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Rhode Island Marriage Laws

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About Wedding Laws in Rhode Island

Below you can read through our curated list of all Rhode Island laws related to marriage, weddings, officiants, and marriage licenses. If it is in any way marriage related, you will find it here.


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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-2-14

A marriage license shall only be granted to a person of full age, attaining the age of eighteen (18) years shall be deemed full legal age pursuant to § 15-12-1.

Replaces 15-2-11 [Repealed] "Marriage Licenses"

Marriage Law Tag(s)

State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-1-3

If any person intermarries within the degrees stated in § 15-1-2, the marriage shall be null and void.

(G.L. 1896, ch. 191, § 3; G.L. 1909, ch. 243, § 3; G.L. 1923, ch. 287, § 3; impl. am. G.L. 1923, ch. 107, § 13; P.L. 1926, ch. 843, § 1; G.L. 1938, ch. 415, § 3; G.L. 1956, § 15-1-3; P.L. 2013, ch. 4, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 5, § 1.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-1-2

No person shall marry his or her sibling, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, stepparent, grandparents' spouse, spouse's child, spouse's grandchild, sibling's child or parent's sibling.

(G.L. 1896, ch. 191, § 2; G.L. 1909, ch. 243, § 2; G.L. 1923, ch. 287, § 2; G.L. 1938, ch. 415, § 2; G.L. 1956, § 15-1-2; P.L. 2013, ch. 4, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 5, § 1.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-1-1

Any person who otherwise meets the eligibility requirements of chapters 15-1 and 15-2 may marry any other eligible person regardless of gender.

(G.L. 1896, ch. 191, § 1; G.L. 1909, ch. 243, § 1; G.L. 1923, ch. 287, § 1; G.L. 1938, ch. 415, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 5-1-1; P.L. 2013, ch. 4, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 5, § 1.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-1-6

Any marriage, which may have been deemed and held void because a former wife or husband of either of the parties to the marriage, divorced from the party by final decree, was living at the time of the marriage, may be declared valid and binding upon the parties by decree of the family court, if the marriage was in all other respects lawful. The decree may be entered at the discretion of the court upon the petition of either party to the marriage, or of any of the issue of the marriage, and after a hearing and notice to all persons known to have an interest in the marriage as the court may deem necessary, and the decree may declare that the issue of the marriage shall be deemed legitimate and that the widow of any party to the marriage shall be entitled to her life estate created by chapter 25 of title 33.

(G.L. 1923, ch. 287, § 5; P.L. 1927, ch. 1066, § 1; G.L. 1938, ch. 415, § 5; G.L. 1956, § 15-1-6; impl. am. P.L. 1961, ch. 73, § 14.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-2-1

(a) Persons intending to be joined together in marriage in this state must first obtain a license from the clerk of the town or city in which: (1) Either party to the proposed marriage resides; or (2) The proposed marriage is to be performed, if both parties are nonresidents of this state. (b) Before any license shall be issued to any person who, having been previously married or a party to another relationship that provides substantially the same rights, benefits and responsibilities as a marriage, has been divorced, the person shall present to the town or city clerk an authenticated copy of the decree granting the divorce or an authenticated copy of the final dissolution of the previous relationship. (c) The town or city clerk shall issue a license to any person eligible to marry under the provisions of chapter 15-1.

(G.L. 1896, ch. 191, § 10; P.L. 1898, ch. 549, § 1; G.L. 1909, ch. 243, § 10; P.L. 1909, ch. 430, § 1; G.L. 1923, ch. 287, § 10; P.L. 1927, ch. 1064, § 1; P.L. 1938, ch. 2580, § 1; G.L. 1938, ch. 415, § 10; G.L. 1956, § 15-2-1; P.L. 1961, ch. 100, § 1; P.L. 1975, ch. 112, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 4, § 3; P.L. 2013, ch. 5, § 3.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-2-1.1

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 15-2-1, at such time as the director of health adopts and implements a statewide electronic marriage license issuance and record registration system, the license may be obtained from the clerk in any city or town.

