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Rhode Island Marriage Laws Update - One Day Officiant Certification

Published Wednesday, Jan. 12th, 2022


Great news:


AMM recently updated our Rhode Island Marriage Laws page with the most current information on who can perform marriage in the state. 



Rhode Island Marriage Laws 



This update was made to reflect the state’s new “One Day Marriage Officiant Certification.” 


This new certification isn’t necessary for AMM Ministers who wish to perform legal marriages in Rhode Island, and is not available to ordained clergy in good standing (such as current AMM Ministers). This ‘one day certification’ was created for adults who wish to perform a single wedding without becoming ordained, and will cost $25.


Online ordination through American Marriage Ministries is free and is recognized in Rhode Island. 


See the amended law below, or head here



AMM works hard to keep our Marriage Laws library up to date, so that our ordained Ministers have reliable and accessible information when performing ceremonies, answering couples' questions, and returning marriage licenses. 


If you’re officiating a wedding in Rhode Island or want to know more about marriage laws in the state, visit Rhode Island Marriage Laws.



Related: Rhode Island approves new one-day marriage designation





Amended by S0014 / H5034 ; Effective January 1, 2022
Amended text appears in blue. 


State of Rhode Island General Laws
§ 15-3-5  Officials empowered to join persons in marriage


Every ordained clergy or elder in good standing; every justice of the supreme court, superior court, family court, workers' compensation court, district court or traffic tribunal; the clerk of the supreme court; every clerk, administrative clerk, general chief clerk, or administrator of the supreme court, superior court, family court, district court, or traffic tribunal; magistrates, special or general magistrates of the superior court, family court, traffic tribunal or district court; administrative clerks of the district court; administrators of the workers' compensation court; every former justice or judge and former administrator of these courts; every former chief clerk of the district court; every former clerk, administrative clerk, or general chief clerk of a superior court; the secretary of the senate; elected clerks of the general assembly; any former secretary of the senate; any former elected clerk of the general assembly who retires after July 1, 2007; judges of the United States appointed pursuant to Article III of the United States Constitution; bankruptcy judges appointed pursuant to Article I of the United States Constitution; and United States magistrate judges appointed pursuant to federal law, may join persons in marriage in any city or town in this state; and every justice and every former justice of the municipal courts of the cities and towns in this state and of the police court of the town of Johnston and the administrator of the Johnston municipal court, while he or she is serving as an administrator, and every probate judge and every former probate judge may join persons in marriage in any city or town in this state, and wardens of the town of New Shoreham may join persons in marriage in New Shoreham. In addition to the foregoing, the governor shall designate, upon application, any person eighteen (18) years or older to solemnize a particular marriage on a particular date and in a particular city or town, and may for cause at any time revoke such designation. In the case of persons so designated by the governor, the secretary of state shall promulgate rules and regulations as may be necessary to implement and carry out the provisions of this section. The secretary of state shall issue a certificate of designation upon payment of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for applications delivered by mail, facsimile, or hand. All applications submitted electronically shall pay a fee of twenty dollars ($20.00). Upon payment, a certificate of designation shall be issued within twenty-one (21) days. The certificate shall expire upon completion of the solemnization. The fees collected under this section shall be deposited into the general fund.




Visit the Rhode Island Department of State website to learn more about applying for one-day certification. 





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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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