Deputy marriage commissioner

The duties of a Marriage Commissioner or Deputy Marriage Commissioner vary between jurisdictions.

Deputy or temporary marriage commissioners are generally empowered to perform Civil Marriage ceremonies during a fixed time and/or in a fixed place. Most often, these are officials for a specific marriage where the couple wants someone special to perform the ceremony, after which their appointment expires.

Other times, however, a deputy can be employed by the county clerk to perform civil ceremonies when regular staff are unable to do so or are overwhelmed. Such was the case in February–March 2004 in San Francisco, California where dozens of volunteers helped alleviate the backlog of same-sex couples seeking marriages.

In some jurisdictions, a civil authority recognised to solemnise marriage (such as the clerk of a county or municipality) is empowered to delegate that authority to one or a handful of marriage commissioners on a long-term basis; in others, the appointments are made by a province or state government agency.

Splitting the marriage commissioner tasks from those of judge, city clerk or minister of religion can provide couples more flexibility in choosing a venue for a wedding; instead of bringing the couple to a church, town hall or court house, a local commissioner may use their own transport to go to the chosen site of a destination wedding.

By jurisdiction




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