(P.L. 2004, ch. 200, § 3; P.L. 2004, ch. 258, § 3.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-2-3.1

With each marriage license, the town or city clerk shall provide information describing the causes and effects of fetal alcohol syndrome.

(P.L. 1988, ch. 624, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 200, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 258, § 1.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-2-8

The license required by § 15-2-1 shall be valid for three (3) months after the date of issue, and if unused at the expiration of the three (3) months, the party or parties having possession of the license shall immediately return it to the town or city clerk from whom it was obtained.

(G.L. 1923, ch. 287, § 10; P.L. 1927, ch. 1064, § 1; P.L. 1938, ch. 2580, § 1; G.L. 1938, ch. 415, § 10; G.L. 1956, § 15-2-8.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-2-9

For issuing the license the town or city clerk shall collect a fee of fourteen dollars ($14.00). The license shall be presented to the minister, elder, justice, warden, or other person who performs the marriage ceremony. The city or town shall retain six dollars ($6.00) of the fourteen dollars ($14.00) for its own use and in lieu of any reimbursement to which it may be entitled pursuant to § 45-13-7. The city or town shall forward the eight dollars ($8.00) balance of the fourteen dollars ($14.00) to the general treasurer of the state of Rhode Island.

(G.L. 1896, ch. 191, § 10; P.L. 1898, ch. 549, § 1; G.L. 1909, ch. 243, § 10; P.L. 1909, ch. 430, § 1; G.L. 1923, ch. 287, § 10; P.L. 1927, ch. 1064, § 1; P.L. 1938, ch. 2580, § 1; G.L. 1938, ch. 415, § 10; G.L. 1956, § 15-2-9; P.L. 1961, ch. 100, § 1; P.L. 1971, ch. 230, § 1; P.L. 1981, ch. 414, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 65, art. 59, § 1.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-2-12

The several town and city clerks shall record, in separate books to be kept by them for that purpose, the information furnished to them and subscribed to as provided in §§ 15-2-1 – 15-2-10, except as otherwise provided in these sections.

(G.L. 1896, ch. 191, § 14; P.L. 1898, ch. 549, § 1; G.L. 1909, ch. 243, § 14; G.L. 1923, ch. 287, § 14; G.L. 1938, ch. 415, § 14; G.L. 1956, § 15-2-12.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-2-13

In the city of Providence, the registrar of births, deaths, and marriages shall perform the duties devolved upon town and city clerks by the provisions of chapters 2 and 3 of this title, and all information provided by chapters 2 and 3 to be furnished to town and city clerks shall be furnished to the registrar in Providence.

(G.L. 1896, ch. 191, § 15; P.L. 1898, ch. 549, § 1; G.L. 1909, ch. 243, § 15; G.L. 1923, ch. 287, § 15; G.L. 1938, ch. 415, § 15; G.L. 1956, § 15-2-13.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-3-6

Any marriage which may be had and solemnized among the people called Quakers, or Friends, in the manner and form used or practiced in their societies, or among persons professing the Jewish religion, according to their rites and ceremonies, or by a local spiritual assembly of the Baha'is according to the usage of the religious community, shall be good and valid in law; and wherever the words "minister" and "elder" are used in this chapter, they shall be held to include all of the persons connected with the Society of Friends, or Quakers, and with the Jewish religion, and with the Baha'i faith, who perform or have charge of the marriage ceremony according to their rites and ceremonies.

(G. L. 1896, ch. 191, § 9; G. L. 1909, ch. 243, § 9; G. L. 1923, ch. 287, § 9; G. L. 1938, ch. 415, § 9; G. L. 1956, § 15-3-6; P. L. 1970, ch. 72, § 1.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-3-7

No minister, elder, justice, warden, or other person shall join any person in marriage until the persons to be married have presented to him or her the license named in chapter 2 of this title, and he or she has signed the certificate appended to the license.

(G.L. 1896, ch. 191, § 12; P.L. 1898, ch. 549, § 1; G.L. 1909, ch. 243, § 12; G.L. 1923, ch. 287, § 12; G.L. 1938, ch. 415, § 12; G.L. 1956, § 15-3-7.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-3-8

The solemnization of marriage shall be in the presence of at least two (2) witnesses besides the minister, elder, justice, or warden officiating.

