Are you coming to Rhode Island from out of state to get married? Here’s a quick guide on what you need to do in order to obtain your marriage license.
Where do you go?
Out of state couples getting married in RI have to apply for a marriage license in the city or town clerk’s office they are to be married in. For non-RI residents, Rhode Island state law says that the marriage license is only valid in the city or town from which it is issued. If the marriage is performed in any other city or town other than where it was issued….the marriage may not be valid.
Who has to be there?
You must both be present to apply for the license and the both of you must sign the licence in front of the city clerk.
What should you bring?
You both must bring a valid government issued ID, and your certified birth certificates. If either of you were born out of the United States, the city clerk may require a certified translation of your birth certificate.
If either of you had a previous marriage, and the marriage ended in divorce, dissolution or death, then you must present a certified copy of the FINAL decree of divorce or dissolution, or a certified copy of the death certificate to the clerk. No joke….if you don’t have your FINAL decree of divorce, you’re not getting a marriage license!
How long is it valid?
Rhode Island marriage licenses are valid for three months. NOT three months and a day. Three months—firm, so plan accordingly.
How much does it cost?
Rhode Island marriage license costs $24.
When will you get your license?
This may vary from town to town. Some City Clerk’s offices give it to you on the spot, others may have a 24-48 hour wait. It’s best to call in advance to the City Clerk’s office for specifics regarding whether or not you’ll get the license on the same day you apply.
The most common mistake that officiants make on RI marriage licenses is letting everyone sign in blue ink. RI marriage licenses MUST be signed in non-water soluble ink, and NO correction products (like whiteout) can be used on the license. So, be sure your officiant has a black pen to sign. If there are any mistakes The State Office of Vital Records at the Department of Health has to correct it for you.
Regarding Accurate Information:
This is what the State Of Rhode Island Department of Health states on their website regarding accurate information:
“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.”
For more information on marriage license laws ih RI, visit The State Of Rhode Island Department Of Health website: