You may be aware of a recent change in NYS Domestic Relations Law that provides for designation of a one-day marriage officiant.
When this bill was first presented and moved through the both houses, the one-day marriage officiant license was to be issued by the state. There would have been no impact on the office of Town Clerks. When it reached the Governor’s desk, her reaction was that it would create a new administrative burden on the state for which no money had been provided in the budget. Saying that the town and city clerks are best suited for this because they are responsible for issuing marriage licenses, she reached an agreement with the legislature that enables the town and city clerks to issue the one-day marriage officiant licenses. The issuing clerk would collect a $25.00 fee.
The legislation clearly states the information to be included in the application for a one-day officiant license: name, date of birth, address, email address and telephone number of the applicant. It must also contain the names, dates of birth and addresses of the parties to be married as they appear on the application for a marriage license.
NYSTCA’s legislation committee has reviewed the latest version and we have asked that there be clear language that the marriage officiant will apply for the one-day license from the same office that issued the couple’s marriage license. This will create a clearer record for our purposes, and we would be able to file the officiant license with our copy of the completed marriage record.
The legislation provides that the officiant need not appear in person to apply. It seems logical that we would deal with that, if necessary, in the same way we do when someone who now lives in California applies for a marriage transcript. (You may consider a video chat with them after receiving the application and proof of identity.)
The legislation is scheduled to become effective March 28, 2023. We will continue to monitor this and will keep you updated. In the meantime, we are suggesting an application form , with an affirmation by the applicant, that can be adapted by you in your office and/or provided to your software company. We don’t know yet what the demand for these licenses may be, but at least this comes with a fee that is reasonable and a new revenue stream for the towns and cities.