(G.L. 1896, ch. 191, § 17; P.L. 1898, ch. 549, § 1; G.L. 1909, ch. 243, § 17; G.L. 1923, ch. 287, § 17; G.L. 1938, ch. 415, § 17; G.L. 1956, § 15-3-8.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-3-9

If any person has any lawful objection to the marriage of any two (2) persons, he or she may state the objection in writing, under his or her hand, to the minister, elder, justice, or warden about to solemnize the marriage, at which time the minister, elder, justice, or warden shall proceed no further in the marriage until the lawful objection has been removed.

(G.L. 1896, ch. 191, § 18; P.L. 1898, ch. 549, § 1; G.L. 1909, ch. 243, § 18; G.L. 1923, ch. 287, § 18; G.L. 1938, ch. 415, § 18; G.L. 1956, § 15-3-9.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-3-10

Every minister, elder, justice, warden, or other person who joins persons in marriage, without first receiving the license required by chapter 2 of this title, containing the required information, or whenever the solemnization of the marriage has been lawfully objected to and the impediment is not removed, shall be imprisoned not exceeding six (6) months or fined not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000).

(G.L. 1896, ch. 191, § 19; P.L. 1898, ch. 549, § 1; G.L. 1909, ch. 243, § 19; G.L. 1923, ch. 287, § 19; G.L. 1938, ch. 415, § 19; G.L. 1956, § 15-3-10.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-3-13

The town or city clerk to whom the return of marriage provided for in § 15-3-12 is sent shall carefully file and preserve the return.

(G.L. 1896, ch. 191, § 16; P.L. 1898, ch. 549, § 1; G.L. 1909, ch. 243, § 16; G.L. 1923, ch. 287, § 16; G.L. 1938, ch. 415, § 16; G.L. 1956, § 15-3-13.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-3-14

Every minister, elder, justice, warden, or other person authorized to join persons in marriage, including those authorized to join in marriage according to the Jewish religion, who fails to perform any of the duties devolved upon him or her by this chapter, shall be fined not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100) with the exception of the penalties for the violations contained in §§ 15-3-10, 15-3-11, 15-3-15 and 15-3-16.

(G.L. 1896, ch. 191, § 20; P.L. 1898, ch. 549, § 1; G.L. 1909, ch. 243, § 20; G.L. 1923, ch. 287, § 20; G.L. 1938, ch. 415, § 20; G.L. 1956, § 15-3-14; P.L. 2004, ch. 6, § 42.)

Marriage Law Tag(s)

State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-3-15

(a) No marriage solemnized before a person professing to have a license to join persons in marriage as required by this chapter, or professing to be a justice of the supreme, superior, or family court, or a warden of the town of New Shoreham, or solemnized in the Society of Friends, or among persons professing the Jewish religion or Baha'i faith according to their respective rites and ceremonies, shall be deemed or adjudged to be void, nor shall the validity of the marriage be in any way affected by want of jurisdiction or authority in the person or Society nor by reason of noncompliance with any of the requirements of this chapter, if the marriage is in other respects lawful and has been performed with a full belief on the part of the persons so married, or either of them, that they have been lawfully joined in marriage. (b) But whoever gives, or procures to be given, any false information as to the requirements under §§ 15-2-1 – 15-2-10, or whoever is married without duly proceeding as is required by chapters 1 – 3 of this title, shall be fined not exceeding fifty dollars ($50.00).

(G.L. 1896, ch. 191, § 22; P.L. 1898, ch. 549, § 1; C.P.A. 1905, § 1228; G.L. 1909, ch. 243, § 22; G.L. 1923, ch. 287, § 22; G.L. 1938, ch. 415, § 22; G.L. 1956, § 15-3-15; P.L. 1988, ch. 84, § 64.)

Marriage Law Tag(s)

State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-3-16

Every person who solemnizes a marriage without being legally authorized to do so shall be fined five hundred dollars ($500).

