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Q: marriage licenses ( No Answer,   2 Comments )
Subject: marriage licenses
Category: Relationships and Society > Relationships
Asked by: butterflybella-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 04 Jun 2006 19:07 PDT
Expires: 04 Jul 2006 19:07 PDT
Question ID: 735332
i would like to know the most updated information on the new york city
office of the city clerk's record checks for previous marriages. when
you go to apply for a marriage license and you are already married,
how do they find out? is it because you look suspicious or do they
automatically check everyone's name to see if anything came up in the

Request for Question Clarification by tutuzdad-ga on 04 Jun 2006 19:36 PDT
I found nothing to indicate that the State of New York "checks" to see
if an applicant has been married before; rather they require on the
applicant to provide that information on the sworn affidavit that the
information he or she is providing is true and correct. Here is what
it says on the issue on the New York Health Department website:

"Information regarding 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 certified copy of the Decree of Divorce or a Certificate of
Dissolution of Marriage may be required by the clerk issuing the
marriage license."

Does this suffice as an answer?


Request for Question Clarification by tutuzdad-ga on 04 Jun 2006 19:40 PDT
This seems to confirm the notion that the state does not check but may
procesute an applicant for perjury if it is later determined that the
previous marriage was not fully disclosed:

"Components of a License: There are 3 parts to the marriage license:
An Affidavit: The Affidavit portion is a written declaration made
under oath before a town or city clerk attesting to the truth of the
information provided. It reads, "I, being duly sworn, depose and say,
that to the best of my knowledge and belief that the information I
provided is true and that I declare that no legal impediment exists as
to my right to enter into the marriage state." Providing false
information, such as not reporting a previous marriage not been
legally dissolved through either divorce or annulment, is one such
example. Not only is this an act of perjury (intentional lying under
oath) but the subsequent ceremony would make the offender guilty of
bigamy as well."

Again, is this good enough for you as an answer?

There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: marriage licenses
From: markvmd-ga on 05 Jun 2006 07:31 PDT
I never thought of it before but there isn't a central database for
marriages, is there? I wonder how long before it becomes a Homeland
Security issue...
Subject: Re: marriage licenses
From: irlandes-ga on 11 Jun 2006 15:10 PDT
In the United States, bigamy is a serious crime. Here in Mexico, no
one cares much. A friend says she knows men who married here in a
small village; again in the State Capitol; later in Mexico City, with
no divorce. It is illegal; it's just that no one cares much. If a
couple don't want to be married any more, why fight it, and why expect
government action?

I have thought a lot about that, and my personal opinion is that
marriage in the US has no real legal meaning any more except property
rights; a man simply can't be owned by more than one woman at a time. 
I may seem sarcastic, but check it out. I worked as a legal researcher
in the 80's, and all other legal functions of marriage are all long

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