Marriage licenses are issued by the Portsmouth Town Clerk's office to couples in the following situations:
- When both parties are from out of state and the marriage is to take place in the Town of Portsmouth
- When it is 3 months or less before the marriage ceremony is to take place
- When Portsmouth is the official residence of either party and the wedding is to take place in Rhode Island
The State of Rhode Island does not require a waiting period or blood tests.
On average, the licensing process takes approximately 30 minutes. The couple must arrive together at the Town Clerk's Office by 3:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 5:30 p.m. on Thursday and 1:30 p.m. on Friday to fill out an official license application.
Each is to present a certified copy of the birth record (long form) from the town, county or state of birth with the raised seal of that government agency as well as a government issued photo ID (such as a valid driver's license with the current home address or valid military ID). Persons born out of the country who do not have birth certificates may present valid passports. If the birth certificate is in a foreign language, a certified translation will be required, which can be done through Pinpoint Translation Services (401)784-8633. If either party has been married before, a certified copy of the death certificate or a certified final decree or a certified final judgment of divorce, with the raised seal of the government agency, must be presented. The document must have a court entry date of the final / absolute decree of the divorce.
The fee for a marriage license is $24 cash (no checks) and the license is valid for 3 months.
Who Can Perform Marriages
Please note that Town Clerks in Rhode Island cannot perform marriages. Couples must make arrangements with a person in Rhode Island who, by Rhode Island State Law, qualifies to join couples in marriage in a religious or civil ceremony. (Ordained clergy and elders in good standing need not be Rhode Island residents, nor are they required to register in order to unite couples in marriage.) Judges of any Rhode Island court may perform civil ceremonies.
In addition to the officiant, two witnesses who have reached the legal age of 18 years must be present at the marriage.