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Can I submit a copy of my marriage license for a passport name change?

by Christina
(Rockville Centre, NY, USA)

Question: I was given a copy of the marriage license by the reverend that married us that is on the official paper, is this considered a certified copy?


I did not photocopy my marriage license, however the reverend gave us two copies on the same paper as the original to use for the purposes of changing my name at the DMV, etc.

Are these considered certified copies of the marriage license or do I still need to apply to have another copy of the license sent to me?

Thank you.

Answer: A marriage license and a marriage certificate are two different documents. A marriage license grants permission for a couple to get married and only has a validity of 60 days in New York. A marriage certificate is the legal document that certifies that the couple did, in fact, get married.

In order to obtain a passport name change, you must submit a certified copy of the marriage certificate and not the license.

For more information about getting a certified copy of your marriage certificate, click the link below.

New York Marriage Certificates

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Certified Marriage License
by: Anonymous

Question: I received a certified marriage license from the state after we got married. Is that the same as a marriage certificate?

Answer: A marriage license's sole purpose is to prove that you and your spouse-to-be are legally allowed to wed. If the document you have was issued after you were married, it should be the marriage certificate, not a marriage license. You can verify it with the issuing office.

E-Certified Copy of Marriage Certificate?
by: Anonymous

Question: Is an e-certified copy of my marriage certificate from the clerk's office sufficient for my passport renewal application with a name change?

Answer: The Department of State's website has not published an update regarding e-certification of documents and whether or not these are already acceptable. I suggest you err on the side of caution and submit the original or a certified (not just e-certified) copy of your marriage certificate as proof of your legal name change.

Please contact the NPIC at 1-877-487-2778 for more information.

Name on birth certificate slightly different than other forms of ID
by: Anonymous

Question: My middle and last name changed when I married. My middle name is now my maiden name and my last name is my husband's. Will I need a marriage certificate to show, since my birth certificate shows my old full name?

Answer: Passport services may require you to submit your marriage certificate as proof of legal name change.

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COVID-19 UPDATE: Mailing delays are impacting passport processing. The Department of State's processing times begin when applications are received at a passport agency or center and not when you mail them or apply at a local acceptance facility. Standard service may take between 7 and 10 weeks. This timeframe does not include delivery time. Mailing times vary across the country.

Expedited service takes from 4 to 6 weeks exluding mailing times on the front and back end. Mailing delays may be significant so requesting 1-2-day mailing may greatly help.

Regional passport agencies are offering two types of appointments: Life-of-Death Emergency Service and Urgent Travel Service.

Life-or-death emergencies are serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family (parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, sibling, and grandparent) that require you to travel outside the United States within 3 business days.

If you need to travel due to a qualified life-or-death emergency, please call the National Passport Information Center for an appointment:

Mondays through Fridays 8 A.M. to 8 P.M. ET, call 1-877-487-2778 (TDD/TTY:1-888-874-7793) Outside of these hours, call 202-647-4000.

For Urgent Travel Service, you need to call 14 days before your scheduled international travel or 28 days if you also need to secure a foreign visa.

If you need to travel urgently for reasons other than a life-or-death emergency, please call the NPIC at 1-877-487-2778 Mondays through Fridays 8 A.M. to 10 P.M. ET.

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