Cuomo issues order allowing New Yorkers to obtain marriage licenses over Zoom

With New York’s marriage office closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday that the state would begin licensing distance marriage licenses and that clerks would hold video ceremonies.

“There is no longer any excuse when the question arises for marriage,” he said during his briefing on Saturday. “You can do it by Zoom. Yes or no.”

One of the states hardest hit by coronavirus, New York is under statewide home stay order. With most people experiencing some sort of need to stay at home or social distancing due to the pandemic, #ZoomWeddings has become a popular way for brides to keep their wedding dates, inviting friends and family to participate remotely.

Cuomo’s order goes a step further, giving New York couples who were planning a marriage but who did not yet have their licenses to obtain the necessary documents processed by video. There doesn’t seem to be an obligation for couples to use Zoom for their license application and their ceremony, of course; lots of remote control weddings took place on FaceTime and other video conferencing platforms.

Also at Saturday’s briefing, Cuomo said hospitalizations and intubations in New York continued to decline, and said it is possible that New York has passed its peak of infections. Yet, he reported, 540 people died of the coronavirus in New York on Friday, bringing the death toll to 13,362.

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