Wedding Licenses
& Wedding Chapels 
To get married in the state of New Jersey, blood tests are no longer required, however, a wedding license is required.  Apply for your license within 30 days of your wedding date.  There is a 72 hour waiting period between the time the application is completed and the license is issued.  The full details follow courtesy of The Atlantic City Bureau of Vital Statistics as printed in the brochure "Getting Married in New Jersey." 

Wedding Licenses

Where should you apply for a marriage license?

If the bride is a resident of New Jersey, the marriage license must be obtained from the Registrar of Vital Statistics in the municipality where she lives.

If she is a non-resident of New Jersey and the groom is a resident of New Jersey, the license must be obtained from the Registrar in the municipality in which the groom resides.  (For marriage license purposes, soldiers are residents of the posts at which they are stationed.)  A license issued under either of the preceeding circumstances is good for use anywhere in New Jersey. 

If both bride and groom are non-residents of New Jersey, the license must be obtained from the Registrar of the municipality where the marriage is to be performed and is only good for use in that municipality.

A license may never be used outside of New Jersey and a license issued in another state may never be used in New Jersey.

Be sure to contact the Registrar well in advance of the wedding to find out on what days and during what hours the Registrar will be in the office.  The license fee (subject to change) is currently $28.00

Who can perform a marriage ceremony?

According to state law, judges of a Federal District Court, United States magistrates, judges of a Municipal Court, judges of the Superior Court, judges of a Tax Court, retired judges of the Superior Court or Tax Court, or judge of the Superior Court or Tax Court who has resigned in good standing, and any mayor/deputy mayor or chairman of any township committee, village president of New Jersey, County Clerks, and every minister of every religion may solemnize a marriage.

When should you apply for a marriage license?

A local Registrar will not issue a marriage license sooner than 72 hours after the application for a marriage license has been made, unless ordered to do so via an appropriate court order.

If the marriage is scheduled for a Saturday or Sunday, the application should be made no later than the preceeding Tuesday.  If the application is made on a Wednesday or Thursday, the 72 hours will end on Saturday or Sunday, but the Registrar will probably not be available on those days or any public holiday.

If both the bride and groom are unavailable to complete the application at the same time, either applicant may complete his/her part of the application and start the waiting period.  The other applicant must return with the same witness (who must be at least 18 years old) to complete his/her part of the application.  The application must be completed by both parties before the license will be issued.  Once the marriage license is issued, it is good for 30 days from the date of issuance.

A couple wishing to have both religious and civil ceremonies may be issued a license for both ceremonies on the basis of a single application.  However, a couple wishing to have two religious ceremonies, and wanting to have a public record of each, may not have two licenses issued at the same time.  They must apply for and use the first license.  They must then return to the Registrar with the signed original certificate of marriage and a witness to apply for a remarriage license.

What should you bring with you when you apply?

A birth certificate may be requested for proof of age and parentage.  In Atlantic City (please check with your local town hall) social security cards are also needed.  

If one or both of the applicants are divorced, you should bring a copy of the final decree or decrees for examination by the Registrar or a statement by the judge as to when the final decree was signed (not the date of the final hearing).

Consent of both parents is necessary if an applicant is under 18 years of age.  Both parental consents and judicial approval of such consents are necessary if the applicant is younger than 16.  These consents should be on forms supplied by the Registrar.

Where should the marriage record be filed?

The person performing a marriage ceremony must file the license and marriage certificate with the Registrar of the municipality in which the marriage was performed.  Since failure to record the marriage may cause considerable inconvenience at a later date when proof of marriage is needed, you should make sure that this has been done.

For additional questions:

Call the Registrar of Vital Statistics in your town, usually located within your town or city's local town hall.

Wedding Chapels
Atlantic City has a number of scenic locations for small weddings. Beach ceremonies are also quite popular whether its a vow renewal or a ceremony with 100 guests.  The individual casinos do not have drive through chapels as they do in Las Vegas.  If you choose to have a beach ceremony and combine it with a stay at one of the casinos or area hotels, please note that there is a 72 hour waiting period to get a wedding license in the state of New Jersey (see above).  

To renew your vows you would need to bring a certified copy of your marriage license.  For vow renewals you don't have to wait the 72 hours.  

For additional information on beach sites and what permits are required for a beach ceremony:

Outdoor Wedding Ceremony Sites & Scenic Places for Wedding Photography in Atlantic County

Who can perform my ceremony?
You can be married at the Atlantic City Town Hall by the Mayor or in any mayor's office. On occasion, a mayor has performed a beach wedding ceremony.  However, you can also hire a member of the clergy to perform your ceremony.  

Companies from our services section of the site who can perform your ceremony or make arrangements for your ceremony include:

For an interfaith minister for customized wedding ceremonies or vow renewals contact: Ceremonies by the Sea

For a local bridal consultant who can create a package custom tailored to your taste and budget contact: The Main Event.

For a ceremony and photographs or small beach weddings contact Family Ties Photography.

Visit our services section for additional information from local wedding professionals. 


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