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Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 18: Health

Chapter 105: CIVIL MARRIAGE RECORDS AND LICENSES

  • § 5131. Issuance of civil marriage license; solemnization; return of civil marriage certificate; registration

    (a)(1) Upon receipt of a completed application in a form prescribed by the State Registrar, which shall require both parties to sign the application certifying to the accuracy of the facts contained therein, a town clerk shall issue to a person a civil marriage license in the form prescribed by the State Registrar only if at least one party has signed the license in the presence of the clerk and shall enter thereon the names of the parties to the proposed marriage and fill out the form as far as practicable. The town clerk shall retain in the clerk's office a copy of the license until the marriage certificate is returned by the solemnizer.

    (2) The application forms shall allow each party to a marriage to be designated "bride," "groom," or "spouse," as he or she chooses.

    This worksheet may be destroyed after the marriage is registered.

    (3) The license shall be issued by:

    (A) the clerk of the incorporated town, city, or village where either party resides;

    (B) the clerk of the county where an unorganized town or gore is situated, if both parties reside in an unorganized town or gore in that county, or if one party so resides and the other party resides in an unorganized town or gore in another county or outside the State; or

    (C) by any town clerk in the State if neither party is a resident of the State.

    (4)(A) Parties to a civil union certified in Vermont may elect to dissolve their civil union upon marrying one another but are not required to do so to form a civil marriage. The State Registrar shall clearly indicate this option on the civil marriage application form required by subdivision (2) of this subsection. If a couple elects this option, each party to the intended marriage shall sign a statement on the confidential portion of the civil marriage license and certificate form stating that he or she freely and voluntarily agrees to dissolve the civil union between the parties.

    (B) Dissolution pursuant to this subdivision shall become effective upon solemnization of the marriage between the parties, and the parties shall not be required to file a petition for an uncontested dissolution with the Family Division of the Superior Court pursuant to 15 V.S.A. § 1206(d). A dissolution granted pursuant to this subdivision shall be exempt from fees provided in 32 V.S.A. § 1431(b)(2).

    (b) A civil marriage license so issued shall be signed by both parties to the marriage and delivered by one of the parties to the proposed marriage, within 60 days from the date of issue, to a person authorized to solemnize marriages by section 5144 of this title. If the proposed marriage is not solemnized within 60 days from the date of issue, such license shall become void. After the person has solemnized the marriage, he or she shall fill out that part of the form on the license provided for his or her use, sign it, and certify to the occurrence and date of the marriage. Thereafter the document shall be known as a civil marriage certificate.

    (c) Such certificate shall be returned within ten days to the office of the town clerk from which the license issued by the person solemnizing such marriage. The town clerk shall retain and file the original according to sections 5007 and 5008 of this title. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 1969, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1979, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 14; 1985, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1999, No. 91 (Adj. Sess.), § 26; 2009, No. 3, § 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2009; 2011, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2017, No. 46, § 39, eff. May 22, 2017 and July 1, 2019.)

  • § 5132. Civil marriage license; participants in address confidentiality program

    (a) If a participant in the program described in 15 V.S.A. chapter 21, subchapter 3 notifies the town that the participant's confidential address should not appear on the civil marriage license or certificate, then the town clerk shall not disclose such confidential address or the participant's town of residence on any public records. A participant who fails to provide such notice shall be deemed to have waived the provisions of this section. If such notice is received, then notwithstanding section 5131 of this title, the town clerk shall file the civil marriage certificate with the State Registrar within 10 days after receipt, without the confidential address or town of residence, and shall not retain a copy of the civil marriage certificate.

    (b) The State Registrar shall receive and file for record all certificates filed in accordance with this section, and shall ensure that a person's confidential address and town of residence do not appear on the civil marriage certificate during the period that the person is a program participant. A certificate filed in accordance with this section shall be a public document. The State Registrar shall notify the Secretary of State of the receipt of a civil marriage certificate on behalf of a program participant.

    (c) The Department shall maintain a confidential record of the person's actual mailing address and town of residence. Such record shall be exempt from public inspection and copying under the Public Records Act.

