Services: Registrar

Civil Unions

In order to establish a civil union in New Jersey, the parties must apply for and obtain a civil union license. In Vernon, licenses are handled by the Vernon Township Registrar of Vital Statistics.

Applications are taken by appointment only, Monday, Tuesday and Friday, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. PLEASE DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE WEEK BEFORE YOUR CIVIL UNION TO TRY TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT as you may not have enough time to schedule an appointment to be in compliance with the state-required 72-hour waiting period. Application appointments can be made as early as six months in advance of your civil union. (In some cases you may make your application as early as one year in advance.) The state of New Jersey requires a 72-hour waiting period after an application is made before a license may be issued. Please SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE BUT NO LATER THAN 14 DAYS PRIOR TO THE DATE OF YOUR CIVIL UNION CEREMONY so we may be able to make an appointment in enough time to comply with the waiting period. The registrar may be reached by calling 973.764.4055, ext. 2234.

You would apply for a civil union license in Vernon if…

  • either party resides in Vernon OR
    [the license will be valid in any New Jersey municipality]
  • neither party is a resident of New Jersey but the proposed civil union will be performed in Vernon [the license will only be valid in Vernon]

For your convenience, we have made the Application for a Civil Union License  available online. This is a fillable form which may be filled out on your computer, saved to your hard drive and/or printed out.

You are not required to download and complete the application form in advance of your visit to the registrar but doing so will make the process that much easier. If you do complete the form in advance, please do not sign the application as it must be signed under oath in the presence of the issuing authority.

What to bring to your appointment:

Both parties to the civil union must appear in person at the registrar’s office to apply for the license.

  • proof of identity—a driver’s license, current passport, state/county identification card or military identification.
  • proof of residency—a driver’s license, lease, tax return, etc.
  • social security number—required by law for U.S. citizens and will be kept confidential.
  • additional documents—the following are helpful but not required: a copy of your birth certificate to establish your parents’ names and related birth information and, if either party has been in a marriage, domestic partnership or civil union before, a copy of a death certificate, divorce decree, dissolution of civil union or termination of domestic partnership.
  • a witness—this individual must be at least eighteen years of age, must know both of the parties to the civil union, must appear with the applicants and must swear to the completeness and accuracy of their answers.
  • the $28 application fee—payable by cash or check (made payable to Vernon Township); if the applicants wish to have both a civil and religious ceremony performed on the same day, two licenses will be issued and two fees will be collected.

Note: Any documents in a foreign language must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

There is a 72-hour waiting period after the application has been made before the license can be issued (there is no waiting period for a “Reaffirmation of Civil Union” license). If the civil union is scheduled for a Saturday or Sunday, the application must be made no later than the preceding Tuesday, however, it is strongly recommended that applications be made weeks in advance so that our office may accommodate you as applications are only taken weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Holidays and weekends are included in the waiting period. In case of emergency, a Superior Court judge has the authority to waive all or part of the waiting period.

If the applicants cannot come in at the same time, either may complete his/her part of the application and start the waiting period. The other applicant must return with the same witness to complete his/her part of the application. The application must be completed by both parties before the license will be issued.

Once filed, the application is valid for six months; the license, once issued, is valid for thirty days.