Getting married is among the most exciting situations in your life, but it also incorporates some very important legal paperwork. While the complexities of marriage laws and regulations vary from status to state, there are several things pretty much all couples should know about their relationship license and certificate.

A relationship license is mostly a piece of paper you receive before wedding and reception that authorizes you to marry. It typically requires one to prove that you and your partner are of marriageable age (usually over 18; if young, you’ll require parent or court consent); present valid photo IDs; be both equally legally in order to marry in your home country and state; which neither of you has been recently married. Many states need that each party sign wedding license, as well as be accompanied by witnesses. Occasionally, a premarital physical evaluation is required.

The officiant of your wedding – be it a judge, spiritual leader or perhaps friend ordained for the day : will support your license after the ceremony. When endorsed, the officiant will return that to the city or county business office that issued it, wherever it will be recorded with your marriage records. In a few weeks of your wedding, you should receive your marital relationship certificate in the mail.

It’s a smart idea to keep your matrimony certificate in a safe place, because you should have it whenever you need to change your name and for official files like medical insurance or bank details. You may also have to provide the marriage qualification when making an application for a passport or visa. And if you want to travel internationally, be sure to find out if your home region will accept a regular New York City marriage certificate, or in cases where you’ll require an apostille stamp.