Bill Allowing Couples In New Jersey To Obtain A Marriage License Virtually Passes Committee

A bill allowing couples in New Jersey to receive a marriage license virtually was approved by the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

Through a May 2020 executive order, New Jersey authorized couples to enter into a marriage or civil union via online platforms like Zoom and FaceTime.

However, that option went away at the end of the state public health emergency.

The bill would also allow marriage and civil union ceremonies to be conducted through live audio-visual technology.

According to the text of the bill, a couple, as well as a witness, may appear via audio-visual technology before a licensing official in order to obtain a marriage or civil union license.

Additionally, this bill will permit solemnization of the marriage or civil union by an individual, religious society, institution, or organization via audio-visual means.

Current law requires that individuals who wish to marry or enter into a civil union appear personally before a licensing official and that the marriage or civil union be solemnized in the physical presence of an officiant and two witnesses.

Under the bill, receiving a license and having it solemnized via audio-visual technology requires: the video conference be live and allow for interaction between the couple, the licensing official or officiant, and witnesses; members of the couple and witnesses provide valid photo identification and any other documents necessary to allow the licensing official or officiant to fulfill their statutory duty; and each member of the couple and the witnesses sign the pertinent documents and transmit the documents, once signed by all signatories, to the licensing official or officiant.

While the state Department of Health did not collect data on how many virtual marriages occurred during the waiver period, overall marriages fell almost 17% with about 8,000 less marriages performed in 2020 compared to 2019.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. “If it wouldn’t be for audio-visual online technology, obtaining a marriage license virtually would be virtually impossibe,” said one soon-to-be married man, who plans on obtaining his marriage license, having his wedding ceremony, eating his daily meals and taking his afternoon walks virtually with the help of his PC and webcam. “But with all the technology that exists in 2023,” he asserted, “you’ve got to be a virtual idiot not to live out virtually every moment of your life virtually.”

  2. This is great. Can I get married in a big passsenger van with a moon roof, sippy cup and a styrofoam plate? Won’t need to hire a band or photographer either. There’s even enough traffic for the ladies to circle the van and any one to just jump out of their cars to dance. The township will even provide a police escort!

  3. This is a good idea because people who get married by contact or paying another person to get papers and drive with a driver’s license and the license isn’t from the USA that’s ILLIGAL

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