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Here are the current New Hampshire state statutes covering marriage.
Read them carefully, then e-mail, Terry M. Clark, Justice of the Peace


The following are generally the laws of marriage in the State of New Hampshire. For specific statutes, go to CHAPTER 457: MARRIAGES

New Hampshire state sealHow to Apply for Marriage License

New Hampshire residents who wish to marry must file for a marriage license.

Where to file: in the office of any town or city clerk in the state of New Hampshire.

How to file: Both parties appear before the City Clerk and complete the application for a marriage license.

Provide certified copies of divorce and/or death certificates for any previous marriages.

Fee: There is a $45.00 license fee.

Waiting period: Three days from the day the license is applied for until the day the license is issued.

When and where the license can be used: The license is good for 90 days from the date of application.

The license is good anywhere in New Hampshire if at least one party resides in New Hampshire. If both parties are non-residents, the license is valid only in the town in which it was obtained.

Equal Access to Marriage (457:1-a)

Marriage is the legally recognized union of 2 people. Any person who otherwise meets the eligibility requirements of this chapter may marry any other eligible person regardless of gender. Each party to a marriage shall be designated ""bride,'' ""groom,'' or ""spouse.''

RELATIONSHIP (RSA 457:2)

Marriage is not permitted in New Hampshire between two people who are related by blood to each other as first cousins or in any more direct lineage.

AGE (RSA 457:4-9)

A male or female who has reached the age of 18 can marry without parental permission. A female between the age of 13 and 17 years and a male between the age of 14 and 17 years can be married only with the permission of their parent (guardian) and a waiver (See Waiver). A female below the age of 13 and a male below the age of 14 are not allowed to marry under any conditions.

The above regulations on age apply to New Hampshire residents or to a non-resident who desires to marry a resident.. If both parties are nonresidents and are below the age of 18 they cannot be married in N.H. under any conditions.

RESIDENCE REQUIREMENTS (RSA 457:22, 26)

To be married in New Hampshire, you do not have to establish residence in New Hampshire (See Uniform Recognition). However, if both parties reside outside of the state the marriage intentions must be filed with the clerk of the same city or town where you plan to be married.

If one of the parties reside in the state, the marriage intentions must be filed with the clerk of the city or town where the resident lives. If both parties reside in New Hampshire in different cities/towns, the intentions can filed at either location. However, only one filing is required. This license may be used anywhere within the state BUT it must be returned by the officiant after the marriage to the clerk who issued the license. A license is valid for a period of 90 days from the date of filing. If license is not used for some reason, it must be returned to clerk who issued it.

Anyone resident or not can obtain a license anywhere in the state and be married anywhere in the state

After the marriage ceremony is performed the officiant will provide the couple with the contracting parties copy of the marriage certificate. This is strictly a "souvenir" copy until brought to the clerk of issuance and certified by him/her free of charge.

This certificate then becomes a legal document.

FILING INTENTIONS (RSA 457:24 & RSA 126:24)

Both parties must appear in person to file the marriage intentions as the signature of both parties is required on the application for a marriage license.

All personal facts relative to the bride and groom and the parents of each should be entered accurately on the application. Errors or falsification of any fact can cause great hardship to you at a later date and may make you liable for criminal prosecution.

 

ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTATION (RSA 457:23)

The applicants shall supply to the clerk prior to issuance of the marriage license the following documents:

a) Proof of age;

b) Proof of death of former spouse, if applicant is widowed.

c) A copy of final divorce decree, if applicant is divorced.

New Hampshire does not require a blood test.

THREE DAY WAITING PERIOD (RSA 457:26)

Marriage intentions must be filed at least three days before the marriage license can be issued. The day on which the intentions are filed or the day on which the license is issued may be counted as one of the three days but cannot be counted twice, i.e. - if intentions are filed on Monday, the license cannot be issued until Thursday.

If due cause can be shown, this waiting period can be shortened by means of a waiver (See Waiver).

FEES (RSA 457:6, 29, 33)

The fees set by law are:

Marriage license fee .......... $45.00 payable to clerk.

Solemnization fee...............$5.00 payable to officiant (not including travel).

Waiver fee* .......................$25.00 payable to register of probate or superior court judge.

*plus a sitting fee which varies by County.

WAIVERS (RSA 457:6, 27)

When "good/special cause" is shown waivers may be obtained which can alter certain requirements.

* Age: When either of the applicants is not yet 18 years of age but meets the minimum age requirements (See Age) whether a resident or marrying a resident of this state, when joined in the request by their parents or guardian, he/she may request and obtain permission to marry by applying to a justice of the superior court or to the judge of probate where one of the parties resides within N.H.

* Waiting period: This requirement can be waived on application to a justice of the superior court or judge of probate within the county where the marriage is to take place.

SOLEMNIZATION (RSA 457:31-32)

In the state of New Hampshire marriages may be performed by:

* A Justice of the Peace commissioned in New Hampshire and in good standing;

* An ordained clergyman, resident in New Hampshire who is in good standing with his congregation.

(Special permission is required for an unordained clergyman.*);

* An ordained clergyman, who is not a resident of New Hampshire. He must obtain a special license' which can be used only for that particular marriage; * Jewish Rabbis or Quakers;

No one can marry him/herself. Witnesses are not required but permitted, if desired.

*Questions and applications relative to solemnization licenses should be addressed directly to the Secretary of State, State House, Concord, N.H. (603) 271-3242. $5.00 is charged for the license issued to out-of-state clergymen.

After the marriage ceremony is performed the officiant will provide the couple with the contracting parties copy of the marriage certificate. This is strictly a "souvenir" copy until brought to the clerk of issuance and certified by him/her free of charge.

This certificate then becomes a legal document.

The certification cannot take place until the clerk has in his/her possession the completed copy of the certificate from the officiant. Permit adequate time (approximately two weeks) for this to take place before requesting this service.

UNIFORM MARRIAGE RECOGNITION LAW (RSA 457:43)

If a N.H. resident goes to another state to get married to avoid N.H. requirements of if a nonresident comes to New Hampshire to avoid their state's requirements such a marriage will be declared null and void with the same effect as though such prohibited marriage had been entered into in the state of residence.

CIVIL UNION RECOGNITION (RSA 457:45)
A civil union legally contracted outside of New Hampshire shall be recognized as a marriage in this state, provided that the relationship does not violate the prohibitions of this chapter.

GOOD LUCK!!

If you have any questions contact your local clerk or :
BUREAU OF VITAL RECORDS - HEALTH STATISTICS
DIVISION OF PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICES
Concord, New Hampshire 03301
(603) 271-4654 Within N.H. - Toll Free 1-800-852-3310 Ext.4654


Terry M. Clark, Justice of the Peace
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