What is a Justice of the Peace?

The duties of justices of the peace can fall into five categories of responsibilities:

Elections
Justices of the Peace are members of the Board of Civil Authority (BCA). Members of the BCA serve as election officials at town elections by Australian ballot and statewide elections. Justices also are responsible for delivering absentee ballots to voters at election time.

Tax Abatement & Appeals
Justices of the Peace sit as members of the town Board for Abatement of taxes to determine whether a taxpayer’s tax obligation should be forgiven under certain circumstances. Justices of the Peace also serve an important role in the town’s tax appeal process. As a member of the Board of Civil Authority, justices sit to hear and decide appeals when citizens do not agree with the final decision of the listers.

Magistrate
Justices of the Peace may also serve as a magistrate when so commissioned by the Supreme Court.

Marriages
Justices of the Peace may also solemnize marriages in Vermont. A justice may not discriminate on any basis prohibited by law (age, race, sex, national origin, religion or sexual orientation). I provide this service free of charge.

Oaths & Notary
Justices of the Peace may also administer oaths in all cases where an oath is required, unless a specific law makes a different provision. A justice of the peace is a notary public ex officio and has all the acknowledgment powers of a notary public. I have both a stamp and embosser and provide this service free of charge.


In Addition: Authorized Sound System User
I was trained to use the Town of Bradford’s sound system and am an authorized user. I provide this service free of charge.

Looking for a Justice of the Peace

to Officiate Your Wedding?

I would be honored to serve as your officiant. I am willing to travel anywhere in Vermont. Contact me about your wedding, elopement, or vow renewal ceremony. Last minute weddings are always welcome.

It is easy to apply for a marriage license in Vermont. The marriage application can be downloaded/printed here.

Please feel free to contact me with questions or to set up a meeting to discuss your event!

Where do I apply for a marriage license?

Marriage license applications are issued by Vermont town clerks. If both parties are Vermont residents, you may go to the town clerk in either of your towns of residence. If just one of you resides in a Vermont town, you must get the license in that town; you cannot buy the license in another town.

If neither party is a Vermont resident, you may get the marriage license application from any town clerk in the state of Vermont.

Do both people need to be present to apply?

Vermont law requires that at least one of you be present to sign the license in front of a town clerk. You must bring a State or Federal ID with you to obtain the license (this includes a driver’s license, non-driver’s license, passport, etc.).

What information does the clerk need?

Besides basic information about yourselves (name, towns of residence, places, and dates of birth), you must also provide your parent’s names, including your mother’s birth (maiden) names, and their places of birth. (Although not necessary, copies of your birth certificate can supply most of this information). You will also be asked to provide the number of previous marriages and civil unions, and how and when they ended. This information is confidential and does not become part of the marriage certificate.

How much does a marriage license cost?

The marriage license cost $60.00 (cash or check) or $63.00 if you use a credit card. The license is valid for 60 days from the date it is issued. During that time period, an authorized person must perform your wedding ceremony.

What do I do with the license?

By law, you must deliver the license to the person legal able to marry you in Vermont. After the ceremony, the person who performs the ceremony will complete the sections concerning the date, place and officiant information, and sign your license. At that point, the license becomes a marriage certificate. You then need to bring the license to the city clerks office within 10 days after the wedding, so that your marriage can be officially registered. If you have me officiate, I will mail your license for you. The certificate is not a complete legal document until it has been recorded in the town clerk’s office where it was purchased. Any license that is back-dated to a date earlier than the date it was purchased voids the license. It is not recognized by State or Federal Government.

Who can marry us in Vermont?

Your marriage can be performed by: a Supreme Court justice, a superior court judge, a district judge, justice of the peace, or an ordained or licensed member of the clergy residing in Vermont.