How to get a New York marriage certificate legalized for China? - New York Apostille Services

New York City extended marriage certificate

An extended form marriage certificate for foreign use will have the following information:

  • names and places of birth of the parents of both parties to the marriage
  • number of times the parties to the marriage were married before
  • names of the witnesses
  • a color stamp of the Marriage Bureau and the original signature of the Acting City Clerk on the back of the certificate

new york city marriage certificate extended form front

new york marriage certificate extended form back

Marriage certificates issued before 1996 will look different. The older ones will be legal size, sometimes they will contain two pages - a copy of the marriage license on the first page and a copy of the actual marriage certificate on the second page. This is the way the Marriage Bureau issues certified copies. Both short form and long form marriage certificates are good for authentication.

Step 2:  Authentication by the Office of the NYC County Clerk.

Only extended certified copies can be authenticated by the County Clerk. The county clerk will attach a page to your marriage certificate which will confirm the signature of the Deputy City Clerk. This page will be stapled to your document.

Step 3: Authentication by the Office of New York Secretary of State.

The Office of the Secretary of State will attach a foreign certificate to your document. This authentication confirms the signature of the County Clerk. It will be attached to your document by a gold grommet. It happened that the Office of the Secretary of State attached a whong kind of certification or attached their page to the document upside down. After the page was removed, it left a hole in the document. Please note that the Chinese consulate will reject a document with an extra hole, and you will have to start the whole thing all over again!

Step 4: Application to the Chinese consulate and the supporting documents.

The supporting documents for the marriage certificate are

  • completed and signed application form (can be downloaded from the website of the Chinese embassy in Washington DC)
  • complete copies of all the pages of the marriage certificate including the back of the marriage certificate and all authentication pages
  • a copy of a valid picture ID (passport) of the husband
  • a copy of a valid picture ID (passport) of the wife

Step 5: Chinese Consulate in New York.

You will have to visit the consulate twice, the first time to submit the document, and the second time, to pick it up. From experience, the worst days to go to the consulate are Mondays and Fridays (too many people). When you enter the consulate, you will be given a ticket, and you will need to wait until your number is called. Sometimes a wait can be more than an hour.

Sounds time-consuming, right? We can absolutely do all the above steps, starting with obtaining a certified copy of the marriage certificate for you, and finally shipping the authenticated marriage certificate to you anywhere in the world. You can send all supporting documents to us by email, and we will take care of all retrieval and legalization procedures.

Order a certified copy of a Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island marriage certificate with the Chinese embassy seal online.

Yes, you can order a New York City marriage certificate with Chinese legalization online. Or, contact us and we will email the requirements and the Order form. For obtaining a certified copy of your marriage certificate will need: 

  • a copy of your marriage certificate for information purposes. Or, if you do not have a copy, the following information will be sufficient:
  • full names and dates of birth of the spouses (including the maiden name of the bride, if applicable)
  • date of marriage
  • borough where the marriage license was issued
  • place of marriage
  • marriage license number (if known, this will make the search much easier)

For the Chinese consulate we will need:

  • the purpose of the document in China
  • copies of both spouses' IDs by email

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The NYS Secretary of State office does not have over-the-counter service yet. The processing time for New York apostilles is currently between two and three  weeks. 

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