Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 20. Domestic Relations
Chapter 2. Marriage Generally

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

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; however, upon a showing that the person would otherwise be qualified for in forma pauperis status, the court may waive such bond. Any order made under this section may be rescinded at any time. No oath shall be required of a person authorized to celebrate the rites of marriage, nor shall such person be considered an officer of the Commonwealth by virtue of such authorization.

Any judge or justice of a court of record, any judge of a district court, any retired judge or justice of the Commonwealth, any active, senior, or retired federal judge or justice who is a resident of the Commonwealth, or any current or former (i) member of the General Assembly, (ii) Governor of Virginia, (iii) Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, (iv) Attorney General of Virginia, (v) Virginia member of the United States Senate or United States House of Representatives, or (vi) clerk of a circuit court of the Commonwealth who is a resident of the Commonwealth may celebrate the rites of marriage anywhere in the Commonwealth without the necessity of bond or order of authorization.

Code 1919, § 5080; 1938, c. 152; 1981, c. 295; 1981, Sp. Sess., c. 15; 1983, c. 64; 1985, c. 195; 1987, c. 149; 2003, c. 228; 2004, cc. 612, 680; 2012, c. 802; 2016, c. 611; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 87; 2023, c. 789; 2024, cc. 412, 499.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.