May 2, 2006
LICENSE TO PERFORM MARRIAGE
By: Adam Wolkoff, Legislative Fellow
You asked if a recently ordained minister must obtain a state or municipal license to perform marriages.
The answer is no. State law does not require a minister to obtain a license to perform marriages. Rather, the statutes state that “all ordained or licensed clergymen, belonging to this state or any other state, so long as they continue in the work of the ministry” may perform marriages (CGS § 46b-22).
As we indicated in a previous report, very little case law has interpreted this provision in Connecticut (see OLR Report 2003-R-0490). Generally, as long as the minister's religion permits him to perform the ceremony, the state will recognize the validity of the marriage. We do not know of any cases where a Connecticut court has annulled or declared a marriage void based on the clergyman's qualifications.