Officiant Survey – JP Appointment Process
In 2022, the Justice of the Peace Association released a survey to support its research on the qualifications of civil officiants and the way they are appointed. One hundred seventy-eight people answered our survey.
Only five percent of survey respondents thought that marriage officiants should not have any minimum qualifications to perform a marriage ceremony. All others thought officiants should meet certain qualifications.
- 86% think officiants should take an oath of office.
- 79% want a criminal background check or other means to verify the officiant is of good character.
- 63% believe training is needed before becoming an officiant.
- 46% suggest personal references.
- 29% said officiants should submit their resume.
Training for Officiants
As referenced in the chart above, only 63% of survey respondents indicated that they thought training should be a requirement to perform marriages. Despite this, once presented with possible training topics, 95% were able to identify training topics that they endorsed.
- 85% of officiants think training on the legal procedures for performing marriages should be required.
- 73% think how to perform a ceremony should be required.
- 56% want trafficking training.
- 54% want cultural diversity training.
- 47% want child marriage training
- 42% want COVID-19 safety protocols
- 28% want public speaking training for officiants.
Ninety percent of the survey respondents were civil marriage officiants. They were either a JP from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire or Vermont. Or, they were a notary public from Maine or Florida.
Respondents by State
Additional survey findings are forthcoming, along with JPus’ white paper about the JP appointment process in Connecticut.
- More about JPus’ research on Connecticut’s JP appointment process
- See how JPus is advocating to address the problems with amateur officiants
- Learn about the JP and notary role, state-by-state
- We advocate on other marriage-related issues