On February 17, 2021, the Bucks County Courier Times published an on-line story incorrectly indicating that the office of the Bucks County Clerk of Orphans’ Court (“Clerk”) would not recognize marriages solemnized by persons ordained through the internet.
The Courier Times has been misinformed. The Clerk and her predecessors have long accepted and will continue to accept marriages performed by persons ordained via the internet. The Clerk’s policy is and has been to leave it up to the couple seeking matrimony to determine if their officiant is qualified to perform marriages. If the officiant is acceptable to the couple, then Bucks County will accept the marriage as valid. Pennsylvania and Bucks County even recognize certain self-uniting marriages that do not involve an officiant.
The Clerk’s records indicate that, in just the past year, hundreds of marriage licenses have been issued to couples who were married by persons ordained via the internet. Indeed, since taking office last year, the Clerk has issued approximately 300 marriages licenses to couples with an officiant designated as ordained through the church mentioned in the Courier Times article. The Clerk considers all of these marriages to be legal and wishes well to the couples involved.
Bucks County encourages marriages. Despite the pandemic, we have never closed to couples seeking marriage licenses. Whatever the type of marriage and whoever the couple chooses as the officiant, Bucks County wants to help. If a marriage license is needed, please apply at our website, www.buckscounty.org/rowocrecords. Log in as a guest and select “efile marriage application.” Or email us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Linda Bobrin, Bucks County Clerk of Orphans' Court