(G.L. 1896, ch. 191, § 23; P.L. 1898, ch. 549, § 1; G.L. 1909, ch. 243, § 23; G.L. 1923, ch. 287, § 23; G.L. 1938, ch. 415, § 23; G.L. 1956, § 15-3-16.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-3-17

If, as the result of a court decision pursuant to chapter 6 of title 11, chapters 1 – 3 of this title, or chapter 3 of title 23, any marriage which has occurred in Rhode Island is declared invalid, the court shall order the state registrar of vital records to mark "invalid" the original marriage record on file at the division of vital records and to note the invalidity of the marriage on all other files or references to the marriage.

(P.L. 1983, ch. 198, § 1.)

Marriage Law Tag(s)

State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-3.1-1

(1) "Certificate of civil union" means a document that certifies that the persons named on the certificate have established a civil union in compliance with this chapter. (2) "Civil union" means a legal union between two individuals of the same sex established pursuant to this chapter. (3) "Party to a civil union" means a person who has established a civil union pursuant to this chapter.

(P.L. 2011, ch. 198, § 1.)

Marriage Law Tag(s)

State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-3.1-2

Persons shall be eligible to enter into a civil union only if both such persons are: (1) At least eighteen (18) years of age; (2) Of the same sex; (3) Not a party to another civil union or a spouse in a marriage with any other person; (4) Not in a family relationship within the degrees stated in Rhode Island general laws § 15-1-1 or § 15-1-2; and (5) Neither person is mentally incompetent at the time of the civil union.

(P.L. 2011, ch. 198, § 1.)

Marriage Law Tag(s)

State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-3.1-5

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, no religious or denominational organization, no organization operated for charitable or educational purpose which is supervised or controlled by or in connection with a religious organization, and no individual employed by any of the foregoing organizations, while acting in the scope of that employment, shall be required: (1) To provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges for a purpose related to the solemnization, certification, or celebration of any civil union; or (2) To solemnize or certify any civil union; or (3) To treat as valid any civil union; if such providing, solemnizing, certifying, or treating as valid would cause such organizations or individuals to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs. (b) No organization or individual as described in subsection (a) above who fails or refuses to provide, solemnize, certify, or treat as valid, as described in subdivision (a)(1), (a)(2) or (a)(3) above, persons in a civil union, shall be subject to a fine, penalty, or other cause of action for such failure or refusal.

(P.L. 2011, ch. 198, § 1.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-3.1-6

A party to a civil union lawfully entered into pursuant to this chapter shall have all the rights, benefits, protections, and responsibilities under law, whether derived from statutes, administrative rules, court decisions, the common law, or any other source of civil or criminal law as people joined together pursuant to chapter 15-3.

(P.L. 2011, ch. 198, § 1.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-3.1-7

A party to a civil union shall be included in any definition or use of any term that denotes the spousal relationship, whether or not gender specific, as those or related terms designating that relationship are used throughout the laws of the State of Rhode Island.

(P.L. 2011, ch. 198, § 1.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-3.1-8

A civil union or registered domestic partnership that extends benefits and responsibilities without the status of marriage and is legally entered into in another jurisdiction shall be recognized in Rhode Island as a civil union; provided, that the relationship meets the eligibility requirements of this chapter.

(P.L. 2011, ch. 198, § 1.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-3.1-9

The family court, as established by Rhode Island general laws § 8-10-3, shall have jurisdiction over all proceedings regarding dissolution of civil unions. In all relevant respects, the dissolution of civil unions shall follow the procedures and be subject to the substantive rights and obligations outlined in chapter 15-5.

(P.L. 2011, ch. 198, § 1.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-3.1-10

The department of health, office of vital statistics shall draft and distribute applications for civil unions to every town and city within the state.

(P.L. 2011, ch. 198, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 501, § 8.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-3.1-11

If any part of this chapter or its application to any person or circumstance is adjudged invalid, the adjudication or application shall not affect the validity of this act as a whole or any other part.

(P.L. 2011, ch. 198, § 1.)

