Marriage Licenses and Requirements
A marriage license must be obtained from the City or Town Clerk of the bride's residence, if the bride is a Rhode Island resident. If the bride is not a resident of Rhode Island, but the groom is, the license must be obtained from the City or Town Clerk of the groom's residence. In either case, the marriage license is valid in any city or town in Rhode Island and the couple may be married anywhere in Rhode Island.
If neither the bride nor the groom is a resident of Rhode Island, the marriage license must be obtained at the City or Town Clerk's Office where the ceremony is to take place. This is because Rhode Island law states that the marriage license is valid only in the city or town in which it was issued. If the marriage ceremony is performed in a city or town other than the city or town of issuance, the validity of the marriage record may be in question. Item 15c on the marriage license lists the location where the marriage license is valid.
A Minor's Permit to marry (VS 10) must be completed if a female applicant is 16 or 17 years of age. The permit must be signed and notarized in the presence of the City or Town Clerk or any clerk employed in that office. If this is not possible, contact the State Office of Vital Records for instructions.
A female under age 16 and a male under age 18 cannot secure a marriage license in the State of Rhode Island without the approval of the Family Court.
If either applicant has been married previously and that marriage ended in divorce, such applicant must present a certified copy of FINAL decree of divorce to the City or Town Clerk. If either applicant has been married previously and that marriage ended in death, a certified copy of the death record should be presented to the City or Town Clerk.
Proof of birth facts should be supplied, preferably in the form of certified copies of both the bride and groom's birth certificates. For persons born outside the United States who cannot obtain a birth record, a passport or alien card is acceptable.
Both the bride and groom, personally, must sign the marriage license in the presence of the City or Town Clerk or his/her assistant, attesting to the truth of the information listed thereon. No information on the marriage license may be changed by the bride or groom after the marriage license is issued. If any information is in error, the bride or groom should contact the state registrar after the marriage record has been filed.
The marriage license is valid for three months, and if not used, should be returned to the City or Town Clerk issuing the license.
The solemnization of marriage shall be in the presence of at least two witnesses (who have reached the age of majority), in addition to the officiant at the marriage.
Call 461-1000 and ask for x 3236 with questions on Births, Deaths, or Marriages.