Planning a wedding is a big undertaking, to be sure. But sorting out the legal paperwork before you say "I Do" can be even more challenging. To help get you organized before your Big Day, The Huffington Post has put together a comprehensive, state-by-state guide to getting married. Here, read on for everything you need to know about getting hitched in New Jersey. --Barbie Carpenter
Residency Requirement And Waiting PeriodNonresidents can marry in New Jersey. There is a 72-hour waiting period.
Age RequirementThe legal age to marry in New Jersey is 18. Minors ages 16 and 17 can marry with parental consent. Minors younger than 16 must have parental consent approved by any judge of the Superior Court, Chancery Division, Family part. Minors marrying in New Jersey should contact their municipality's registrar for consent forms for parents and judges.
Marriage LicenseCouples can obtain a marriage license from the registrar in the municipality where they reside. If the couple is not from New Jersey, they must obtain the marriage license in the municipality where they will marry. Both parties need to complete the marriage license application. They can complete the application at the registrar separately, but each individual will need to appear with the same witness to complete his or her portion. The marriage license costs $28 and is valid for 30 days.
Legal DocumentationCouples applying for a New Jersey marriage license must provide proof of identification, such as a driver's license, passport or state-issued identification card, and proof of residency. They must provide their Social Security number as well. Couples must complete the marriage license application with a witness who is 18 or older. Individuals remarrying should provide the divorce decree or death certificate of their former spouse when applying for a marriage license.
Witnesses And OfficiantsJudges or retired judges, county clerks, mayors, chairmen of state township committees and ministers of every religion can perform marriages in New Jersey. The officiant must file the marriage license with the municipality in which the ceremony took place. A witness must accompany the couple when they apply for the marriage license and sign the marriage license application.
Same-Sex MarriageSame-sex marriage is not legal in New Jersey. However, in 2004, the state passed an amendment allowing domestic partnerships between same-sex couples. In 2006, the state legislature passed the Civil Union Act, making civil unions legal and extending the same legal benefits, protections and responsibilities that married couples have to same-sex couples. In January 2012, the New Jersey legislature was considering a gay-marriage bill.
Did You Know?Married couples in New Jersey who want to reaffirm their love can apply for remarriage, such as a vow renewal, through their local registrar. They must meet the same requirements for marriage in New Jersey. Good news, a remarriage license doesn't require a waiting period or cold feet.
See the full set of laws and regulations regarding marriage in New Jersey.
A name change following marriage in New Jersey can be a hassle. It's a good idea to start by getting certified copies of your marriage certificate, filing a name change petition, then changing your name on your driver's license and vehicle registration. Name changes must also be submitted to your employer, as well as the Social Security Administration and the U.S. passport agency. Also consider changing your name on voter registration forms, bank accounts, credit cards, frequent-flier accounts and utilities providers.