Requirements for entering into a Civil Union

For two people to establish a civil union in New Jersey, they must satisfy all of the following requirements:

A. Not be a party to another civil union, domestic partnership, or marriage in this state or that is recognized by this state*;

B. Be of the same sex; and

C. Be at least 18 years of age, except that 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 into a civil union or a same-sex marriage shall apply for a Reaffirmation of Civil Union License.

What you should bring with you when you apply for a Civil Union license

  1. If you are divorced, have had a previous civil union dissolved, domestic partnership terminated or have had a civil union annulled, please bring certified copies of the decree(s) or the civil annulment documents.
  2. If your former spouse/civil union or domestic partner is deceased, please bring a certified copy of the death certificate.
  3. Citizens must bring a certified copy of your birth certificate or naturalization paper.
  4. Non-citizens must bring valid passports or alien cards.
  5. Proof of your residency, a photo driver’s license or 2 utility bills with your name & address.
  6. Your social security card or social security number.
  7. A witness, 18 years of age or older.
  8. The $28 application fee.

Your social security number is required by law and will be kept confidential.
Any documents in a foreign language must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

Application Form

Do not sign the marriage application prior to going to the Municipal Registrar. You must sign the application, while under oath, in the presence of the issuing authority

The application form must be completed in full with exact complete information. Names must be completely spelled out, including middle names, no initials. You may not sign the form until after you have taken the oath given by the Registrar at the Health Department.

Click here for the Civil Union Application (.pdf).

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.

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 made and another $28 fee remitted.

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.