TRENTON – The state Senate approved legislation on Thursday that would eliminate a mandatory waiting period for marriage licenses to be issued.
“While New Jersey is a premier destination for weddings, we can make our state more attractive to tourists by modernizing the process of filing for a license and making it easier for out-of-state consumers to wed here,” said Senate Judiciary Chairman Nicholas P. Scutari (D-Union), a sponsor of the bill. “Drawing more tourists to New Jersey will also help to create jobs and to boost our local economies.”
The measure, S-2399, would end the mandatory 72-hour waiting period for issuance of a marriage or civil union license after an application is made. According to the bill’s sponsors, the current waiting period makes it cumbersome for out-of-state consumers to plan weddings at New Jersey’s many tourism destinations, depriving local economies of needed tourism dollars.
By eliminating the waiting period, the measure will make New Jersey more competitive with neighboring states, including Pennsylvania (72 hour waiting period), New York (24 hours), Delaware (24 hours), and Maryland (48 hours). Under the bill, New Jersey would join Connecticut and Rhode Island as the only states in the Northeast with no waiting period. Thirty states allow couples to be issued a marriage license on the date of application.
The Senate approved the bill by a vote of 25-9.