Getting married online in New Jersey can be a convenient and appealing option for couples. The Garden State offers a plethora of venues and talented wedding specialists to fulfill a couple's dream wedding. However, it is crucial to understand that New Jersey has specific laws and regulations governing weddings within the state, including online marriages. 

This step-by-step guide will help couples navigate the process of getting married online in New Jersey while adhering to the state's legal requirements.

The Legality of Online Marriages in New Jersey

Before the global pandemic, New Jersey had strict laws regarding the legality of weddings, and the presence of the officiant and couple was required for the union to be considered legal. Additionally, couples were required to physically visit the county clerk's office to obtain a marriage license. However, these requirements posed challenges during the pandemic when social isolation measures were in place, and many county clerk offices were closed.

Then in 2019, a significant development took place in Utah with the introduction of a fully digital end-to-end marriage license issuance and recording process. The Utah County Marriage license office and Utah County information technology departments collaborated to create this online marriage procedure as part of an initiative to modernize their services. This new process allowed couples to apply for a marriage license, conduct the ceremony, and have the officiant submit the necessary paperwork for the marriage certificate, all online. This eliminated the need for couples to physically visit the office for obtaining and returning their marriage license.

One advantage of the Utah online marriage process is that it is accessible to anyone, regardless of their residency. Couples who go through this process receive a legal US marriage certificate. Marriages performed legally in one state are generally recognized across the country, as long as they do not violate federal or state laws.

In-Person Weddings in New Jersey

When planning an in-person wedding in New Jersey, there are specific documents and costs associated with obtaining a marriage license. Both partners must bring the following documents to the appointment or in-person visit to start the marriage license application process:

  1. Proof of identity: Each partner must provide a valid state or federal ID, such as a driver's license or passport, to establish their identity.
  2. Proof of residency: If at least one applicant is a resident of New Jersey, you typically only need to provide proof of residence documentation for one application. This can include items such as a utility bill or lease agreement.
  3. Social Security Number: As American citizens, both partners must provide identification that includes their Social Security numbers.
  4. Witness: New Jersey requires the presence of a witness who is at least 18 years old during the application process and the wedding ceremony.

Obtaining a marriage license in New Jersey carries a fee. As of the time of this response, the cost for a marriage license application is $28. This fee covers the license itself and the administrative process, but it doesn't include additional costs related to commuting, the wedding ceremony, and officiation.

It's recommended to budget accordingly for expenses beyond the marriage license, such as transportation costs, wedding venue fees, officiant fees, and any other related expenses.

Obtaining a Marriage License in New Jersey

In New Jersey, the process of obtaining a marriage license may vary from county to county, and currently, none of the counties allow for obtaining a marriage license entirely online.

To apply for a marriage license in New Jersey, you need to follow the guidelines provided by the State of New Jersey, Department of Health & Senior Services, State Bureau of Vital Statistics, and Registration. Here are the general steps:

  1. Print out and complete the marriage license application form, which can be obtained from the Local Registrar's office or their website.
  2. Do not sign the marriage application form before going to the Local Registrar. You must sign the application, while under oath, in the presence of the issuing authority.
  3. US citizens are required by law to provide their social security number, which will be kept confidential.
  4. Any documents in a foreign language must be accompanied by a certified English translation.
  5. Additional documents may be requested, such as a copy of your birth certificate to establish parentage, or divorce decrees or annulment documents if applicable. If your former spouse or partner is deceased, you may need to provide the death certificate.

It's important to note that these requirements can vary among different counties in New Jersey. It is recommended to check with the specific county where you plan to obtain your marriage license for their specific requirements.

Additionally, obtaining a marriage license is just the first step, and you still need to arrange for an officiant and organize a wedding ceremony to be legally married. For the wedding ceremony to be valid, you, your officiant, and your witnesses must be physically located within New Jersey. However, your other guests may still participate online.

Simplifying the Process with Courtly

If you prefer to simplify the process, platforms like Courtly offer a convenient solution. Using Courtly, couples can complete the entire procedure remotely from anywhere. They provide a streamlined process, enabling quick and easy acquisition of a legitimate US marriage certificate with minimal documentation requirements. However, it's important to ensure that Courtly or similar platforms are recognized and accepted by the relevant authorities in New Jersey.

Recognition of Online Marriages Outside the United States

If you intend for your wedding to be certified and recognized in a country outside of the United States, you may need to obtain an Apostille certification. An apostille is a specialized certificate that ensures the validity and authenticity of your marriage license, making it recognized in all countries that have ratified The Hague Apostille Convention of 1961. It is an important step for ensuring international recognition of your marriage.

While virtual or distant appearance ceremonies conducted by a Courtly officiant are allowed under U.S. law, it's important to note that the approval of such ceremonies by foreign countries or immigration authorities may vary. In some cases, these authorities may not recognize them as valid, especially if one of the partners is a foreign national. 

To ensure the validity and acceptance of your marriage in another country, it is recommended to consult with the appropriate authorities or seek legal advice to determine if obtaining an Apostille certification is necessary or if any additional steps need to be taken for international recognition of your marriage.

Step-by-Step Guide for Getting Married Online in New Jersey with Courtly

Getting married online in New Jersey with Courtly is a quick and hassle-free process. Follow these steps to complete the process:

1. Create an account

To get started, visit Courtly's website and click on the "Get Married" icon located in the top right corner. Follow the on-screen instructions to create your account. Once you've created your account, you'll be able to access it.

2. Choose the ceremony details

Select the format, setting, and officiant for your ceremony. Courtly offers a range of options to suit your preferences. Depending on the time and day you choose, Courtly will match you with one of their legally qualified US officiants.

3. Make the payment

After finalizing the details, proceed to make the payment for your chosen wedding package. Once the payment is completed, you will receive an email confirmation from Courtly. This confirms that your wedding preparations are underway. For complete information on our available wedding packages and add-ons, please check our Pricing Page.

4. Celebrate your marriage online

Gather your family and friends online to celebrate your marriage! You can get married from the comfort of your own home or any other location with a strong internet connection. The online ceremony typically takes around 15 minutes to complete.

After the ceremony, you will receive a digital copy of your US marriage certificate. Additionally, Courtly will deliver a printed copy of the certificate in 1 to 2 weeks. You will also have the option to download your digital marriage license for your records.

Conclusion

Getting married online with Courtly is an ideal choice for individuals and couples seeking convenience and flexibility in the wedding process. Whether you have a busy schedule or prefer the comfort of getting married from any location, Courtly offers a time-efficient solution. By eliminating the need to physically visit New Jersey, Courtly simplifies the process and makes it accessible to a wider range of people.

Courtly's dedication to providing a legitimate US marriage certificate further enhances its appeal. You can trust that your marriage will be recognized and respected. By exploring the options available with Courtly, you can customize your wedding experience and make it truly unique to your preferences.

Let us handle the paperwork.

Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online, including providing a licensed officiant who can perform a remote ceremony.

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