FAQs 1 (mobile)

Ernest Adams, Your CT JP
(860) 543-2334

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Your wedding will be unique, just as you are unique, both as individuals and as a couple. These Pages will help you with what you should know before applying for your marriage license, how to go about getting your marriage license, and other details. You are always welcome to call me with questions at (860) 543-2334!

Because I am a Connecticut Justice of the Peace, I stay current with the changes that impact the process of getting married in Connecticut. All of the information presented here is accurate as of January, 2011, to the best of my knowledge and belief. Please see the Disclaimer at the bottom of this Page.

How can we get married in Connecticut?
What is the application process for our license?
Where can we get married in Connecticut?
Where do we apply for our marriage license?
When we get our marriage license are we married?
When are we legally married in Connecticut?
Who can perform marriages in Connecticut?
Do we have to have a county Justice of the Peace?
Can a Connecticut JP marry people from another state?
What are the age requirements in Connecticut?
Do we need blood tests?
How much does a marriage license cost?
Is there a waiting period to elope?
Does our marriage license expire?
Can we get married after our license expires?
Are witnesses required in Connecticut?
Do we need wedding rings?
Do we need to know our wedding officiant's name?
Who cannot get married in Connecticut?
Does Connecticut allow proxy marriage?
Can the JP not file the marriage license?

How can we get married in Connecticut?

In Connecticut either an opposite-sex or a same-sex couple can be joined in marriage. First, you must meet the age requirements (basically, you must both be 18, but there are exceptions). Second, you should select a location for the ceremony. Third, you must apply for a marriage license. Fourth, select a wedding officiant. There is a Suggested Criteria Page for selecting an officiant. (I'm hoping that you will choose me as yours!) Fifth, rest and relax before the big day! Sixth, have the ceremony. You must give the original license to your officiant. It is the officiant's responsibility to sign the license and get it to the proper Town Clerk to be recorded. Seventh, live happily ever after.

What is the application process for our marriage license?

After you have selected your ceremony location, apply for a marriage license in that town. Both of you must sign the application in person. In Connecticut it is not possible to obtain a license through the use of a Power of Attorney. You do not both have to sign the application at the same time. The license expiration limit starts when the first person signs. You will need to supply the following data about the ceremony

Each of you will need to furnish the following information

Each of you will take an oath that the information that you have provided is true. You will pay the fee required. In a very few minutes you will be able to walk out with your license!

As silly as it sounds, be careful with your license! You must give the original document to your wedding officiant in order to be legally joined. No legally-authorized officiant will marry you without having your license before the ceremony is performed.

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What are the age requirements for marriage in Connecticut?

The legal age for marriage in Connecticut is 18. If you are under 18, parental consent is required. A person under the age of 16 may not marry unless the Judge of Probate for the district in which the minor resides gives written consent on the marriage license.

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Do we have to have a Justice of the Peace from the same county?
Do we need a JP from the same town where we're getting married?

No. Any Connecticut Justice of the Peace can marry anyone in any Connecticut county or town.

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How much does a marriage license cost?

The fee for a marriage license in Connecticut is $30.00.

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Does our marriage license expire?

Yes! Your ceremony must be held within 65 calendar days after the date of your application. If you sign the application on different days, your license expires 65 calendar days after the first person signs.

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If we get married after our license expires, are we legally married?

No officially-authorized officiant will marry you without a valid marriage license. The person who violated the law would be fined and you two would not be legally married. In addition, all three of you would be guilty of fraud. Your only option is to get a new marriage license.

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Are witnesses to the marriage ceremony required in Connecticut?

No. Most people want to share their special day with people close to them, but no witnesses are required. You may have as many witnesses as your location will safely hold, or none at all.

I am ethically bound to protect your privacy; please see my Privacy Policy Page. Unless I have your permission, I will not divulge any information not required by law.

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Are there people who cannot be legally married in Connecticut?

According to Connecticut Statute: "No man may marry his mother, grandmother, daughter, granddaughter, sister, aunt, niece, stepmother or stepdaughter, and no woman may marry her father, grandfather, son, grandson, brother, uncle, nephew, stepfather or stepson". For same-sex couples, the same laws that applied to civil unions apply to marriages: "[No woman may marry her] mother, grandmother, daughter, granddaughter, sister, brother's daughter, sister's daughter, father's sister or mother's sister. [No man may marry his] father, grandfather, son, grandson, brother, brother's son, sister's son, father's brother or mother's brother."

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Does Connecticut allow proxy marriage?

No. Some states allow people to get married by proxy. Connecticut does not allow proxy marriage. Proxy marriages are ceremonies where either one or both halves of the couple are not physically present during the ceremony. A proxy wedding is possible in only a few states, usually only in the case of members of the armed forced currently deployed. Some states permit an attorney to apply for the marriage license on the couple's behalf. Connecticut does not. In Connecticut, both people who want to get married must go to the Town Hall in the town where they will have their ceremony. Because Connecticut does not permit proxy marriages, I will not participate in a proxy wedding.

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I've made a big mistake. I found out something about the person I married. Can you (my officiant) just not file the marriage license?

No. Contact an attorney immediately. Once your officiant has pronounced you married, you are legally married. By Connecticut law, your officiant must sign and return your license to the proper Town Clerk. Whether you should seek an annulment or a divorce is a question I cannot legally answer. I wish you the best outcome, and legally I cannot do more than that.

