Changes to the Laws
Don’t be caught behind the times. Stay current on new laws that affect JPs and notaries.
Gender Neutral Terms on Marriage License
Effective July 1, 2021, the terms Bride and Groom are no longer on Connecticut marriage licenses, replaced with Spouse 1 and Spouse 2. Read how JPus took action to make this validating change happen.
Race Information Not Collected
The marriage license application will no longer seek a couple’s race, effective July 1, 2021.
Probate Judge Required for 16, 17 Year Olds to Marry
Effective October 1, 2017, in addition to parental consent, anyone under the age of 18 requires a Probate Court Judge’s approval to wed. Also 16 is now the minimum legal age to marry; previously there was no minimum age.
Connecticut’s law was watered down from its original effort to ban all marriages for individuals younger than 18 years. Read more on our advocacy pages about ending child marriage.
Marriage Age Increases
In March, 2018 state lawmakers passed a bill raising the age to marry from 16 to 17 with parental consent and if the partner is no more than two years older. If pregnant, the girl may marry at any age with parental and judge’s consent. Between 2000-2015, 16,400 minors were married in Florida. Some of them as young as 13 years old.
Minimum Age to Wed Increased
On January 1, 2020, Governor Janet Mills allowed a bill, LD545/SP167, go into law. It sets the minimum age to marry to 16. Prior to this, a child of any age could marry if the parents and a probate judge approved.
Gender Neutral Terms on Marriage License and more
On September 19, 2019 new laws went into effect:
- Gender-neutral terms will now be used to refer to marriage or familial relationships. This prompted JPus to conduct a quick survey of the other states that we serve, asking what terminology is used for marriage documentation. Read more about what we learned on our marriage equality advocacy page.
- Now, the state’s Registrar of Vital Statistics may issue marriage licenses.
- Marriages will be voided if either party lies about the number of times they were previously married.
- Parties wanting to change their name upon marriage are required to include the new name/s on the intentions, license and certificate; it is effective upon marriage.
Minimum Age to Marry Increased
On June 18, 2018 New Hampshire’s governor signed a new law raising the minimum age to marry in New Hampshire to 16. It was increased from 13/14 years.
JPus advocated to increase the age to 18 during the 2019 session, but legislators wouldn’t deliver.
Notaries Licensed through SOTS
In May 2018, Vermont’s legislature passed an important new law (Act 160 H526) that affects the licensing of the state’s notaries. Since in Vermont all JPs are notaries (but not all notaries are JPs), we figured this was important news to share. Notaries are now licensed through the Secretary of State’s Office of Professional Regulations, and there are new requirements for professional standards and examinations.