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Justice of the Peace
        Justices of the Peace in the State of Connecticut

Justices of the Peace in Connecticut are municipal officials elected or appointed in their town of residence for a term of four years.  The authority of each Justice of the Peace extends throughout the State of Connecticut and each Justice of the Peace can perform his/her duties in any town in the state.

Question 1: 

Is there something the Justice of the Peace should do when presented with the marriage license prior to performing the marriage?

Your JP should:

1.      Verify that the bride and groom are the persons who are named on the license.

2.      Be sure the license was issued by the town in which the marriage is taking place.

3.      Obtain signatures of the bride, groom and ensure the registrar of vital statistics signature is on the marriage license.

4.      If either the bride or groom is under Age 18, assure that parental consent has been recorded on the back of the license.

5.      If either bride or groom is under Age 16, obtain consent from the Judge of Probate. This endorsement must also appear on the back of the license.

 

6.      The raised seal of the registrar of vital statistics must be on the license.

 

7.      The time period of the license has not expired prior to the ceremony.

Question 2: 

Who has the responsibility to file the license after the marriage? 

The Justice of the Peace has the responsibility to sign and return the license to the Town Clerk/Registrar of the town who issued the marriage license.       

Question 3:

Can the JP change any of the information on the license even if the bride and groom say it is wrong?

No! All changes, corrections or amendments are the responsibility of the registrar of vital statistics who issued the license. 

Question 4:

How many witnesses are needed?

The Connecticut General Statutes do not require witnesses to the marriage.  The marriage is performed by an official (Justice of the Peace) empowered by statute to do so.

Question 5: 

How soon after the wedding should the license be returned?

As soon as possible.  The couple may need to obtain other documents proving their marriage  is legal.  Once again, this is the duty of the Justice of the Peace.  Connecticut state statutes provide guidelines.

Question 6: 

Is there a standard wedding ceremony that can be performed?   

Yes, it is provided to the Justices in a handbook, but you may customize your ceremony.

Question 7: 

What should be included in the ceremony? 

If performed by the Justice of the Peace, it must contain this line:   

    “In accordance with law of Connecticut and by virtue of the authority vested in me by the law of the State of Connecticut, I do pronounce you husband and wife.”

Question 8: 

Will the bride and groom receive anything from the Justice of the Peace as proof that the marriage has taken place?  

No.  Proof of your marriage is available at the town hall of the town you were married in and there may be a town fee to obtain copies.

Question 9: 

I reside in Connecticut but wish to get married in an adjacent state, can you still perform my wedding?

Yes, a waiver can be obtained from the adjacent state for the Justice of the Peace making it possible to perform the marriage in another state. The waiver is only for a specific date in the town where the wedding will be performed.

Question 10: 

Where do I get a marriage license and how soon should I do it before the wedding?

Marriage licenses are issued in every town and city throughout the state of Connecticut, but you must apply for the license in the town or city in which you are getting married. You will receive the marriage license on the same day that you apply for it, and it is valid for 65 days after the date that it is issued.

 

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