Marriage Law Tag(s)

State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-1-4

The provisions of §§ 15-1-2 and 15-1-3 shall not extend to, or in any way affect, any marriage which shall be solemnized among the Jewish people, within the degrees of affinity or consanguinity allowed by their religion.

(G.L. 1896, ch. 191, § 4; G.L. 1909, ch. 243, § 4; G.L. 1923, ch. 287, § 4; G.L. 1938, ch. 415, § 4; G.L. 1956, § 5-1-4; P.L. 2013, ch. 4, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 5, § 1.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-1-5

A person is prohibited from marrying if such person is: (1) A party to another marriage; or (2) A party to a relationship that provides substantially the same rights, benefits and responsibilities as a marriage whether entered into in this state or another state or jurisdiction and such marriage or relationship has not been finally dissolved, unless the parties to the intended marriage will be the same as the parties to such other marriage or relationship. Any marriage entered in violation of this prohibition and any marriage where either of the parties is mentally incompetent at the time of the marriage, shall be absolutely void, and no life estate created by chapter 25 of title 33 shall be assigned to any surviving spouse in consequence of the marriage.

(G.L. 1896, ch. 191, § 5; G.L. 1909, ch. 243, § 5; G.L. 1923, ch. 287, § 5; P.L. 1927, ch. 1066, § 1; G.L. 1938, ch. 415, § 5; G.L. 1956, § 15-1-5; P.L. 1999, ch. 83, § 19; P.L. 1999, ch. 130, § 19; P.L. 2013, ch. 4, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 5, § 1.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-3-11

Every person authorized by law to join persons in marriage, who joins in marriage any woman or man that he or she knows to have a husband or wife living, shall be imprisoned not exceeding six (6) months or fined not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000).

(G.L. 1896, ch. 191, § 21; P.L. 1898, ch. 549, § 1; G.L. 1909, ch. 243, § 21; G.L. 1923, ch. 287, § 21; G.L. 1938, ch. 415, § 21; G.L. 1956, § 15-3-11.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-1-7

Marriage is the legally recognized union of two (2) people. Terms relating to the marital relationship or familial relationships shall be construed consistently with this section for all purposes throughout the law, whether in the context of statute, administrative or court rule, policy, common law, or any other source of civil law.

(P.L. 2013, ch. 4, § 2; P.L. 2013, ch. 5, § 2.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-1-8

If two (2) persons are within the jurisdiction of Rhode Island and have a legal union other than a marriage that provides substantially the same rights, benefits and responsibilities as a marriage and the union was validly entered into in another state or jurisdiction and the union is not prohibited by this chapter then they shall be afforded the same rights, benefits and responsibilities as a valid marriage in this state.

(P.L. 2013, ch. 4, § 2; P.L. 2013, ch. 5, § 2.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-1-9

(a) Any provision of Rhode Island law that refers to, adopts, or relies upon provisions of federal law, including, but not limited to, those in title 44, shall apply to parties recognized as married under the laws of this state, as if federal laws recognized such marriages in the same manner as Rhode Island law. (b) Notwithstanding the unavailability of federal financial participation, no person who is recognized as a spouse under the laws of this state shall be denied benefits that are otherwise available to spouses under Rhode Island law, including, but not limited to, those in chapters 40-8 to 40-8.10 inclusive, due to the provisions of 1 U.S.C. § 7 or any other federal non- recognition of spouses of the same sex.

(P.L. 2013, ch. 4, § 2; P.L. 2013, ch. 5, § 2.)

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State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-2-7

The forms of certificates, reports, and other returns required by this chapter, or by regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter, shall include as a minimum the items recommended by the federal agency responsible for national vital statistics, subject to approval of and modification by the state director of health. Both parties shall subscribe to the truth of data in the application in the presence of the local registrar or his or her assistant.

(G.L. 1896, ch. 191, § 10; P.L. 1898, ch. 549, § 1; G.L. 1909, ch. 243, § 10; P.L. 1909, ch. 430, § 1; G.L. 1923, ch. 287, § 10; P.L. 1927, ch. 1064, § 1; P.L. 1938, ch. 2580, § 1; G.L. 1938, ch. 415, § 10; G.L. 1956, § 15-2-7; R.P.L. 1957, ch. 65, § 1; P.L. 1967, ch. 192, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 4, § 3; P.L. 2013, ch. 5, § 3.)

