How to apply for a civil union license
Complete the civil union license application form. You may also get an application form at the Local Registrar’s office. Do not sign the civil union application form before going to the Local Registrar. You must sign the application, under oath, in the presence of the issuing authority.
Requirements for entering into a Civil Union
For two people to establish a civil union in New Jersey, they must satisfy the following requirements:
- Not be a party to another civil union, domestic partnership, or marriage in this state or that is recognized by this state*.
- Be of the same sex; and
- Be at least 18 years of age, except those applicants under 18 may enter into a civil union with parental consent. Applicants under age 16 must obtain parental consent and have the consent approved in writing by any judge of the Superior Court, Chancery Division, Family Part.
* Same sex couples who meet the above requirements and are registered as domestic partners may enter into a civil union with the same person without terminating their domestic partnership first. If the domestic partnership was registered in New Jersey, it automatically terminates when the civil union is registered. If the domestic partnership was registered in another state, that state’s laws determine the impact on the domestic partnership. A couple that has previously entered a civil union or a same-sex marriage may apply for a Reaffirmation of Civil Union License.
Where to apply
- You may apply in the New Jersey municipality in which either person resides. The license is valid throughout the state.
- If neither applicant lives in New Jersey, submit the application in the municipality where the civil union ceremony will be performed. The license is only valid in the issuing municipality.
Required documents when applying for a Civil Union license
- Proof of identity by presenting your driver’s license, passport or state/federal I.D.
- Proof of your residency
- Your social security card or social security number*
- A witness, 18 years of age or older
*Social security number is required by law for US citizens and will be kept confidential.
Any documents in a foreign language must be accompanied by a certified English translation.
After you apply
- There is a 72-hour waiting period before the license is issued. The waiting period begins when the application is filed with the Local Registrar. There is no 72-hour waiting period for a reaffirmation of Civil Union; however, you must bring a certified copy of your existing marriage or civil union
- The Civil Union license application is valid for six months from the date accepted unless the Registrar has given prior approval to extend the validity of the application to a maximum of one year.
- Only one Civil Union license may be granted from a Civil Union application. If the license expires before being used, a new application must be completed.
- The only exception to this requirement is in the case where a civil and religious ceremony are to be performed on the same day. In this case, the Local Registrar will photocopy the Civil Union application, marking one "A" and one "B", and issue the corresponding Civil Union licenses, marking them "A" and "B" as well. One copy will be used for the religious ceremony and the other for the civil ceremony.
Reaffirmation of Civil Union
For individuals who are currently in a Civil Union in New Jersey or are in a same sex union in another state where the rights afforded that union are equal to the rights afforded married couples, there exists the option to reaffirm your relationship/vows by registering a Reaffirmation of Civil Union.
In order to apply for a Reaffirmation of Civil Union the couple must provide proof of their existing same sex union, meet the requirements for entering into a civil union in New Jersey and follow the guidelines above to completing the license application. The process for a Reaffirmation of Civil Union License is the same as for the Civil Union License, except that the Reaffirmation of Civil Union License must be accompanied by the proof of existing union and once the application is filed there is no 72-hour waiting period before the license is issued.