Vermont State Marriage Law & Information
Vermont Marriage Law
Persons authorized to solemnize marriage
Marriages may be solemnized by a supreme court justice, a superior court judge, a district judge, a judge of probate, an assistant judge, a justice of the peace, an individual who has registered as an officiant with the Vermont secretary of state pursuant to section 5144a of this title, a member of the clergy residing in this state and ordained or licensed, or otherwise regularly authorized thereunto by the published laws or discipline of the general conference, convention, or other authority of his or her faith or denomination, or by such a clergy person residing in an adjoining state or country, whose parish, church, temple, mosque, or other religious organization lies wholly or in part in this state, or by a member of the clergy residing in some other state of the United States or in the Dominion of Canada, provided he or she has first secured from the probate court of the district within which the marriage is to be solemnized a special authorization, authorizing him or her to certify the marriage if such probate judge determines that the circumstances make the special authorization desirable. Marriage among the Friends or Quakers, the Christadelphian Ecclesia, and the Baha'i Faith may be solemnized in the manner heretofore used in such societies. (Amended 1965, No. 194, § 10, eff. Feb. 1, 1967; 1971, No. 22, eff. March 23, 1971; 1975, No. 1; 1979, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 26; 1981, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.); 1999, No. 91 (Adj. Sess.), § 28; 2007, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)
Who may certify a Vermont civil union?
Civil unions may be certified by any of the following:
- Vermont Judges: Supreme Court justices, a superior court judge, a district judge, a judge of probate, an assistant judge.
- Vermont Justices of the Peace: Vermont justices of the peace may solemnize civil unions. Performing ceremonies (marriage and civil union) are discretionary functions of this office. A justice may decide whether to perform a particular ceremony on a case by case basis, or may decline to perform all ceremonies or may decide only to perform ceremonies for family and friends. A justice may not discriminate on any basis prohibited by law (age, race, sex, national origin, religion, sexual orientation,) and must apply his or her policy to both marriages and civil unions.
- Temporary Officiant for a Civil Union: Effective July 1, 2008, by registering with the Vermont Secretary of State's Office, an individual who is over the age of 18 may be temporarily authorized to solemnize a specific civil union in Vermont. For information on how to register to officiate a civil union, go to www.sec.state.vt.us/municipal/officiant.htm or call 802-828-2148.
- Vermont clergy: Members of the clergy residing in Vermont who are ordained, licensed, or authorized by his or her denomination may solemnize Vermont civil unions. In addition, a clergy person from an adjoining state or country, whose parish, church, temple, mosque or other religious organization lies wholly or in part in Vermont may solemnize Vermont civil unions.
- Out of state clergy members (aside from those in adjoining jurisdictions whose parish, church, temple, mosque or religious organization serves Vermont) must obtain permission to perform civil unions in Vermont from the probate court of the district within which the civil union is to be certified.
- Special rules that apply to certain religious societies and faiths without clergy. Civil unions among the Friends or Quakers, the Christadelphian Ecclesia and the Baha'i Faith may be certified in the manner used in such societies. 18 V.S.A. § 5164.
Marriage License Agency: County Clerk
Common Law: No
Civil Union: Yes
Duration of Marriage Licence: No Expiration
- Vermont State Legistature
- Vermont State Attorney General
- Vermont State Governor's Office
- Vermont State Supreme Court
- Vermont State Department of Health