Rhode Island Outline

Rhode Island Marriage Laws

Congratulations! If you've found yourself at this page it is likely that you are either planning to be married or have been asked to perform a wedding ceremony in Rhode Island. Ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church have successfully performed thousands of legal marriages in Rhode Island. The information provided below will walk you through the steps one must follow to become a minister and perform a valid wedding ceremony in the state of Rhode Island.

Quick Facts
  • ULC Ordination Accepted: Yes
  • Minister Registration Required: No
  • Minister's Residency: Irrelevant
  • Minister's Minimum Age: 18
  •  
  • Marriage License Waiting Period: 0 Days
  • Marriage License Valid For: 90 Days
  • Marriage License Return Within: By Expiration
  • Same-Sex Marriage Recognized: Yes

1 How to Become an Ordained Minister in Rhode Island

If you haven't already, you should get ordained online with the Universal Life Church. Ordination is free and can be completed in just a matter of minutes. Thousands of legally valid marriages are performed by ULC ministers around the world every year. Begin the process by clicking the big blue button below!

2 How to Officiate a Marriage in Rhode Island

Next, you should contact the office of your local marriage authority (typically your county clerk). Let them know that you are a minister of the Universal Life Church in Seattle, and ask what they will require of you to officiate a legal marriage.

Select your county to quickly generate the contact information for your local marriage authority.



Select a county

Rhode Island's Top Wedding Spot

Rhode Island's Top Wedding Spot

Centrally located in the downtown harbor, the Newport Yachting Center

3 License to Marry in Rhode Island

After you've contacted your marriage authority, you should visit our online store to purchase whatever documentation will be required. We typically advise ministers in Rhode Island to get an Ordination Package. Although minister registration is not required in Rhode Island you may be asked to display proof of your ordination to the county clerks before they will accept the marriage as having been legally solemnized. Having this proof of your ordination can also provide a great deal of peace-of-mind to any couple that you intend to marry. Additionally, please attempt to leave at least 3 weeks between the date of the wedding ceremony and your order, to ensure that you receive all of your materials in advance.

Please note that weddings in Rhode Island require the presence of 2 witnesses in addition to the presence of the ordained minister.

4 How to Perform a Wedding in Rhode Island

Now that you've done all of the above, you are ready to perform the wedding! Be sure that the couple has picked up their Rhode Island marriage license from the appropriate office. This license is valid for 90 days, and there is no mandatory waiting period between when the couple receives the marriage license in Rhode Island and when the ceremony may be legally performed Please be aware that the signed license must be returned to the issuing office before its expiry. At the Universal Life Church we receive several calls from wedding officiants in Rhode Island, after they've received their license to marry by getting ordained online, asking for guidance on how to perform a wedding ceremony. Once the legal matters have been taken care of, officiating a wedding (while a sometimes-daunting task) can be a great deal of fun. We would suggest that new Rhode Island wedding ministers concerned about the ceremony peruse one of our helpful wedding guides. The minister training section of our website should offer a helpful refresher for more experienced ministers.


Rhode Island Flag

Rhode Island Marriage Code

Marriage in Rhode Island is governed by Chapter 3 of Title 15 of Rhode Island's Statutes (the RI general laws). Ministers who got ordained online with the Universal Life Church have successfully solemnized thousands of weddings in the state. Below, you will find that we have reproduced a relevant excerpt of this code.
§ 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, or general chief clerk of a 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.

View the Rhode Island Statutes on the official state site
⇓ Show the rest

Barrington Probate Court

283 County Road
Barrington, Rhode Island
02806

Barrington Probate Court website »

Bristol Probate Court

10 Court Street
Bristol, Rhode Island
02809

Phone: (401) 253-7000
Fax: (401) 253-3080
Bristol Probate Court website »

Burrillville Probate Court

105 Harrisville Main St
Harrisville, Rhode Island
02830

Phone: (401) 568-4300
Fax: (401) 568-0490
Burrillville Probate Court website »

Central Falls Probate Court

580 Broad Street
1st Floor
Central Falls, Rhode Island
02863

Phone: (401) 727-7400
Fax: (401) 727-7406
Central Falls Probate Court website »

Charlestown Probate Court

4540 South County Trail
Charlestown , Rhode Island
2813

Phone: (401) 364-1200
Fax: (401) 364-1238
Charlestown Probate Court website »

Coventry Probate Court

1670 Flat River Road
Coventry , Rhode Island
02816

Coventry Probate Court website »

Cranston Probate Court

869 Park Avenue
Cranston , Rhode Island
02910

Phone: (401) 461-1000 Ext 3197
Fax: (401) 780-3165
Cranston Probate Court website »

Cumberland Probate Court

45 Broad Street
Cumberland, Rhode Island
02864

Cumberland Probate Court website »

