Rhode Island Marriage License

If you're getting married in Rhode Island, you must first apply for a marriage license. It'll cost you $24.00, and you'll have to use it within three months.

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Where to go

Where can I get a marriage license?

Rhode Island marriage licenses are issued on the city/town level, at the City/Town Clerk Office, by the City/Town Clerk.

Where can I use it once I get it?

Your marriage license can be used throughout the state, regardless of which City/Town Clerk Office you get it from.

Your license is only valid within the borders of Rhode Island. For instance, you can't get a marriage license from the neighboring state of Massachusetts, then use it here—and vice versa.

Costs

How much is a marriage license in Rhode Island?

A marriage license costs exactly $24.00 USD. This price is established by state law and doesn't change no matter where you buy your license.

I've changed my mind; can I get my money back?

City/Town Clerk Offices will not issue refunds for unused marriage licenses.

Attendance

Must we both be present when applying?

Both parties to the marriage must appear together when applying for a marriage license.

Waiting periods

Is there a waiting period to get a marriage license?

There is no waiting period to get a Rhode Island marriage license. You'll get your license the same day you apply for it.

How soon can I get married after getting a license?

You can get married immediately after you receive your marriage license. There is no post-issuance waiting period to abide by before you can have your marriage ceremony.

Expiration dates

When will my marriage license expire?

Your Rhode Island marriage license will expire three (3) months after it's been issued. If you don't get married before time runs out, you'll have to start over and apply for a brand new license.

I need more time; can I get an extension on my license?

Extensions are not provided for expired (or near expiring) marriage licenses. If your license completely expires you must reapply and repay the same $24.00 application fee, wherein you'll be given three more months.

Residency requirements

What are the rules for residents and non-residents?

There are multiple residency rules, only of which some may apply to you. They are as follows.

Residency rule 1

If both of you are residents of Rhode Island, you must apply for a marriage license in the city/town of either residence. You can then get married anywhere within the state.

Residency rule 2

If one of you is a resident of Rhode Island, you must apply for a marriage license in the city/town of residence. You can then get married anywhere within the state.

Residency rule 3

If neither of you are residents of Rhode Island, you must apply for a marriage license in the city/town where the marriage will take place. Your marriage ceremony must be held in the same city/town where you applied for your marriage license.

Age requirements

How old must I be to get married?

You must be 18 years old (or above) to get married in Rhode Island without parental consent.

17 years old and below

You must obtain the consent of both parents or legal guardians. It's not sufficient if only one parent/guardian acquiesces—both must agree.

17 years old and below

For males:

Same as above, plus:

You must obtain a court order from a Family Court Judge—in Rhode Island—which will authorize the City/Town Clerk to issue a marriage license.

15 years old and below

For females:

Same as above.

Identification requirements

What forms of ID must I bring?

There are multiple types of identification to consider bringing when applying for a marriage license at your local City/Town Clerk Office. They are as follows:

Provide one of the following:

  • Driver's License
    • Issued by any U.S. state or territory
  • State-issued Identification
    • Issued by any U.S. state or territory
  • Military Identification Card
    • Issued by U.S. Armed Forces
  • Military Dependent Identification Card
    • Issued by U.S. Armed Forces
  • Passport
    • Issued by any U.S. or foreign government body

Provide the following:

  • Birth Certificate
    • Original or certified copy

If unavailable, AND foreign-born, provide one of the following:

  • Passport
    • Issued by any U.S. or foreign government body
  • Permanent Resident Card
    • Issued by USCIS
    • Also referred to as an Alien Registration Card, Green Card, and Permanent Visa

Provide the following:

  • Social Security Number
    • Issued by the SSA
    • You don't need to bring you card; just know your number
    • It's understood that non-U.S. citizens are unlikely to have a SSN

Name Change

How do I go about changing my name due to marriage?

Undergoing a marriage-related name change in the state of Rhode Island (or any other state) involves notifying various government and non-government institutions. You'll typically start with updating your Social Security Card, driver's license, passport, and other federal/state/non-governmental institutions.

Keep in mind, your name does not automatically and legally change just because you get married or obtain a marriage license or marriage certificate; you must go through the steps of updating your identification documents, whether it's through an online name change service, or contacting the SSA, State Dept. and RI DMV directly.

Blood Tests

Am I required to get a blood test?

No, Rhode Island does not require you, nor your partner, to get a blood test as a condition for getting a marriage license.

Divorced

What if I've been previously divorced?

If you've been previously divorced, or have had an annulment or dissolution, there are extra bits of information that you must provide the City/Town Clerk when applying.

For all previous divorces, annulments, and dissolutions, provide the following:

Things you must know

You must know the date your divorce, annulment, or dissolution took place.

Things you must bring

You will need to provide a copy of your divorce decree (aka divorce certificate). It must be an original or certified copy—not a photocopy. The City/Town Clerk will not keep your certificate; it just needs to be examined for authenticity, and to confirm your previous marriage is over.

What if I'm separated from my spouse, but not yet divorced?

Rhode Island law forbids a marriage license be granted to anyone who is currently married or separated from their spouse. You must have your divorce finalized, or marriage annulled, before getting married again.

Widowed

What if I'm currently a widow or widower?

If your previous marriage left you as a widow or widower, the City/Town Clerk Office will need to solicit basic information regarding the death of your spouse.

Things you must know

You must be able to specify the date your spouse died.

Things you must bring

You must bring the original or certified copy of the death certificate for review. The City/Town Clerk will hand the death certificate back to you once it's been looked over.

Solemnization

Who's allowed to marry me?

Rhode Island law recognizes several types of officiants who may legally officiate (i.e., preside over) your marriage. They are as follows:

Religious officiants

  • Ordained Clergy in Good Standing
  • Elder

Nonreligious officiants

  • Supreme Court Justice
    • Current or retired
  • Superior Court Judge
    • Current or retired
  • District Court Judge
    • Current or retired
  • Family Court Judge
    • Current or retired
  • Municipal Judge
    • Current
  • Probate Judge
    • Current or retired
  • Traffic Tribunal Judge
    • Current or retired
  • Workers' Compensation Court Judge
    • Current or retired
  • Supreme Court Clerk
    • Current
  • Superior Court Clerk
    • Current or retired
  • District Court Clerk
    • Current or retired
  • Family Court Clerk
    • Current or retired
  • Traffic Tribunal Clerk
    • Current or retired
  • Workers' Compensation Court Administrator
    • Current or retired
  • Superior Court Magistrate
    • Current
  • District Court Magistrate
    • Current
  • Family Court Magistrate
    • Current
  • Traffic Tribunal Magistrate
    • Current
  • Secretary of the Senate
    • Current or retired
  • Elected Clerks of the General Assembly
    • Current or retired
  • Bankruptcy Judge (Federal)
    • Current

Witnesses

Are witnesses required to attend my marriage ceremony?

Rhode Island statutes require at least two (2) witnesses be present at your marriage ceremony. Both witnesses must be at least 18 years old.

Whomever officiates your marriage must log the contact information (typically name and address) and signature of each witness.

Note: The officiant does not count as a valid witness.

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