Audio-Video Marriages Are Now Legal in New York

An executive order released on Saturday is letting people wed online.
Loukia Papadopoulos

New York is one of the hardest-hit states by COVID-19. As such, all non-essential businesses have shut down, and citizens are staying locked up in their homes.


An executive order

There is some good news in all this madness, however. On Saturday, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order allowing couples to get married using audio-video technology such as Zoom.

"Any issuance of a marriage license application, marriage license, or witnessing or solemnizing of the marriage ceremony, that is required under New York State law is authorized to be performed utilizing audio-video technology," read the executive order.

Cuomo's aide Melissa DeRosa revealed the development at a Saturday press conference.

"We are today signing an executive order allowing people to get their marriage licenses remotely, and also allowing clerks to perform ceremonies over video," explained DeRosa on the conference stream. "So if that's an avenue people want to go down, it will be available to them."

No excuse

Cuomo then added that "There's now no excuse when the question comes up for marriage. No excuse. You can do it by Zoom."

Online marriages do have to follow certain rules, though. The order states that “the video conference must allow for direct interaction between the couple and the town or city clerk, the witness or the person to solemnize the marriage.”

This means all participants must have an actual online presence. Pre-recorded videos are not allowed.

In addition, the couple "must present valid photo ID to verify identity whenever required by law the during the video conference, not merely transmit it prior to or after" and must also "affirmatively represent that he or she is physically situated in the jurisdiction where the marriage is legally allowed to occur, within the State of New York."

The executive order lists several other conditions, but all are doable, logical, and a small price to pay in order to be able to wed during these trying times. It seems that love is in the New York air despite COVID-19.

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