Marriage Law Tag(s)

State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-2-9.1

For each license the town or city clerk shall charge and receive an additional fee of ten dollars ($10.00), of which he or she shall retain two dollars ($2.00) and shall transmit eight dollars ($8.00) to the general treasurer for deposit to the credit of the family and children trust fund created by § 42-72-30. Each clerk shall keep an accurate account of all fees charged and received under this section and shall transmit all sums due to the general treasurer at least monthly in the manner and with the forms which the general treasurer shall prescribe.

(P.L. 1983, ch. 220, § 2.)

Marriage Law Tag(s)

State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-3-6.1

(a) Consistent with the guarantees of freedom of religion set forth by both the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 3 of the Rhode Island Constitution, each religious institution has exclusive control over its own religious doctrine, policy, and teachings regarding who may marry within its faith, and on what terms, as long as such policies are consistent with §§ 15-1-2, 15-1-3, 15-1-4, and 15-1-5. No court or other state or local governmental body, entity, agency, or commission shall compel, prevent, or interfere in any way with any religious institution's decisions about marriage eligibility within that particular faith's tradition. (b) Consistent with the guarantees of freedom of religion set forth by both the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 3 of the Rhode Island Constitution, no regularly licensed or ordained clergyperson, minister, elder, priest, imam, rabbi, or similar official of any church or religious denomination as described and authorized in §§ 15-3-5 and 15-3-6 to officiate at a civil marriage, is required to solemnize any marriage. A regularly licensed or ordained clergyperson, minister, elder, priest, imam, rabbi, or similar official of any church or religious denomination shall be immune from any civil claim or cause of action based on a refusal to solemnize any marriage under this chapter. No state agency or local government may base a decision to penalize, withhold benefits from, or refuse to contract with any church or religious denomination on the refusal of a person associated with such church or religious denomination to solemnize a marriage under this chapter. (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a religions organization, association, or society, and any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised, or controlled by a religious organization, association, or society, or a fraternal benefit or service organization that has among its stated purposes the promotion and support or protection of a religious organization, association, or society and that restricts membership to practicing members of that religious organization, association, or society, shall not be required to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges to an individual if the request for such services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges is related to: (1) The solemnization of a marriage or the celebration of a marriage, and such solemnization or celebration is in violation of its religious beliefs and faith; or (2) The promotion of marriage through any social or religious programs or services, that violates the religious doctrine or teachings of religious organization, association, or society. Any refusal by an entity described above or an officer, employee, or member thereof acting in an official capacity on behalf of that entity to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges in accordance with this subsection shall not create any civil claim or cause of action. This subsection shall not be construed to limit a religious organization, association, or society, or a fraternal benefit or service organization as described in this subsection, from selectively providing services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges to some individuals with respect to solemnization or celebration of a marriage but not to others. (d) Nothing in the marriage laws of this state shall be deemed or construed to limit the protections and exemptions provided to religious organizations under §§ 28-5-6(8)(ii) and 34-37-4.2(a). (e) A fraternal benefit or service organization that is operated, supervised, or controlled by a religious organization and a fraternal benefit or service organization that has among its stated purposes the promotion, support, or protection of a religious organization and that restricts its membership to practicing members of that religious organization shall not be required to admit any individual as a member or to provide benefits to any individual. A refusal by a fraternal benefit or service organization by a member, officer, or employee thereof acting in an official capacity on behalf of a society described herein, to admit an individual as a member or to provide benefits related to a marriage that is in violation of the religious doctrine or teachings of the religious organization to which its members are required to adhere, shall not create a civil claim or result in any government action to penalize; withhold benefits from the fraternal benefit or service organization; or discriminate against a society, or a member, officer, or employee described herein.

(P.L. 2013, ch. 4, § 4; P.L. 2013, ch. 5, § 4; P.L. 2014, ch. 528, § 49.)