East Greenwich Probate Court

125 Main Street
East Greenwich, Rhode Island
02818

East Greenwich Probate Court website »

East Providence Probate Court

145 Taunton Avenue
East Providence, Rhode Island
02914

East Providence Probate Court website »

Exeter Probate Court

675 Ten Rod Road
Exeter , Rhode Island
2822

Phone: (401) 294-3891
Fax: (401) 295-1248
Exeter Probate Court website »

Foster Probate Court

181 Howard Hill Road
Foster , Rhode Island
02825

Phone: (401) 392-9200
Fax: (401) 702-5010
Foster Probate Court website »

Glocester Probate Court

1145 Putnam Pike
PO Box B
Chepachet , Rhode Island
02814

Glocester Probate Court website »

Hopkinton Probate Court

1 Town House Road
Hopkinton , Rhode Island
02883

Phone: (401) 377-7777
Fax: (401) 377-7788
Hopkinton Probate Court website »

Jamestown Probate Court

93 Narragansett Avenue
Jamestown, Rhode Island
02835

Jamestown Probate Court website »

Johnston Probate Court

1395 Atwood Ave
Johnston, Rhode Island
02919

Phone: (401) 553-8830
Fax: (401) 553-8835
Johnston Probate Court website »

Lincoln Probate Court

100 Old River Road
PO Box 100
Lincoln , Rhode Island
02865

Lincoln Probate Court website »

Little Compton Probate Court

40 Commons
PO Box 226
Little Compton, Rhode Island
02837

Little Compton Probate Court website »

Middletown Probate Court

350 East Main Road
Middletown , Rhode Island
02842

Middletown Probate Court website »

Narragansett Probate Court

25 Fifth Avenue
Narragansett , Rhode Island
02882

Narragansett Probate Court website »

New Shoreham Probate Court

PO Box 220
Block Island, Rhode Island
02807

Phone: (401) 466-3200
Fax: (401) 466-3219
New Shoreham Probate Court website »

Newport Probate Court

43 Broadway
Newport , Rhode Island
02840

Newport Probate Court website »

North Kingstown Probate Court

80 Boston Neck Road
North Kingstown, Rhode Island
2852

Phone: (401) 268-1552
Fax: (401) 294-2437
North Kingstown Probate Court website »

North Providence Probate Court

2000 Smith St
North Providence, Rhode Island
02911

North Providence Probate Court website »

North Smithfield Probate Court

1 Main Street
Slatersville , Rhode Island
02876

North Smithfield Probate Court website »

Pawtucket Probate Court

137 Roosevelt Avenue
Pawtucket , Rhode Island
02860

Phone: (401) 728-0500 Ext 259
Fax: (401) 728-8932
Pawtucket Probate Court website »

Portsmouth Probate Court

2200 East Main Road
Portsmouth , Rhode Island
02871

Portsmouth Probate Court website »

Providence Probate Court

25 Dorrance Street
Providence , Rhode Island
02903

Phone: (401) 421-7740 Ext 307
Fax: (401) 861-6208
Providence Probate Court website »

Richmond Probate Court

5 Richmond Townhouse Road
Wyoming, Rhode Island
02898

Phone: (401) 539-9000 Ext 9
Fax: (401) 539-1089
Richmond Probate Court website »

Scituate Probate Court

195 Danielson Pike
PO Box 328
North Scituate, Rhode Island
02857

Phone: (401) 647-2822
Fax: (401) 647-7220
Scituate Probate Court website »

Smithfield Probate Court

64 Farnum Pike
Smithfield , Rhode Island
02917

Phone: (401) 233-1000
Fax: (401) 233-7244
Smithfield Probate Court website »

South Kingstown Probate Court

180 High Street
Wakefield, Rhode Island
02879

Phone: (401) 789-9331 Ext 1236
Fax: (401) 789-5280
South Kingstown Probate Court website »

Tiverton Probate Court

343 Highland Road
Tiverton, Rhode Island
02878

Phone: (401) 625-6703
Fax: (401) 625-6705
Tiverton Probate Court website »

Warren Probate Court

514 Main Street
Warren, Rhode Island
02885

Warren Probate Court website »

Warwick Probate Court

3275 Post Road
Warwick , Rhode Island
02886

Warwick Probate Court website »

West Greenwich Probate Court

280 Victory Highway
West Greenwich, Rhode Island
02817

West Greenwich Probate Court website »

West Warwick Probate Court

1170 Main Street
West Warwick, Rhode Island
02893

Phone: (401) 822-9201
Fax: (401) 822-9266
West Warwick Probate Court website »

Westerly Probate Court

45 Broad Street
Westerly , Rhode Island
02891

Westerly Probate Court website »

Woonsocket Probate Court

169 Main Street
Woonsocket , Rhode Island
02895

Woonsocket Probate Court website »