How to Get a Marriage License
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. The ceremony must take place in the presence of the officiant (the person performing the marriage) and two witnesses age 18 or older.
What Both Applicant Must Do
Apply for the marriage license in person
Both people must apply for the license in person and sign the application in the presence of a city or town clerk or his or her assistant. Please be sure to contact the city or town office where you will apply for the license to verify their identification requirements and hours open to the public.
Rhode Island residents:
- If both applicants live in Rhode Island, apply for the license from the city/town clerk of the residence of either applicant. The marriage license is valid in any city or town in Rhode Island and the couple may be married anywhere in Rhode Island.
- If one applicant lives in Rhode Island the license must be issued from that applicant's city/town of residence.
- If neither applicant lives in Rhode Island, the marriage license must be obtained at the city or town clerk's office where the ceremony will take place. Rhode Island law states that the marriage license is valid only in the city or town in which it was issued. If the ceremony is performed in a city or town other than where it was issued, the validity of the marriage may be in question.
Provide required identification and legal documents
Proof of Birth Facts and Identification
- Most cities and towns require certified copies of your birth certificates and a valid government issued picture ID.
- Please be sure to contact the city or town clerk where you will apply for the marriage license to verify their requirements and hours of operation.
Permit to Marry for Minors and Persons Under Legal Guardianship
- A Minor's Permit to Marry must be completed for any applicant under the control of a parent or guardian if 16 or 17 years of age. The permit may be obtained from the city or town clerk where the license will be issued and should be signed and notarized in the presence of the city or town clerk issuing the license.
- Applicants under the age of 16 cannot get a marriage license in the state of Rhode Island without the approval of Family Court.
Proof That Previous Marriages, Civil Unions or Registered Domestic Partnerships Have Ended
- If either applicant has been previously married, civilly united or in a registered domestic partnership, and the previous marriage, civil union or registered domestic partnership ended in divorce, dissolution or death, that person must present a certified copy of the FINAL decree of divorce or dissolution, or a certified copy of the death certificate to the city or town clerk.
- The couple must give the license to the officiant.
- Any person who willfully and knowingly supplies false information intending that the information be used in the preparation of a marriage license shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both, pursuant to Section 23-3-28 of the RI General Laws.
Pay for the license
Marriage licenses cost $24.