    (d) Upon the renewal, expiration, withdrawal, invalidation, or cancellation of program participation of any person of whom the Secretary of State received notice from the State Registrar, the Secretary of State shall notify the State Registrar.

    (e) Upon notice of the expiration, withdrawal, invalidation, or cancellation of program participation, the State Registrar shall enter the actual mailing address and town of residence on the original marriage certificate and shall transmit the completed original civil marriage certificate to the town clerk where the certificate was issued.

    (f) The town clerk shall process certificates received in this manner in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. (Added 1999, No. 134 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. Jan. 1, 2001; amended 2009, No. 3, § 12a, eff. Sept. 1, 2009; 2015, No. 23, § 11; 2017, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.), § 92.)

  • §§ 5133-5135. Repealed. 1985, No. 114 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. April 9, 1986.

  • § 5136. [Omitted.].

  • § 5137. Issuance of license

    (a) A town clerk shall issue a civil marriage license to all applicants who have complied with the provisions of section 5131 of this title and who are otherwise qualified under the laws of the State to apply for a license to marry and to contract for such marriage.

    (b) An assistant town clerk may perform the duties of a town clerk under this chapter. (Amended 1985, No. 114 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 9, 1986; 1999, No. 91 (Adj. Sess.), § 27; 2009, No. 3, § 12a, eff. Sept. 1, 2009.)

  • § 5138. Repealed. 1985, No. 114 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. April 9, 1986.

  • § 5139. Clerk's duties; penalty

    (a) Except under the circumstances described in subsection (b) of this section, a town clerk who knowingly issues a civil marriage license upon application of a person other than as described in subdivision 5131(a)(3) of this title, or a clerk who issues such a license without first requiring the applicant to fill out, sign, and make oath to the declaration contained therein as provided in section 5131 of this title, shall be fined not more than $50.00 nor less than $20.00.

    (b) A town clerk may issue a civil marriage license to parties other than as described in subdivision 5131(a)(3) of this title when the office of the town clerk with authority to issue the license is not open during standard business hours and the parties have a compelling, immediate need to be married, as determined by the town clerk issuing the civil marriage license. A compelling, immediate need would arise when irreparable harm could occur if the marriage were delayed. (Amended 2009, No. 3, § 12a, eff. Sept. 1, 2009; 2017, No. 46, § 40, eff. July 1, 2019.)

  • § 5140. Penalty for misrepresentation

    A person making application to a clerk for a license to marry who makes a material misrepresentation in filling the forms contained in the declaration of intention shall be deemed guilty of perjury and punished accordingly.

  • § 5141. Confirmation of legal qualifications of parties; penalty

    (a) At a minimum, before issuing a civil marriage license to an applicant, the town clerk shall review the license application to confirm that:

    (1) the information submitted therein does not facially indicate that the parties are prohibited from marrying by the laws of this State; and

    (2) the parties have certified to the veracity of the information in the application.

    (b) A clerk who fails to comply with the provisions of this section or who issues a civil marriage license with knowledge that the parties, or either of them, are prohibited from marrying or otherwise have failed to comply with the requirements of the laws of this State, or a person who having authority and having such knowledge solemnizes such a marriage, shall be fined not more than $100.00.

    (c) [Repealed.]  (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 1971, No. 184 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. March 29, 1972; 2009, No. 3, § 12a, eff. Sept. 1, 2009; 2017, No. 46, § 42, eff. July 1, 2019.)

  • § 5142. Persons not authorized to marry

    The following persons are not authorized to marry, and a town clerk shall not knowingly issue a civil marriage license, when:

    (1) either party is a person who has not attained majority, unless the town clerk has received in writing the consent of one of the parents of the minor, if there is a parent competent to act, or of the guardian of the minor;

    (2) either party is under 16 years of age;

    (3) either of the parties is mentally incapable of entering into marriage as defined in 15 V.S.A. § 514;

    (4) either of the parties is under guardianship, without the written consent of the party's guardian;

    (5) [Repealed.]

