New York City's marriage bureau closed Friday due to the coronavirus pandemic, making it impossible for people to get married.
“Effective March 20, 2020, all offices of the City Clerk — NYC Marriage Bureau will be closed and will remain closed until further notice,” the bureau wrote on Twitter Thursday night. “We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. We appreciate your cooperation as we take necessary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
“Obviously, and it’s painful cause it’s such an important moment in people’s lives, but we’re also dealing with a crisis we’ve never seen before,” New York City mayor Bill de Blasio reportedly said on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” Friday.
“Further notice is when we start to come out of this crisis, which, on the trajectory we’re on, is many weeks away,” the mayor added. “Certainly this thing is going to get a lot worse in April and I’m worried about whether May could even be worse than that. This is going to be a long battle.”
According to the New York Times, the bureau reported a surge in wedding officiant requests earlier this week, as the city began to enact other restrictions. Worried the bureau may be the next service to close, couples reportedly were rushing to get hitched. On Monday, the branch performed 104 ceremonies and 72 ceremonies on Tuesday.
“We seldom exceed 100 ceremonies on a Monday,” an official said. “There is definitely an uptick.”
On Monday, Los Angeles County closed its registrar offices where marriage certificates are obtained.
"Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk facilities will be closed to the public effective Monday, March 16," the office said on Twitter. "However, we will continue to conduct business and process transactions online and through the mail."
In Los Angeles County, you can apply online for a license, but you have to show up in person with your spouse and government ID to receive the license.