With New York’s marriage bureaus closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday that the state will begin allowing marriage licenses to be granted remotely, and, for clerks to conduct ceremonies over video.
“There is now no excuse when the question comes up for marriage,” he said during his Saturday briefing. “You can do it by Zoom. Yes or no.”
NEW: I am issuing an Executive Order allowing New Yorkers to obtain a marriage license remotely and allowing clerks to perform ceremonies via video conference.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) April 18, 2020
One of the states hardest hit by the coronavirus, New York is under a statewide stay-at-home order. With most people under some kind of stay-at-home or social distancing requirements due to the pandemic, #ZoomWeddings have become a popular way for brides and grooms to keep their wedding dates, inviting friends and family to participate remotely.
Cuomo’s order takes it a step further, giving New York couples who were planning marriage but didn’t have their licenses yet to get the necessary paperwork handled via video. There doesn’t seem to be any requirement that couples have to use Zoom for their license application and ceremony, of course; plenty of remote weddings have happened over FaceTime and other video conferencing platforms.
Also during Saturday’s briefing, Cuomo said hospitalizations and intubations in New York continued to decline, and said it was possible New York could be past its peak of infections. Still, he reported, 540 people died of the coronavirus in New York on Friday, bringing the state’s death toll to 13,362.