Rhode Island Marriage License and Blood Test Requirements

In Rhode Island, marriage is the legally recognized union of two people. However, any couple who wishes to get marries in Rhode Island must first obtain a marriage license. A marriage license can be obtained from the town clerk in either the town where one of the parties resides, or in the town where the marriage will be performed if neither party is a resident of Rhode Island.

If either party has been previously married (or a part of another relationship that provided substantially the same rights, benefits, and responsibilities as a marriage), that party must provide the town clerk with an authenticated copy of the divorce decree or an authenticated copy of the final dissolution of the prior relationship.

Who Is Permitted to Get Married in Rhode Island?

The table below outlines some important information about who is legally permitted to get married in Rhode Island.

Code Section

Rhode Island Code chapter 15-1: Persons Eligible to Marry

Mental Competency

Both parties must be mentally competent at the time of the marriage.

Bigamous Marriages

A person isn't permitted to get married in Rhode Island if they are already married to someone else, or if they are already in a relationship that provides substantially the same rights, benefits, and responsibilities as a marriage with someone who isn't the party that they intend to marry.

Incestuous Marriages

No person shall marry his or her sibling, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, stepparent, grandparents' spouse, spouse's child, spouse's grandchild, sibling's child, or parent's sibling.

If any of these relations marry, the relationship is considered to be incestuous and is void. However, this law doesn't apply to marriages which are solemnized among the Jewish people, within the degrees of affinity or consanguinity allowed by their religion.

Same-Sex Marriages

Same-sex marriage is legal in Rhode Island. Any person who meets the requirements listed above may marry any other eligible person regardless of gender.

Can Minors Get Married in Rhode Island?

Generally, marriage licenses in Rhode Island will only be issued to parties who are 18 years old or older. However, minors who are at least 16 years old may be able to receive special permission to marry in Rhode Island. The minor must first obtain written consent from his or her parent or legal guardian. This written consent, along with proof that the minor is at least 16 years old, must be submitted to the town clerk. After signing the marriage license application, the following process will take place:

  • The town clerk transmits a certified copy of the information to the family court
  • The family court then transmits a copy of the information, together with a request for a complete investigation and a report on the advisability of issuing a marriage license, to the department of human services
  • The department of human services has 15 days to file the requested report with the family court
  • The family court will then conduct a hearing to determine the advisability of issuing the marriage license and will notify the town clerk of its decision

How Long Until Your Marriage License Expires?

In Rhode Island, a marriage license is valid for three months after the date that it is issued. If the couple doesn't get married before the license expires, the marriage license must be returned to the town clerk who issued it.

Is there a Blood Test Requirement in Rhode Island?

Couples are not required to take a blood test before obtaining a marriage license in Rhode Island.

Additional Resources

State laws change frequently. For case specific information regarding Rhode Island's marriage license and blood test requirements contact a local family law attorney.

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