochul.
“Joining individuals in marriage is a beautiful moment that should be shared with an officiant selected by the spouses-to-be,” Hochul said.
“By signing this legislation into law, we are eliminating any barriers to becoming an officiant so friends and family members can share such a meaningful time with loved ones of their choosing and have their marriage recognized under New York State law.”
The legislation amends the domestic relations law to enable individuals to apply for permission to be designated as an officiant in order to solemnize a particular couple’s marriage.
Up until this point, New York State law required marriages to be performed by federal, state, or local judges or justices, elected or appointed in the State of New York, who are currently serving or retired; The Clerk of the Appellate Division of the First or Second Department; and the County Clerk of any of the five counties in the City of New York.
Under the new law, prospective officiants must apply and remit a nominal fee for the designation 30 days before the wedding to receive permission from the New York Department of State to perform one specific marriage on one specific day.