In the State of New Hampshire, justices of the peace are authorized to perform marriage ceremonies. In order to be married in this State, a couple is required to apply for a marriage license from the clerk of any town or city in the State. If granted, this license is valid for up to ninety days.
A JUSTICE OF THE PEACE MUST NEVER PERFORM A MARRIAGE CEREMONY WITHOUT HAVING FIRST RECEIVED THE MARRIAGE LICENSE.
Before joining any persons in marriage, a Justice of the Peace must receive the license issued by the clerk of a New Hampshire city or town. The marriage license is the form that is used to record that the marriage ceremony has taken place and to record who solemnized the marriage. The license is completed by the bride, the groom, or, if after January 1, 2010, the spouses, and the Justice of the Peace, or other authorized official, who performs the ceremony. The bride and groom, or spouses, must review the information on the marriage license for completeness and accuracy prior to signing it.
No particular ceremony is required for a marriage in New Hampshire.On June 3, 2009, New Hampshire passed legislation that permits same gender couples to marry. The effective date of the legislation is January 1, 2010. (Chapter 59; Laws of 2009) As a result, beginning on January 1, 2010, Justices of the Peace are authorized to perform marriages between persons of the same gender who are 18 years or older. Each party to a marriage shall be designated “bride” “groom” or “spouse”. As of January 1, 2010, civil unions may not be performed in New Hampshire.
Marriages in New Hampshire may be performed by the following:
· A Justice of the Peace commissioned in the State of New Hampshire;
· Any Minister of the gospel in New Hampshire who has been ordained according to the usage of his or her denomination, who resides in New Hampshire and is in regular standing with the denomination.
· Any member of the clergy who is not ordained but is engaged in the service of the religious body to which he or she belongs, resides in New Hampshire, after being licensed by the Secretary of State.
The secretary of state may issue a license to an un-ordained clergy who is a resident of New Hampshire and who is a member of and engaged in the service of a religious body which is chartered by the state if he or she presents a certification from that body that he or she is in its service, together with an application and the statutory fee of $5.00. The license issued by the secretary of state shall authorize the clergyman to solemnize marriages in New Hampshire as long as he retains a good standing in his religious body.
· By any Minister who resides outside of New Hampshire, but has a pastoral charge wholly or partly in New Hampshire, if the marriage is performed within his parish, after being licensed by the Secretary of State.
The secretary of state may issue a special license to an ordained minister or un-ordained minister who resides outside of New Hampshire to perform a single marriage in New Hampshire. An application, available through the secretary of state's office, (or the above link) is required, along with the statutory fee of $25.00. A special license will be issued to perform one marriage only. This special license is required to be filed with the regular marriage license which the couple obtained from the town or city clerk.
· An individual who resides outside of New Hampshire, who is authorized or licensed by law in their state of residence to perform marriages.
The secretary of state may issue a special license to an individual residing out of state who is authorized or licensed by law to perform marriages in such individual's state of residence, authorizing him or her in a special case to marry a couple within the state. The secretary of state may require the submission of a copy of a valid commission or other indicia of authority to marry in the individual's state of residence as proof of existence of that authority. The names and residences of the couple proposed to be married in such special case shall be stated in the license, and no power shall be conferred to marry any other parties than those named therein. The fee for such license shall be $25.00.
· Judges of the United States appointed pursuant to Article III of the United States Constitution, or by United States magistrate judges appointed pursuant to federal law.
· Bankruptcy Judges appointed pursuant to Article I of the United States Constitution.
The secretary of state may issue a special license to a judge of the United States residing in New Hampshire who is appointed pursuant to Article III of the United States Constitution, to a judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court residing in this state and appointed pursuant to Article I of the United States Constitution, or to a United States magistrate judge residing in this state and appointed pursuant to federal law, to marry a couple within the state. There shall be a $25.00 fee for each license. A copy of the marriage license of the couple proposed to be married shall be filed with the secretary of state who shall maintain a permanent record of all such marriage licenses and the name and residence of the judge or magistrate performing the ceremony.