Rhode Island Marriage Laws

Created and reviewed for accuracy by researchers at the Universal Life Church Ministries

Rhode Island Outline

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

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 City or Town Clerk to quickly generate the contact information for your local marriage authority.



Select a county contact

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
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Barrington

283 County Road
Barrington, Rhode Island
02806

Phone: (401) 247-1900 ext 305
Fax: (401) 247-3765
Barrington website »

Bristol

10 Court Street
Bristol, Rhode Island
02809

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

Burrillville

105 Harrisville Main Street
Burrillville, Rhode Island
02830

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

Central falls

580 Broad Street
Central falls, Rhode Island
02863

Phone: (401) 727-7400
Fax: (401) 727-7406
Central falls website »

Charlestown

4540 South County Trail
Charlestown, Rhode Island
02813

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

Coventry

1670 Flat River Road
Coventry, Rhode Island
02816

Phone: (401) 821-6400
Fax: (401) 822-9132
Coventry website »

Cranston

869 Park Avenue
Cranston, Rhode Island
02910

Phone: (401) 461-1000
Fax: (401) 780-3165
Cranston website »

Cumberland

45 Broad Street
Cumberland, Rhode Island
02864

Phone: (401) 728-2400
Fax: (401) 724-1103
Cumberland website »

East Greenwich

125 Main Street
East Greenwich, Rhode Island
02818

Phone: (401) 886-8665
Fax: (401) 886-8625
East Greenwich website »

East Providence

145 Taunton Avenue
East Providence, Rhode Island
02914

Phone: (401) 435-7500
Fax: (401) 438-1719
East Providence website »

Exeter

675 Ten Rod Road
Exeter, Rhode Island
02822

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

Foster

181 Howard Hill
Foster, Rhode Island
02825

Phone: (401) 392-9200
Fax: (401) 392-9201
Foster website »

Glocester

1145 Putnam Pike
Glocester, Rhode Island
02814

Phone: (401) 568-6206
Fax: (401) 568-5850
Glocester website »

Hopkinton

1 Town House Road
Hopkinton, Rhode Island
02833

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

Jamestown

93 Narragansett Avenue
Jamestown, Rhode Island
02835

Phone: (401) 423-9801
Fax: (401) 423-7230
Jamestown website »

Johnston

1385 Hartford Avenue
Johnston, Rhode Island
02919

Phone: (401) 351-6618
Fax: (401) 331-4271
Johnston website »

Lincoln

100 Old River Road
Lincoln, Rhode Island
02865

Phone: (401) 333-1100
Fax: (401) 333-3648
Lincoln website »

Little Compton

Town Hall<br>The Commons
Little Compton, Rhode Island
02837

Phone: (401) 635-4400
Fax: (401) 635-2470
Little Compton website »

Middletown

350 Main Road
Middletown, Rhode Island
02842

Phone: (401) 849-5540
Fax: (401) 845-0400
Middletown website »

Narragansett

25 Fifth Avenue
Narragansett, Rhode Island
02885

Phone: (401) 789-1044
Fax: (401) 783-9637
Narragansett website »

New Shoreham

16 Old Town Rd
New Shoreham, Rhode Island
02807

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

Newport

43 Broadway
Newport, Rhode Island
02840

Phone: (401) 845-5340
Newport website »

North Kingstown

100 Fairway Drive
North Kingstown, Rhode Island
02852

Phone: (401) 268-1556
Fax: (401) 885-7373
North Kingstown website »

North Providence

2000 Smith Street
North Providence, Rhode Island
02911

Phone: (401) 232-0900
Fax: (401) 231-9855
North Providence website »

North Smithfield

575 Smithfield Road
North Smithfield, Rhode Island
02876

Phone: (401) 767-2200
Fax: (401) 766-0016
North Smithfield website »

Pawtucket

137 Roosevelt Avenue
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
02860

Phone: (401) 728-0500
Fax: (401) 728-8932
Pawtucket website »

Portsmouth

2200 East Main Road
Portsmouth, Rhode Island
02871

Phone: (401) 683-3255
Fax: (401) 683-6804
Portsmouth website »

Providence

25 Dorrance Street
Providence, Rhode Island
02903

Phone: (401) 421-7740
Fax: (401) 274-8240
Providence website »

Richmond

5 Richmond Townhouse
Richmond, Rhode Island
02898

Phone: (401) 539-9000
Fax: (401) 539-1089
Richmond website »

Scituate

195 Danielson Pike
Scituate, Rhode Island
02857

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

Smithfield

64 Farnum Pike
Smithfield, Rhode Island
02917

Phone: (401) 233-1000
Fax: (401) 232-7244
Smithfield website »

South Kingstown

180 High Street
South Kingstown, Rhode Island
02879

Phone: (401) 789-9331
Fax: (401) 789-5280
South Kingstown website »

Tiverton

343 Highland Road
Tiverton, Rhode Island
02878

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

Warren

514 Main Street, 1st Floor
Warren, Rhode Island
02885

Phone: (401) 245-7340
Fax: (401) 245-7421
Warren website »

Warwick

3275 Post Road
Warwick, Rhode Island
02886

Phone: (401) 738-2000
Fax: (401) 738-6639
Warwick website »

West Greenwich

280 Victory Highway
West Greenwich, Rhode Island
02817

Phone: (401) 392-3800
Fax: (401) 392-3805
West Greenwich website »

West Warwick

1170 Main Street
West Warwick, Rhode Island
02893

Phone: (401) 822-9200
Fax: (401) 822-9266
West Warwick website »

Westerly

45 Broad St
Westerly, Rhode Island
02891

Phone: (401) 348-2500
Fax: (401) 348-2571
Westerly website »

Woonsocket

169 Main Street
Woonsocket, Rhode Island
02895

Phone: (401) 762-6400
Fax: (401) 765-0022
Woonsocket website »