Tuesday, 2 Jun 2020

NYC couples seeking marriage licenses face four-month wait due to coronavirus

In New York City, you can’t hurry love.

There is a four-month wait to get an online marriage-license appointment with the New York City Clerk’s office, which has already booked 3,000 appointments after it began offering the virtual service this month.

“People want to get married very badly,” said City Clerk Michael McSweeney.

Before the office closed in March because of the coronavirus pandemic, it issued upwards of 200 licenses a day, which had to be obtained in person.

Gov. Cuomo last month issued an order allowing not only licenses to be granted through online appointments, but weddings to be held via web cams as well. Mayor de Blasio and the City Council formulated Project Cupid to set up the virtual license appointment system.

“In the regular office, it’s first come, first served,” McSweeney said. “You can’t do that in the virtual office. Unfortunately, it’s harder for people to make appointments.”

McSweeney said he was hoping to train more clerks to issue the licenses and encourages brides and grooms to keep checking the system for cancellations.

The city also plans to offer virtual wedding ceremonies at some point.

Lenny Negron, a wedding officiant from Williamsburg, said the Project Cupid site was leaving couples disappointed. He said he was busy holding socially-distanced weddings in unusual locations.

“I’ve been on rooftops. I’ve been in Domino Park on the water. I’ve been in parking lots,” he said. “We adapt with the times.”

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