How to Get Legally Married in Rhode Island

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Patrick and Ganesh first met during college in Rhode Island. Photo by photo philosophies.

 
When does gay marriage go into effect in Rhode Island?

Same-sex couples are currently able to have legally recognized marriage ceremonies.

Do I have to live in Rhode Island to get married there?
No. Any couple can get married as long as other qualifications are met.

Where can I apply for a marriage license?
A Rhode Island County Clerk’s Office.

Is a blood test required?
No.

Is there a waiting period to get the marriage license?
No.

How soon after applying for a license can I get legally married?
Immediately.

Are there witnesses required in order to get legally married?
Yes. Two witnesses are required.

How much is the marriage license application fee?
$24.

How long is the marriage license valid for?
3 months.

Can I apply online for a marriage license?
No. You must apply in person.

Do we both have to be there to apply for our marriage license?
Yes.

What paperwork is required when I apply for my marriage license?
Proof of identification (driver’s license, passport, or state/federal I.D.), proof of residency and social security card.

Who can officiate the marriage ceremony?
Ordained clergy and elders or similar officials of any religious organizations who are in good standing may officiate. Judges, clerks, administrators and magistrates of the supreme court, superior court, family court, district court or traffic tribunal may officiate. Former judges and administrators of these courts, judges and former judges of municipal or probate courts, federal judges, and Wardens of the town of New Shoreham all may officiate weddings. Justices of the Peace in Rhode Island are NOT allowed to officiate at weddings.

If I don’t live in Rhode Island, will my marriage be recognized by my home state?
The marriage will be respected in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Hawaii, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington State and Washington, D.C. In Nevada, the marriage will be seen as a domestic partnership.

Is my Rhode Island gay marriage recognized by the U.S. federal government?
Yes, it is!

If I get legally married in Rhode Island, will I still need special legal paperwork to protect my family?
Yes, if you plan to travel with your partner beyond Rhode Island., it will be necessary for you to hire an attorney to draw up paperwork to protect your family in case something happens in a state where your marriage is not recognized.

Is a divorce decree required?
Yes. You’ll need to provide the city, state, country of each previous marriage and the ending status, such as, by divorce or death. Home and work telephone numbers for both you and your ex(s) are also requested.

How do I change my name?
You’ll need to use an online name change form if you’d like to change your last name. This can be found here.

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