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The Marriage License


For detailed information & requirements for the State of Rhode Island

Couples marrying in Rhode Island must apply for a license at a city or town clerk's office. The license is valid for three months after the issuance date and the ceremony must occur during that three month period.  The ceremony vows are held in the presence of the officiant (the person performing the marriage) and two witnesses age 18 or older.  The location of the ceremony vows must take place where the marriage license is valid.  Don't forget to give the marriage license to the officiant!  The officient signs the marriage license along with the witnesses and registers the marriage record within 72 hours at the city/town where the license was issued.  

Before you say "I Do"

How to Apply:

Both Applicants must apply for the license in person and birth certificates and a valid government issued picture ID.  If you were born outside the United States and cannot obtain a birth certificate, bring a valid passport or alien card.  If you were previously married, bring a certified copy of the final decree of divorce or certified copy of a previous spouse death certificate.  If you are under 16 or 18 years of age, you may need either a "Minor's Permit to Marry" or approval of the Family Court.


Where to Apply:

If Applicant lives in RI apply for the license in the Applicant's city/town.

If the Applicant does not live in RI but the other Applicant does, apply for the license in the other Applicant's city/town.

If either Applicant are RI residents then the marriage license is valid in any city/town in RI and you can be married anywhere in RI.

If both Applicants are not residents of RI apply for the license in the city/town where the ceremony will take place because you must marry in the city/town where the license was issued.


A list of city and town offices with contact numbers is located at under the Vital Records section.


After you say "I Do"

Where to find your marriage license:

To obtain a certified copy of your marriage license, you must present valid picture identification issued by a governmental organization.

The fee for a certified copy of a vital record (from state or local registrars) is approximately $20. 

It will take six to eight weeks to process your request.  You can request rush service for an additional cost and it is usually processed within five business days after receipt of request. 





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