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Marriage Authorization Rites

Authorization to Perform Rites of Matrimony

For Ministers wishing to perform marriages in Virginia, here are instructions and a printable “Petition to Celebrate Rites of Matrimony”.

INSTRUCTIONS TO MINISTERS: Please sign the Petition before a notary to request authorization to perform marriages in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Please attach copies of the appropriate proof of ordination or local minister’s license and proof of your appointment in your denomination.

Once the Court approves the Petition and enters the order of authorization, you must take an oath to perform marriages. This oath must be on file here before you perform any marriages in Virginia.

For your information, marriage licenses issued in Virginia are valid for sixty (60) days from the issue date and marriages must be performed prior to the expiration date of the license. You must complete and sign both copies of the marriage certificate showing the date of your authorization by the Court and the county where you were authorized to celebrate marriages in Virginia. Both copies of the marriage certificate must be returned to the Clerk’s Office issuing the marriage license within five (5) days of the ceremony.

The fee for processing your Petition to celebrate the rites of matrimony is $84.00 payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Fauquier County.

Please refer to Section 20-23 of the Code of Virginia for further information.

Other individuals who wish to perform marriages should refer to Section 20-25 of the Code of Virginia and Section 20-26 of the Code of Virginia to determine eligibility for appointment.

Date Last Modified: 06/29/2010


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