Marriage Law Tag(s)

State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-3-5

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 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.

(G.L. 1896, ch. 191, § 8; C.P.A. 1905, § 1228; G.L. 1909, ch. 243, § 8; P.L. 1922, ch. 2207, § 1; G.L. 1923, ch. 287, § 8; P.L. 1932, ch. 1896, § 1; P.L. 1933, ch. 2042, § 1; G.L. 1938, ch. 415, § 8; P.L. 1949, ch. 2290, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 15-3-5; P.L. 1974, ch. 290, § 1; P.L. 1978, ch. 326, § 1; P.L. 1979, ch. 327, § 1; P.L. 1980, ch. 382, § 1; P.L. 1981, ch. 363, § 2; P.L. 1987, ch. 489, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 561, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 607, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 139, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 163, § 1; P.L. 1991, ch. 132, § 5; P.L. 1991, ch. 205, § 4; P.L. 1994, ch. 103, § 1; P.L. 1994, ch. 199, § 1; P.L. 1994, ch. 249, § 1; P.L. 1998, ch. 451, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 70, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 123, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 6, § 42; P.L. 2004, ch. 444, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 174, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 259, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 85, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 89, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 321, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 351, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 484, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 512, § 1.)

Marriage Law Tag(s)
solemnization of marriage

State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-3-12

(a) Every minister, elder, justice, warden, or other person who joins any persons in marriage, shall: (b) Endorse the "License and Certificate of Marriage" form, prescribed pursuant to § 15-2-7, presented to him or her by the persons, as provided in § 15-3-7, and certify that the persons have been joined in marriage by him or her in accordance with the laws of the state of Rhode Island; and (c) Complete all the information on the "License and Certificate of Marriage" and file the form within seventy-two (72) hours following the date of the marriage with the clerk in the town or city from which the license was issued.

(G.L. 1896, ch. 191, § 13; P.L. 1898, ch. 549, § 1; G.L. 1909, ch. 243, § 13; G.L. 1923, ch. 287, § 13; P.L. 1927, ch. 1064, § 2; G.L. 1938, ch. 415, § 13; G.L. 1956, § 15-3-12; P.L. 1961, ch. 100, § 2; P.L. 1969, ch. 89, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 200, § 4; P.L. 2004, ch. 258, § 4.)

Marriage Law Tag(s)

State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-3.1-12

(a) On and after the effective date of this section, two (2) persons who are parties to a civil union entered into pursuant to this chapter may apply for and be issued a marriage license and have such marriage solemnized pursuant to chapters 15-1 to 15-3 of the general laws, provided such persons are otherwise eligible to marry under chapter 15-1 as amended herein, and the parties to the marriage will be the same as the parties to the civil union. After the solemnization of such marriage, and upon filing of the license and certificate of marriage with the clerk in the town or city from which the license was issued pursuant to § 15-2-1, of the civil union of such persons shall be merged into the marriage by operation of law as of the date of the recording of the marriage certificate and shall be effective as of the date of the recording of the marriage certificate. (b) Such parties may also apply to the clerk of the town or city in which their civil union is recorded to have their civil union legally designated and recorded as a marriage, without any additional requirements of payment of marriage licensing fees or solemnization contained in chapters 15-1 to 15-3 of the general laws, provided that such parties' civil union was not previously dissolved or annulled. Upon application, the parties shall be issued a marriage certificate and the civil union of such persons shall be merged into the marriage by operation of law as of the date of the recording of the marriage certificate and shall be effective as of the date of the recording of the marriage certificate.

(P.L. 2013, ch. 4, § 5; P.L. 2013, ch. 5, § 5.)

Marriage Law Tag(s)

State of Rhode Island General Laws § 15-3.1-13

For purposes of determining the legal rights and responsibilities involving individuals who previously entered into a civil union in this state, and whose civil union has merged into a marriage under this chapter, the date of the recording of the marriage certificate shall be the operative date by which legal rights and responsibilities are determined.

(P.L. 2013, ch. 4, § 5; P.L. 2013, ch. 5, § 5.)

Marriage Law Tag(s)

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