Rhode Island Marriage License

Rhode Island Marriage License

Probably, you are preparing for your upcoming wedding, if you have come to our page. As you may already know, the first thing you need to do is to get a Rhode Island marriage license. Here we talk about all marriage license requirements you need to meet.

How do I get a Rhode Island marriage license?

Firstly, you should find the Clerk’s offices in your county. As there may be many, you can choose the one which is the nearest. You and your partner must go there in person and apply for the Rhode Island marriage license.

The clerk or his assistants will accompany you during the appliance process. Make sure you have taken the required documents. Otherwise, you won’t get the license, as those papers are the proofs of your identity.

Paperwork requirements

When applying for your Rhode Island marriage license, you must present:

  • Copies (certified) of Birth Certificates
  • Your current driver’s license
  • Military ID card
  • Passports or valid Passport cards
  • Rhode Island State issued ID cards
  • Card of a permanent residency
  • Alien Government-issued Passport
  • A certified copy of a divorce decree (if any of you has been in another marriage union)

As in many other states, passports are only for clarifying the birth facts. It is a necessity in cases when the applicant is not a US resident.

What refers to the birth certificates, take into account this: You must get them from a birth records office located in the town/city/state you were born in.

Age requirements

In fact, only 18 years old or older applicants can get a valid Rhode Island marriage license. Yet, younger parties can also get licenses by meeting some requirements. To clarify, they have to present not only identification proofs but also some other documents.

The applicants who are 16 or 17 must get legal consent either from parents or a guardian. Moreover, the parents/guardian must be present during the appliance process. The consent they will give the couple must be signed and notarized by the clerk.

Things are a bit different when the parties are under the age of 16. In such cases, parental consent will not be enough for getting the license. So, in order to have a legal marriage, they must get approval from the Family Court.

Residency requirements

In Rhode Island applicants can apply in two ways:

  1. The first way refers to the couples who are Rhode Island residents. If it is both of them, they can apply in any clerk’s office within the state. The office can be in the county residence of either of them. If only one of them is a resident, they must get the license from his/her residence county. However, in both cases, the couple can get married anywhere in the state. To clarify, the marriage license is valid in any part of the state of Rhode Island.
  2. The second one is for the cases when neither of the partners is a resident of this state. However, they must get the license from the county where the wedding will take place. Moreover, the state won’t allow couples to use the license in another city or town.

Otherwise, the marriage license will no longer be valid. Correspondingly, it will make the marriage invalid either.

Who can perform my wedding ceremony in Rhode Island?

According to state law, you must find someone who can legally officiate your marriage. However, it doesn’t mean that you can choose whoever you want. Rhode Island gives that authority to only a few people:

  • Clerks elected from the General Assembly
  • Senate’s secretary
  • District Court former chief Clerks
  • Clerks from Superior, Supreme, Family, District or Tribunal Courts
  • Ordained and licensed clergy
  • Magistrates from the Superior, Family, Traffic tribunal and District courts
  • Bankruptcy judges
  • Justice from Supreme, Superior, Workers’ compensation, District, Family and Tribunal courts
  • US magistrate judges
  • Administrators(former) and judges(former) of the Workers’ compensation
  • Police courts
  • Probate or former Probate judges
  • Justice of Municipal courts


If it is the first time you are getting married, you may have some misunderstandings. To clarify, you may not know the responsibilities of your wedding officiant.

The main duty is performing the whole marriage ceremony. The officiant must put his signature on the license application. After that, he should get the signatures of the couple and witnesses.

All the writings on the application form must be done in black ink. Otherwise, they’ll become invalid. In the end, the officiant must record the marriage with the County Clerk for 72 hours.

How long will it take me to get my Rhode Island marriage license?

Nearly all US states require a particular waiting period before you can receive your license. It varies from state to state and can last days and even months. However, there are some exceptions.

Luckily for you, Rhode Island is one of those states that don’t claim any waiting period. The state of Wyoming also belongs to this group. You can check that and other details about the Wyoming marriage license on our page.

How long is a Rhode Island marriage license good for?

The Rhode Island marriage license may expire if the applicants don’t use it in time. They must use the license within a 90-days period.
After those three months, the marriage license will no longer be valid. So, the licensees will have to send it back to the Clerk’s office and reapply for another one.

How much is the Rhode Island marriage license?

After you have applied for the marriage license, you need to pay to finally get it. The license fees vary from state to state. However, they may also differ from county to county. According to the last data, the fee for getting a Rhode Island marriage license is about $24.

Prohibited marriages

There are some types of marriages that the Rhode Island state doesn’t recognize. Those bans are:

  • Proxy marriages: as both partners must be present in person at the Clerk’s office
  • Bigamous marriages: no one is allowed to be in 2 marriage unions simultaneously

Accepted marriages

Interestingly enough, the state can have nothing against some other types of marriages. Those exceptions are:

  • Same-sex marriages: gender doesn’t matter if both parties meet all the necessary requirements
  • Cousin marriages: unlike many other states, it is normal to get legally married to your cousin
  • Common-law marriages: this may only happen if the couples are intended to get married later/present themselves as married in public/live together.
Alla M.

Alla M.

Alla is a SEO specialist and a content writer with an experience of 10 years. She has written many articles for different websites and companies. Alla has been working with writing challenged clients for over four years. She provides ghost writing, coaching and ghost editing services. Her educational background in family science and linguistics has given her a broad base from which to approach many topics. Alla writes SEO articles for businesses that want to see their Google search rankings surge. Her articles have appeared in a number of websites, including ArticlesBase.com, HubPages.com and TRCB.com. She contributes articles about SEO techniques regularly. Her articles focus on balancing informative with SEO needs–but never at the expense of providing an entertaining read.