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Where can we get married in Connecticut?

You can have your ceremony anywhere in Connecticut as long as you apply for your marriage license in that Connecticut town. You are encouraged to choose your own location, as long as you can arrange for me to have access during the ceremony.

Would you like to be married on a beach? There's a Beach Weddings Page. In a rose garden? Please see my Rose Garden Weddings Page. On a boat? On top of a hill? In a meadow? Connecticut has limitless possibilities! Some places on the suggested locations Page are very popular. I will be happy to assist you in finding a suitable location! You can reach me at (860) 543-2334 at your convenience.

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Where do we apply for our marriage license?

You apply for your license at the office of the Town Clerk in the town where you will be married. Once your ceremony town is on your license you cannot change to another town unless you apply for another license!

Connecticut has 169 cities and towns, divided into 8 counties. Some villages, such as Mystic, are in two towns. Call me at (860) 543-2334 if you need help!

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Are we legally married when we get the marriage license in Connecticut?

No! You must have a wedding ceremony, no matter how brief, in order to be married in Connecticut. Your Justice of the Peace must fill out parts of your license, sign it, and return it to Town Hall. After your marriage ceremony you are legally married.

The person at the Town Clerk's Office who issues your license is by law not permitted to marry you. If you would like a simple wedding ceremony at Town Hall, please call me.

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When are we legally married in Connecticut?

Just as soon as I finish the sentence "I now pronounce you ....", you are legally married.

As soon as I file your marriage license at Town Hall and the Clerk (or Assistant Clerk) signs it, there is a legal record that you are married. If you need proof before then (to go on a cruise as a married couple, for example), I will swear an affidavit.

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Can we apply for a marriage license in two towns for the same date?

Yes! In some cases, it is a wise idea. A couple was to have a Saturday wedding by a pond and got their license in that town. Later, the forecast predicted heavy rain and wind; an outdoor wedding would be impossible. The couple got a new marriage license in the town for their reception, and I married them at their reception location.

You will have to pay two marriage license fees, and you will not get a refund for the unused marriage license. You might consider the extra $30 to be weather insurance.

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Do we need blood tests?

No. The Connecticut premarital blood test requirement was repealed in 2003.

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Do we need wedding rings?

No. Wedding rings are not a requirement for marriage in Connecticut. Some couples prefer to use one ring, others prefer two rings, but no rings are needed for a Justice of the Peace wedding.

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We want to elope. Is there a waiting period after we get our license?

No. People who want to elope can get married on the same day they get their license. It is easy to elope to Connecticut! There is no waiting period after you get our license. From the start of the license application until you present it to a wedding officiant may be as little as twenty minutes. How long it takes to get your marriage license after you have filled out the marriage license application depends on how busy the office is. Some towns may ask you to return the following day; please call the specific Town Clerk's Office to be sure!

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Can a Connecticut Justice of the Peace marry people from another state or another country?

Yes! It would be a pleasure to marry you, no matter where you are from. Just follow the steps at "How can we get married in Connecticut?"

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Who can perform marriages in Connecticut?

This is an extremely important topic. Please confirm with your wedding officiant that they are legally authorized to join people in marriage in Connecticut. Authorized officiants include

If there is any doubt about your officiant being properly authorized, please consult the Town Clerk where the officiant resides. There is a Suggested Criteria Page for helping you choose an officiant. Alternative wedding celebrants, such as Justices of the Peace, usually offer you the most options of all wedding officiants.

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Do have to know who our wedding officiant will be before we get our marriage license?

No. The Town Clerk's Office may ask you if you have chosen the person who will be marrying you, but you do not have to supply an officiant's name in order to get your marriage license.

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A Brief Word about Terms

In these Pages, "town" is used to refer to one of Connecticut's 169 municipalities, whether it is officially a city or officially a town.

In order to avoid long phrases, the words "Town Clerk" as used here refers to the Registrar of Vital Statistics. In most Connecticut towns the term "Town Clerk" and "Registrar of Vital Statistics" are identical.

"Wedding Officiant"?   "Wedding Officiate"?   "Wedding Officiator"?   "Wedding Celebrant"?

You may see the term "Wedding officiate" on the Web. "Officiate" is a verb; "officiant" is a noun. A wedding officiant will officiate at a wedding ceremony.

Yes, there are some places that call a legally-authorized wedding officiant a "Wedding Officiator". Officiant is very much the preferred term.

Because it is an honor to be asked to officiate at the formal, legal celebration of your love, and it is a joy to unite you, I consider myself a wedding celebrant, not just a wedding officiant.

No matter what you call me, please call me at (860) 543-2334!

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Disclaimer

Please note that I am a Connecticut Justice of the Peace. Please see the Page listing the duties of a Connecticut Justice of the Peace. I am not an attorney. I cannot give legal advice. The answers given here were derived from information publicly available, including data provided by the Vital Statistics division of the Connecticut Department of Public Health. You are encouraged to do your own research, both online and in your public library. Please check with the Town Clerk where you reside or plan to have your wedding ceremony. The people in the Town Clerk's Office want your celebration to be a success; they will help you however they can. For complex questions, or if you have any doubts about the laws, you should consult an attorney authorized to practice law in Connecticut (or your home state).

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Version 4.5 m   23 February 2011