As of this afternoon and in accordance with New York City regulations, I can now legally officiate weddings in the city of New York. While anyone could be a mesader kiddushin, clergy need to register with the city in order to sign the marraige licence.1
While I’m not planning on officiating any weddings in the near future, you never know when it could come in handy. A few years ago I was Shabbat walking through Fort Tryon Park and I was approached by a Hispanic contingient asking me if I was a Justice of the Peace. Apparently their minister was late and who else goes walking through the park on a Saturday in a suit. Sadly I was not able to perform the ceremony – I was still in smikha at the time – but it did get me thinking that I could otherwise be in a position to help out some people. The rabbinic prohibition against getting married on Shabbat would be inapplicable (B. Shabbat 148b) and I doubt that it would violate existing RCA policy (not that I’m currently a member).
At any rate, if you’re planning on getting married in NYC and need the marriage licence signed, you know where to find me. Words of Wisdom at no extra charge.
1. This is only for weddings performed in the city of New York proper, and I do not believe it is necessary for the rest of the state. I know that in New Jersey all that is require is an address. A few years ago there was an issue where a Conservative cantor was found to be a fraud and the state government needed to pass an emergency legislation to retroactively validate those weddings.