    (6) the parties are prohibited from marrying under 15 V.S.A. § 1a on account of consanguinity or affinity;

    (7) either of the parties has a wife or husband living, as prohibited under 13 V.S.A. § 206 (bigamy). (Amended 1965, No. 194, § 10, eff. Feb. 1, 1967; 1967, No. 147, § 47, eff. Oct. 1, 1968; 1971, No. 90, § 13; 1973, No. 201 (Adj. Sess.), § 11; 2009, No. 3, § 8, eff. Sept. 1, 2009; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 98; 2017, No. 46, § 43, eff. July 1, 2019.)

  • § 5143. Penalties

    A person who aids in procuring a civil marriage license by falsely pretending to be the parent or guardian having authority to give consent to the marriage of a minor shall be fined not more than $500.00. (Amended 2009, No. 3, § 12a, eff. Sept. 1, 2009; 2017, No. 46, § 44, eff. July 1, 2019.)

  • § 5144. Persons authorized to solemnize marriage

    (a) Marriages may be solemnized by:

    (1) a Supreme Court Justice, a Superior judge, a judge of Probate, an assistant judge, a justice of the peace, a magistrate, a Judicial Bureau hearing officer, or an individual who has registered as a temporary officiant with the Vermont Secretary of State pursuant to section 5144a of this title;

    (2) a member of the clergy ordained, licensed, or otherwise regularly authorized by the published laws or discipline of the general conference, convention, or other authority of his or her faith or denomination who:

    (A) resides in this State;

    (B) resides in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, or New York or in the adjacent province of Quebec, Canada, whose parish, church, temple, mosque, or other religious organization lies wholly or in part in this State; or

    (C) resides in some other state of the United States or in Canada and whose parish, church, temple, mosque, or other religious organization lies wholly outside this State, provided he or she has first secured from the Probate Division of the Superior Court in the unit within which the marriage is to be solemnized a special authorization, authorizing him or her to certify the marriage if the Probate judge determines that the circumstances make the special authorization desirable.

    (b) Marriage among the Friends or Quakers, the Christadelphian Ecclesia, and the Baha'i Faith may be solemnized in the manner used in such societies.

    (c) This section does not require a member of the clergy authorized to solemnize a marriage as set forth in subsection (a) of this section, nor societies of Friends or Quakers, the Christadelphian Ecclesia, or the Baha'i Faith to solemnize any marriage, and any refusal to do so shall not create any civil claim or cause of action. (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; 2009, No. 3, § 9, eff. Sept. 1, 2009; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 147; 2013, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 28, 2014; 2017, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 11, 2018.)

  • § 5144a. Temporary officiant for marriages

    (a) By registering with the Secretary of State, an individual may temporarily be authorized to solemnize a marriage in this State. When registering, the individual shall provide:

    (1) A completed registration form provided by the Secretary of State.

    (2) A $100.00 fee.

    (b) Upon registration as a temporary officiant, the individual shall be authorized to solemnize only the civil marriage designated on the registration form, and shall receive proof of that authority from the Secretary of State. The individual's authority to solemnize that civil marriage shall expire at the same time as the corresponding license. (Added 2007, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)

  • § 5145. Civil marriage license required for solemnization

    Persons authorized by section 5144 of this title to solemnize marriage shall require a civil marriage license of the parties, before solemnizing such marriage. The license shall afford full immunity to the person who solemnizes the marriage. (Amended 1965, No. 194, § 10, eff. Feb. 1, 1967; 1969, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1979, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 15; 1987, No. 198 (Adj. Sess.); 1991, No. 198 (Adj. Sess.); 2009, No. 3, § 12a, eff. Sept. 1, 2009.)

  • § 5146. Penalty for solemnization without license or failure to return

    A person who solemnizes a marriage without first obtaining of the parties the license required by law, or who fails to properly fill out the form thereon provided for his or her use and return the license and certificate of civil marriage to the clerk's office from which it was issued within 10 days from the date of the marriage, shall be fined not less than $10.00. (Amended 2009, No. 3, § 12a, eff. Sept. 1, 2009.)

  • § 5147. Solemnization by unauthorized person; penalty; validity of marriage

    (a) An individual who, knowing that he or she is not authorized so to do, undertakes to join others in marriage, shall be imprisoned not more than six months or fined not more than $300.00 nor less than $100.00, or both.

