Rhode Island’s Marriage Equality Law
As of August 1, 2013, same-sex marriage is legal in Rhode Island. Also, as of August 1, 2013, Rhode Island will no longer allow couples to enter into a civil union. Any person who otherwise meets the marriage eligibility requirements of R.I.G.L. Chapters 15-1 and 15-2 may marry any other marriage-eligible person. Full marriage eligibility requirements may be found in R.I.G.L. Chapters 15-1 and 15-2, as amended by Public Law (PL) 2013-005
Parties must appear together in person and may apply for marriages in the Newport City Clerk’s Office between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The license is valid for 3 months.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
- If both persons live in Rhode Island, you may apply for a marriage license at the city or town hall where either party has legal residency;
- If only one person lives in Rhode Island, you must apply for a marriage license from the city or town hall where the Rhode Island resident lives;
- If neither person lives in Rhode Island, you must apply for a marriage license from the city or town hall of the city or town in which the marriage ceremony will be performed. Applicants for a marriage license must know the city or town in which the marriage will be solemnized.
PRESENT THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION:
- All applicants must provide CERTIFIED COPIES OF BIRTH CERTIFICATES which includes parents information from the City, Town State office or Foreign Country where the birth occurred when applying for a marriage license. Photo copies and hospital records of birth are NOT accepted;
- Valid Government issued picture id;
- If either person is a minor, additional requirements may apply. Contact the City Clerk's office for more information about these additional requirements.
IF EITHER PARTY HAS BEEN IN A MARRIAGE OR OTHER LEGAL RELATIONSHIP THE FOLLOWING APPLIES:
- Any person who, having been previously married or been a party to another relationship that provides substantially the same rights, benefits and responsibilities as a marriage, must prove that the marriage or relationship has ended to the City Clerk's Office before a license to marry is issued;
- The City Clerk must be presented with a CERTIFIED COPY (a copy that includes a raised state seal or similar mark) of the decree granting the divorce or an authenticated copy of the final dissolution of the previous relationship;
- If the other party to that relationship is deceased, a certified copy of the death certificate must be presented;
- If your question has not been answered here or if further clarification is needed, contact the City Clerk's Office at 845-5340, 845-5341 or 845-5342.