Years ago we were told by Pauline of Vital Records that if a couple BELIEVES their officiant has the authority to marry them, then they are legally married.  I think the statute has tightened a bit since then, except I'd like to know what the highlighted section below means.

(Cite as: 18 V.S.A.  5144)
         5144. Persons authorized to solemnize marriage
(a) Marriages may be solemnized by:
(1) a Supreme Court Justice, a Superior judge, a judge of Probate, an assistant judge, a justice of the peace, a magistrate, a Judicial Bureau hearing officer, or an individual who has registered as a temporary officiant with the Vermont Secretary of State pursuant to section 5144a of this title;
(2) a member of the clergy ordained, licensed, or otherwise regularly authorized by the published laws or discipline of the general conference, convention, or other authority of his or her faith or denomination who:
(A) resides in this State;
(B) resides in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, or New York or in the adjacent province of Quebec, Canada, whose parish, church, temple, mosque, or other religious organization lies wholly or in part in this State; or
(C) resides in some other state of the United States or in Canada and whose parish, church, temple, mosque, or other religious organization lies wholly outside this State, provided he or she has first secured from the Probate Division of the Superior Court in the unit within which the marriage is to be solemnized a special authorization, authorizing him or her to certify the marriage if the Probate judge determines that the circumstances make the special authorization desirable.
(b) Marriage among the Friends or Quakers, the Christadelphian Ecclesia, and the Baha'i Faith may be solemnized in the manner used in such societies.
(c) This section does not require a member of the clergy authorized to solemnize a marriage as set forth in subsection (a) of this section, nor societies of Friends or Quakers, the Christadelphian Ecclesia, or the Baha'i Faith to solemnize any marriage, and any refusal to do so shall not create any civil claim or cause of action. (Amended 1965, No. 194,  10, eff. Feb. 1, 1967; 1971, No. 22, eff. March 23, 1971; 1975, No. 1; 1979, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.),  26; 1981, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.); 1999, No. 91 (Adj. Sess.),  28; 2007, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.),  1; 2009, No. 3,  9, eff. Sept. 1, 2009; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.),  147; 2013, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.),  1, eff. May 28, 2014; 2017, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.),  1, eff. April 11, 2018.)

From: Vermont Municipal Government Discussion Network [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Bennington Town Clerk's Office
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2019 11:02 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Out of State Minister

Does anyone have any guidance/experience with an Out of State minister not providing a Probate certificate for a wedding?  I have been holding a marriage license for a while waiting.  He claims he has everything in order (albeit after the fact) and waiting to get it back from Rutland Probate.  Of course, Vital Records is silent on what to do.

Cassandra Barbeau
Town Clerk
Bennington, VT
mailto:[log in to unmask]
find us on the web at
Please note that this email message, along with any response or reply, is considered public record, and thus, subject to disclosure under the Vermont Public Records Law (1 V.S.A.  315-320). Thank You.