WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- On Saturday, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order allowing New Yorkers to get a marriage license remotely and authorizing clerks to facilitate ceremonies via video conference.
- The new executive order will temporarily suspend a provision of the law mandating in-person visits, according to the press release from the governor’s office.
- In other areas like Colorado and Cuyahoga County, couples are also allowed to obtain marriage licenses online.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued on Saturday an executive order that permits citizens to secure a marriage license remotely and allows clerks to perform ceremonies through a video conference — a practice that is prohibited under current laws.
“There is now no excuse when the question comes up for marriage,” Cuomo kidded around during his press briefing last Saturday. “You can do it by Zoom. Yes or no.”
According to a press release from the governor’s office, the executive order will temporarily suspend a provision of law requiring in-person visits.
Given the COVID-19 outbreak, many marriage offices have been temporarily shut down. Stay-at-home orders were extended until at least May 15 in New York, the epicenter of the virus outbreak in the country. It could take several months before social distancing guidelines can be lifted to allow public gatherings such as weddings.
Currently, some couples have secured marriage licenses prior to the outbreak, while others have postponed the official ceremony given home quarantine procedures.
Globally, weddings via Zoom are already being held as families and friends join thru video conferencing tools to witness couples tie the knot. This kind of ceremonies, though, is not official — but with New York’s executive order, couples could now be officially pronounced as “husband and wife” while observing social distancing.
In other areas, similar practices have been introduced. In Colorado, couples are granted permission to apply for marriage licenses online. In Ohio’s Cuyahoga County, getting a marriage license via video call is allowed for couples with special circumstances, or those suffering from serious illnesses and health insurance issues or working in health care.