If you are getting married in New Jersey, you will find this information helpful to you and your future partner in planning your Ceremony. Read it carefully, if you have any questions please contact your local Registrar of Vital Statistics. If you plan to have your Ceremony in the City of Cape May, please contact the Deputy Registrar of Vital Statistics, Emily Dillon, at 609-884-9530 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Appointments are necessary. Please see “How to Apply for a Marriage License in the City of Cape May” below for appointment instructions.
If the either partner is a resident of New Jersey, the marriage license must be applied for and obtained from the Registrar of Vital Statistics in the municipality where either partner lives. If one partner is a non-resident of New Jersey and the other partner is a resident of New Jersey, the license must be obtained from the Registrar in the municipality in which the partner resides in New Jersey. (For marriage purposes, active duty military members are residents of the posts at which they are stationed.) A license issued under either of the preceding circumstances is permitted for use anywhere in New Jersey. If both partners are nonresidents of New Jersey, the license must be obtained from the Registrar of the municipality where the ceremony is to be performed and is only permitted 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. The license fee is $28.00 with check/cash/money order accepted (payable to the City of Cape May).
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 or deputy mayor, village president of New Jersey, County Clerks, and every minister of every religion may solemnize a marriage.
A local Registrar will not issue a 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 must be made no later than the preceding Tuesday. If the application is made on a Wednesday or Thursday, the 72 hours will end on Saturday or Sunday, but the Registrar will not be available either day, or any federal holiday, to issue the marriage license. If both the partners are unavailable to complete the application at the same time, either applicant may complete their part of the application with a witness age 18 or older and start the 72 hour waiting period. The other applicant must return with the same witness to complete their part of the application. Both parties must complete the application before the license will be issued. The marriage license expires 30 days after it is issued.
Applicants must provide valid government-issued photo identification (example: unexpired photo Driver’s License). If the Driver’s License does not have the correct address listed, the applicant may instead provide a valid photo passport and proof of residency (example: utility bill/bank statement from within the last 90 days, vehicle registration/insurance card, etc.). A witness 18 years or older (can be a friend or family member, but not the wedding officiant) with valid government-issued photo identification must accompany the applicants. The application fee of $28.00 cash, check or money order must be paid at the time of the appointment.
The officiant performing the ceremony must file the two white copies of the marriage license with the Registrar of the municipality in which the marriage was performed within five (5) days of the ceremony. 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. Certified copies of the marriage event may be obtained from the local Registrar in the municipality where the ceremony occurred or from the Office of the State Registrar of Vital Statistics. The application to apply for certified copies of any vital record (including marriages) is here. Instructions are available here.
TO APPLY FOR A MARRIAGE APPLICATION IN THE CITY OF CAPE MAY:
*NO BENCHES PERMITTED ON THE BEACH - CHAIRS ONLY*