HB276: Marriage; persons other than ministers who may celebrate rites of marriage.

HOUSE BILL NO. 276

Offered January 8, 2014
Prefiled December 31, 2013
A BILL to amend and reenact § 20-25 of the Code of Virginia, relating to persons other than ministers who celebrate rites of marriage.
Patron-- Krupicka

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That § 20-25 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 20-25. Persons other than ministers who may perform rites.

A. Upon petition filed with the clerk and payment of applicable clerk's fees, any circuit court judge may issue an order authorizing one or more persons, resident in the circuit in which the judge sits, to celebrate the rites of marriage in the Commonwealth. Any person so authorized shall, before acting, enter into bond in the penalty of $500, with or without surety, as the court may direct. Any order made under this section may be rescinded at any time.

B. Any judge or justice of a court of record, any judge of a district court, or any retired judge or justice of the Commonwealth, or any active, senior, or retired federal judge or justice who is a resident of the Commonwealth, or any current or former Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Attorney General of the Commonwealth, or any current or former member of the General Assembly, or any current or former mayor or person elected as a member of the governing body of a locality in the Commonwealth may celebrate the rites of marriage anywhere in the Commonwealth without the necessity of bond or order of authorization.

C. The marriage license application shall allow the parties to the marriage, upon payment of an additional fee of up to $100 to the clerk of circuit court to whom the application is submitted, to designate an officiant to celebrate the rites of such marriage. No officiant so designated shall be less than 18 years of age or a party to the marriage. A license issued with such designation shall serve as authorization for the named officiant to celebrate the rites of such marriage in the Commonwealth. If the rites of such marriage are celebrated by an officiant designated under this subsection who is not otherwise authorized to celebrate the rites of marriage, the officiant shall complete and sign the certificate of marriage before a notary public or other person authorized by law to administer oaths.