Do you want to get married in Rhode Island? Here is help in navigating what the state expects from you. Congratulations and much happiness as you begin your lifetime journey together!
ID Requirement in Rhode Island
You will just need to show your birth certificates and provide your Social Security numbers.
You do not have to be a resident of Rhode Island, although residents need to apply in the towns where the bride resides.
If previously married, you will need to show a final divorce decree or a death certificate for a deceased spouse.
The fees can vary from county to county, but it is cash only in most counties.
Proxy Marriage in Rhode Island
Common Law Marriages
Yes. "In order to establish a common law marriage in Rhode Island, a couple must have "seriously intended to enter into the husband-wife relationship." Demelo v. Zompa, 844 A.2d 174 "The parties conduct also must be of such a character as to lead to a belief in the community that they were married." Demelo v. Zompa, 844 A.2d 174 "The prerequisite serious intent and belief is demonstrable by inference from cohabitation, declarations, reputation among kindred and friends, and other circumstantial evidence." Demelo v. Zompa, 844 A.2d 174"
No other tests
If the bride is either 16 or 17 years of age, she will need to have a Minor's Permit to Marry Form (VS 10) signed and notarized by her parent or guardian at the City Clerk's office. Females under the age of 16, and males under the age of 18 cannot get married without prior approval from the Family Court.
Same Sex Marriages
Note that Justices of the Peace do not have the power to perform marriages in Rhode Island.
Source: Office of the Secretary of State
Chapter 15-3: "Officials empowered to join persons in marriage. – Every ordained clergy or elder in good standing, every justice of the supreme court, superior court, family court, workers' compensation court, district court or traffic tribunal, the clerk of the supreme court, every clerk or general chief clerk of a superior court, family court, district court, or traffic tribunal, magistrates, special or general magistrates of the superior court, family court, "traffic tribunal or district court, administrators of the workers' compensation court, every former justice or judge and former administrator of these courts and every former chief clerk of the district court, and every former clerk or general chief clerk of a superior court, judges of the United States appointed pursuant to Article III of the United States Constitution, bankruptcy judges appointed pursuant to Article I of the United States Constitution, and United States magistrate judges appointed pursuant to federal law, may join persons in marriage in any city or town in this state; and every justice and every former justice of the municipal courts of the cities and towns in this state and of the police court of the town of Johnston and every probate judge may join persons in marriage in any city or town in this state, and wardens of the town of New Shoreham may join persons in marriage in New Shoreham.
Marriages after the manner of Friends, according to Jewish rites, or spiritual assembly of Baha'is. – Any marriage which may be had and solemnized among the people called Quakers, or Friends, in the manner and form used or practiced in their societies, or among persons professing the Jewish religion, according to their rites and ceremonies, or by a local spiritual assembly of the Baha'is according to the usage of the religious community, shall be good and valid in law; and wherever the words "minister" and "elder" are used in this chapter, they shall be held to include all of the persons connected with the Society of Friends, or Quakers, and with the Jewish religion, and with the Baha'i faith, who perform or have charge of the marriage ceremony according to their rites and ceremonies."
Source: RI State Statutes
A license is valid for 90 days.
Copy of Certificate of Marriage
Fill out a form online and send to the address indicated.
Still Confused About Getting Married in Rhode Island?
If you are still confused about the different terms used in the marriage license application process, check out these articles:
Please note that we make every effort to offer you common-sense marriage advice and helpful information about marriage on this website, but we are not attorneys and the articles on the site are not to be construed as legal advice.
The information in this article was accurate when it was published. It is important that you verify all information with your local marriage license office or county clerk before making any wedding or travel plans.
This Marriage site has a world-wide audience and marriage laws and regulations vary from state to state and country to country. When in doubt, seek legal counsel.