Marriage Licenses

Marriage licenses are issued by the Portsmouth Town Clerk's office to couples in the following situations:
  • When both parties are from out of state and the marriage is to take place in the Town of Portsmouth
  • When it is 90 days or less before the marriage ceremony is to take place
  • When Portsmouth is the official residence of either party and the wedding is to take place in Rhode Island

Policies & Marriage Equality Law


The State of Rhode Island does not require a waiting period or blood tests. RI Department of Health's website has been updated to include "What You Should Know" information regarding Rhode Island's new Marriage Equality Law. Access the Marriage Equality Law resource for more information.

Licensing Process


On average, the licensing process takes approximately 30 minutes. The couple must arrive together at the Town Clerk's Office by 3:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 5:30 p.m. on Thursday and 1:30 p.m. on Friday to fill out an official license application.

Each is to present a certified copy of the birth record from the town, county or state of birth with the raised seal of that government agency as well as an official picture ID (such as a valid driver's license with the current home address or valid military ID). Persons born out of the country who do not have birth certificates may present valid passports. If the birth certificate is in a foreign language, a certified translation may be required. If either party has been married before, a certified copy of the death certificate or final decree or final judgment of divorce, with the raised seal of the government agency, must be presented. The document must have a court entry date of the final / absolute decree of the divorce.

Fees


The fee for a marriage license is $24 cash (no checks) and the license is valid for 90 days.

Who Can Perform Marriages


Please note that Town Clerks in Rhode Island cannot perform marriages. Couples must make arrangements with a person in Rhode Island who, by Rhode Island State Law, qualifies to join couples in marriage in a religious or civil ceremony. (Ordained clergy and elders in good standing need not be Rhode Island residents, nor are they required to register in order to unite couples in marriage.) Judges of any Rhode Island court may perform civil ceremonies.

In addition to the officiant, two witnesses who have reached the legal age of 18 years must be present at the marriage.