    (b) A marriage solemnized by an individual who was not authorized to do so under this chapter shall not be void or invalid, provided that the marriage is in other respects lawful and is consummated with a belief on the part of either party so married that the couple were lawfully joined in marriage. (Amended 1981, No. 223 (Adj. Sess.), § 23; 2017, No. 46, § 46, eff. July 1, 2019.)

  • § 5148. Evidence of marriage

    A copy of the record of the civil marriage made by a person required by law at the time the marriage was solemnized to make and keep the record certified by such person, or by the town or county clerk or the State Registrar or the State Archivist, if the record is in his or her office, shall be in all courts presumptive evidence of the fact of such marriage. (Amended 1979, No. 56, § 100; 2007, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 9; 2017, No. 46, § 58, eff. July 1, 2019.)

  • § 5149. Repealed. 1973, No. 201 (Adj. Sess.), § 12.

  • § 5150. Correction of civil marriage certificate

    (a) Within six months after a marriage is solemnized, the town clerk may correct or complete a civil marriage certificate upon application by a party to the marriage or by the person who solemnized the marriage. The town clerk may correct or complete the certificate accordingly and shall certify thereon that such correction or completion was made pursuant to this section, with the date thereof. In his or her discretion, the town clerk may refuse an application for correction or completion, in which case, the applicant may petition the Probate Division of the Superior Court for such correction or completion.

    (b) After six months from the date a marriage is solemnized, a civil marriage certificate may only be corrected or amended pursuant to decree of the Probate Division of the Superior Court in which district the original certificate is filed.

    (c) The Probate Division of the Superior Court to which such application is made shall set a time for hearing thereon and, if such court deems necessary, cause notice of the time and place thereof to be given by posting the same in the Probate Division of the Superior Court office and, after hearing, shall make such findings, with respect to the correction of such civil marriage certificate as are supported by the evidence. The court shall thereupon issue a decree setting forth the facts as found, and transmit a certified copy of such decree to the State Registrar. The State Registrar shall transmit the same to the appropriate town clerk to amend the original or issue a new certificate. The words "Court Amended" shall be typed, written, or stamped at the top of the new or amended certificate with the date of the decree and the name of the issuing court. (Added 1979, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 24; amended 2009, No. 3, § 12a, eff. Sept. 1, 2009; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238a, eff. Feb. 1, 2011; 2017, No. 46, § 58, eff. July 1, 2019.)

  • § 5151. Delayed certificates of civil marriage

    (a) A couple married in this State for whom no certificate of civil marriage was filed as required by law, may petition the Probate Division of the Superior Court of the district in which the civil marriage license was obtained to determine the facts with respect to this civil marriage and to order the issuance of a delayed certificate of civil marriage.

    (b) The Probate Division of the Superior Court shall set a time for hearing on the petition and, if such court deems necessary, cause the notice of the time and place of the hearing to be given by posting a notice in the probate office. After hearing proper and relevant evidence as may be presented, the court shall make findings with respect to the civil marriage of the couple as are supported by the evidence.

    (c) The court shall issue a decree setting forth the facts as found and transmit a certified copy of said facts to the State Registrar.

    (d) Where a delayed certificate is to be issued, the State Registrar shall prepare a delayed certificate of civil marriage and transmit it, with the decree, to the clerk of the town where the civil marriage license was issued. This delayed certificate shall have the word "Delayed" printed at the top and shall certify that the certificate was ordered by a court pursuant to this chapter, with the date of the decree. The town clerk shall file the delayed certificate and, in accordance with the provisions of section 5010 of this title, furnish a copy to the State Registrar.

    (e) Town clerks receiving new certificates in accordance with this section shall file and index them in the most recent book of marriages and also index them with marriages occurring at the same time. (Added 1987, No. 43, eff. May 13, 1987; amended 2009, No. 3, § 12a, eff. Sept. 1, 2009; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238a, eff. Feb. 1, 2011; 2017, No. 46, § 58, eff. July 1, 2019.)