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Vermont State Capitol Building

Vermont Wedding Laws

Few states offer a more beautiful backdrop for a beautiful wedding ceremony than Vermont. After all, the lush Green Mountains offer hundreds of recreational opportunities to keep out-of-town guests happy during any destination wedding. If you are a couple who wants to marry in Burlington, Stowe or on Lake Champlain, you must comply with Vermont's specific marriage requirements. This in-depth guide gives you a detailed look at what is necessary for performing a legally binding ceremony in the Green Mountain State. Before deciding to officiate a wedding in Vermont or to marry your spouse anywhere in the state, you should be sure you know how to effectuate a legally binding marriage.

How to Become a Wedding Officiant in Vermont

Min. Age of Minister:
Age 18
Residency:
Not Required
Document(s) Required:
Ordination Credential
Online Ordination Recognized:
Yes
Relevant Office of Registration:
Probate Court
Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
Before Ceremony
Minister I.D. # Issued:
No

Ministers who want to perform a marriage ceremony in Vermont must be at least 18. This age requirement coincides with the Universal Life Church's age requirement for ministers. Vermont law has special requirements for ordained ministers who live outside of Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Quebec. Before performing a marriage ceremony, ministers who live outside these jurisdictions must obtain permission from the Probate Division of the Superior Court. This requires paying a fee and providing documentation. The Universal Life Church's Classic Wedding Package includes the necessary documents ordained ministers must submit.

Getting Married in Vermont

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
No
Minister Required to be Present:
Yes
Number of Witnesses Required:
None
Min. Age of Witnesses:
N/A
Couple's Consent Required:
Yes
Pronouncement Required:
Yes

The couple and the minister must appear in person at the wedding ceremony. Witnesses are not necessary, though. In Vermont, the minister and the couple have wide latitude to compose the marriage ceremony as they see fit. Nevertheless, for a marriage to be legal in the Green Mountain State, each member of the couple must express consent. The minister must also pronounce the marriage complete.

How to Get a Vermont Marriage License

Who Picks Up License:
The Couple
Where License is Valid:
Any County in Vermont
Marriage License Pick-Up:
In Person Only
Cost of License:
$60.00
Accepted I.D. Types:
Standard Government Issued
Proof of Divorce Required (If Applicable):
No
Blood Test Required:
No

Before going through with a marriage ceremony, at least one member of the marrying couple must appear in person before a town clerk, complete an application and pay a $60 fee. When completing the application, each member of the marrying couple may choose to be a bride, groom or spouse. The applicant for the marriage license should present a passport, driver's license or another acceptable form of identification. Fortunately, marrying couples do not have to provide proof of previous divorces or annulments or take a blood test to receive a marriage license in Vermont. After a town clerk issues the marriage license, it remains valid for up to 60 days.

Applying For a Marriage License in Vermont

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Religious
Mandatory Waiting Period:
None
License Valid For:
60 Days
License Must Be Submitted:
Within 10 Days of Ceremony

Vermont does not have a waiting period between the issuance of a marriage license and the ceremony. Still, after completing the ceremony, the couple or the minister must return it to the town clerk who issued it within 10 days. State law allows both civil and religious ceremonies. Because Universal Life Church ministers are religious in nature, one conducted by a ULC-ordained minister is religious. This is true even if there are few or no religious aspects to the ceremony.

Vermont Marriage Requirements

Min. Age of Couple:
Age 18 or Age 16 with Guardian Consent
Residency:
Not Required
Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
First Cousins
Marriage Equality:
Yes

Vermont does not have a residency requirement for marrying spouses. Therefore, whether either spouse lives in Vermont, another state or outside the U.S., marrying in the Green Mountain State is possible. Still, state law requires those who apply for marriage licenses to be at least 18. If someone between the ages of 16 and 18 wants to marry, a parent or guardian may provide consent. Vermont law does not allow anyone who is mentally unfit to marry. The same is true for those who are under guardianship or have common ancestors. Additionally, anyone with a living husband or wife may not marry in Vermont. Like all other states, Vermont recognizes marriage equality, so same-sex couples may obtain marriage licenses and wed in the state.

Ministers who are not residents of Vermont will be required to register with the court for special approval to perform a marriage.

Finalizing the Union

Officiant's Title on Marriage License:
Minister
Church/Ordaining Body:
Universal Life Church Ministries
Address of Church:
Minister's Home Address

After completing a ceremony in Vermont, the minister has the responsibility of ensuring the marriage license is completed and signed by all relevant parties. When Universal Life Ministers complete their sections, they should list their titles as ministers and provide their home addresses where licenses ask for the address of the church. Then, within 10 days, the minister must ensure the completed marriage license returns to the town clerk who issued it. Failure to return the license on time may result in a fine of $10 or more. It may also cause delays in the issuance of the marriage certificate.