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Frequently Asked Questions - Town Clerk

FAQs - Town Clerk

The fee for a marriage license is $40.00 which includes one certified license.

It takes approximately 30 minutes to complete the paperwork for a marriage license.  The Town Hall is currently closed due to the Coronavirus.  Please send an email to to schedule an appointment to obtain a Marriage License.

A couple who intends to be married in New York State must apply in person for a marriage license to any town or city clerk in the state. Each applicant must furnish acceptable proof of age and identification by submitting one of the following age related documents:

  1. Birth Certificate
  2. Baptismal Record
  3. Naturalization Record

And one of the following identity related documents:

  1. Driver’s license
  2. Passport
  3. Employment Picture ID
  4. Immigration Record

There is a twenty four hour waiting period from the time you obtain your marriage license until the time you are married. A marriage license is valid for 60 days, beginning 24 hours after it is issued.

Marriage License Worksheet – Complete this sample worksheet and bring it with you when you apply for a marriage license.

Getting Married in New York State

The cost of a marriage license is $40.00, which includes the issuance of a Certificate of Marriage Registration. This certificate is automatically sent by the issuing clerk to the applicants within 15 days after the completed license is returned by the officiant (person who performs the ceremony). It serves as notice that a record of the marriage is on file. Couples who do not receive a Certificate of Marriage Registration within four weeks of the wedding should contact the town or city clerk who issued the license.

Information regarding all previous marriages must be furnished in the application for a marriage license. This includes whether the former spouse or spouses are living and whether the applicants are divorced and if so, when, where and against whom the divorce or divorces were granted. A death certificate or certified copy of the decree of divorce or certificate of dissolution of marriage shall be required for each previous marriage.  A copy of a Certificate of Dissolution can be obtained at the County Clerk’s Office in which it was filed; New York State makes this information available here.

A person’s last name (surname) does not automatically change upon marriage and neither party to the marriage is required to change his or her last name. The bride and groom need not take the same last name. One or both parties may elect to change the surname by which he or she wishes to be known after the marriage by entering the new name in the appropriate space provided on the marriage license.

The new name must consist of one of the following options:

  • The surname of the other spouse
  • Any former surname of either spouse
  • A name combining into a single surname all or a segment of the pre-marriage name or any former surname of each spouse
  • A combination name separated by hyphen, provided that each part of such combination surname is the pre-marriage surname, or any former surname of each of the spouses.

The use of this option will provide a record of your change of name. The marriage certificate, containing the new name is proof that the use of the new name is lawful. The local Social Security Administration office should be contacted for your social security identification can reflect the name change. Your marriage license surname cannot be changed after the marriage ceremony.

On June 24, 2011, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law the Marriage Equality Act. The Law amends New York’s Domestic Relations Law in the following ways:

  • Applications for a marriage license shall be granted regardless of whether the parties are of the same or a different sex;
  • A marriage that is otherwise valid shall be valid regardless of whether the parties to the marriage are of the same or a different sex;
  • No government treatment or legal status, effect, right, benefit, privilege, protection or responsibility relating to marriage shall differ based on the parties to the marriage being of the same sex or a different sex;
  • No religious entity, benevolent organization or not-for-profit corporation that is operated, supervised or controlled by a religious entity, or its employees, can be required to perform marriage ceremonies or provide its facilities for marriage ceremonies, consistent with its religious principles.

Any couple that meets current requirements for getting married in New York State is eligible to marry regardless of sex. More information on the requirements of getting married in New York State is available at

As required by New York State Law, the Town Clerk maintains an accurate accounting of all births and deaths that occur within the town. (Excluding the Village of Millbrook)  This information is confidential and is never disclosed over the telephone.

  • Birth Certificates: A birth certificate is mailed to the parents of each child born within the Town of Washington.  Certified copies are available for a fee of $10.00.


Requirements: A letter of request may be submitted in person or through the mail.  The written request must include the following information:

  • Birth name
  • Date of birth
  • Father’s name
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Place of birth (address)
  • Reason for request
  • Signature on letter
  • Fee of $10.00 for each copy requested
  • If request is made through the mail, the signature must be notarized and include a self addressed stamped envelope.


  • If birth name is different then current name on ID then a copy of a marriage license or legal document showing the name change

One (1) of the following forms of valid photo-ID:

  • Driver license
  • State issued non-driver photo-ID card
  • Passport
  • U.S. Military issued photo-ID
  • OR
  • Two (2) of the following showing the applicant’s name and physical address:
  • Utility or telephone bills
  • Letter from a government agency dated within the last six (6) months
Important Notes: Failure to include necessary identification will result in rejection of your application.Copy of Passport required in addition to the above ID if request is made from a foreign country that requires a U.S. Passport for travel

Death Certificates may be obtained through the Town Clerk's office if the death occurred within the Town of Washington, excluding the Village of Millbrook.  

Death Certificates may be issued to the spouse, parent, child or sibling of the deceased.  Certificates may also be issued to a person with a:

  • documented medical need
  • documented lawful right of claim (provide proof)
  • New York State Court Order

Upon written request, a certified transcript of death (death certificate) will be provided for a fee of $10.00 per copy.

We are able to provide copies of the following types of records for genealogy research purposes:

Birth Certificates – if on file for at least 75 years and the person whose name is on the birth certificate is known to be deceased.

Death Certificates – if on file for at least 50 years.

Marriage Certificates – if on file for at least 50 years and the bride and groom are both known to be deceased.

The time periods are waived for direct-line ancestor is a person in the direct line of descent, ie., the child, grandchild, great grandchild of the person whose record is requested.

The direct line ancestor applicant must provide the following:

  • Proof of their relationship of the person whose record they are requesting.
  • Proof of the death of the person whose birth certificate they are requesting.
  • Proof of the death of the bride and groom whose marriage certificate they are requesting.

The standard fee for a genealogy search is $22.00. This includes a three year search of the index, the retrieval and re-filing of the document and either a copy of the record or a no record report. When more than a three year search is requested the fee increases. The fee applies separately for each record requested. Processing a genealogy request generally takes between 3 and 14 business days.

Dog licenses may be obtained at the Town Clerk's office. The fees are as follows:

  • Spayed or neutered dogs $8.50
  • Intact dogs $15.50
  • Exempt from fees if proper documentation is provided: Guide Dog, Service Dog, War Dog or Police Work Dog

Dog licenses are to be renewed annually through the Town Clerk’s office. They may be renewed by mail or in person.

In the event of an enumeration, unlicensed dogs will be assessed an additional fee of $25.00.

Hunting and fishing licenses are issued during normal business hours. To renew a sporting license a current driver’s license is required. If applying for a hunting license for the first time, a hunter’s education certificate or previous proof of hunting must be presented. The fees vary depending upon the type of license being purchased.

For information on regulations and hunter education classes click below:

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

The Town Clerk's office is open Monday - Friday from 9 am - 3 pm.  The Town Hall closes daily from 12:30 - 1:30.