To be married in New York State, a couple needs to have a marriage license. The license can be obtained from any town or city clerk and used anywhere in the state. After the ceremony, the signed form is returned to the issuing clerk, who will provide certified copies for the couple. The original is sent to the NYS Department of Health, but an official copy remains at the clerk's office, so future copies can be obtained at either the local or state level. The couple needs to have a marriage license at least 24 hours ahead of the day of the ceremony. The license is good for 60 days after issuance. Both parties need to be present and sign the form in front of the clerk. Please bring to the office a picture ID, such as a driver's license or passport, birth certificates, Social Security cards, and if this is not a first marriage, divorce papers or death certificates. The State of New York now recognizes same-sex marriages, and the procedure is the same. The cost of a marriage license is $40, which includes $10 for the first certified copy.