Colorado Marriage by Proxy is authorized under Colorado law, CRS 14-2-109. It was available to anyone in the past, but the law recently changed to be much more restricted.
For Military and Government Contractors
Colorado House Bill 1327 passed in May 2015 and became effective immediately. Proxy marriage in Colorado is now only available to:
- a member of the armed forces of the United States who is stationed in another country or in another state in support of combat or military operation; or
- a government contractor, or an employee of a government contractor, working or in support of US military operations in another country or in another state.
Colorado Resident with Absentee Affidavit
One party must be a Colorado resident and must appear in person. The absent party must submit a notarized absentee affidavit form, provided by the state registrar, along with proper identification.
Power of Attorney for Agent or Proxy
The absent party may authorize another person, in a written power of attorney, as an agent or proxy, to act as a stand in at the marriage ceremony for the absent party. The absent party may participate in the ceremony by video conference. One marriage by proxy in Texas involved an absentee cosmonaut, orbiting earth in the space station.
Solemnization of Marriage by Authorized Official
A Colorado marriage may normally be solemnized by:
- an officiant ordained or recognized by a religious denomination
- a judge of a court, a retired judge, or a court magistrate
- a public official whose powers include solemnization of marriages
- a Native American tribal official
- you and your intended spouse may solemnize your own marriage
Self-solemnization is not allowed in a Colorado marriage by proxy.
Notary Authority to Solemnize Marriage
A Colorado notary is not authorized to solemnize a marriage, but may notarize the paperwork needed for a marriage by proxy or an affidavit of common law marriage. Notaries in Florida, Maine, Nevada and South Carolina are authorized to solemnize a marriage.
The solemnizing official will complete the marriage certificate, attesting that the marriage solemnization was performed lawfully.
Absentee Affidavit for Marriage License
Here is a sample form of an absentee affidavit
Power of Attorney for Marriage by Proxy
Here is a sample power of attorney form for marriage ceremony using a proxy
Here is another sample of a proxy authorization
Denver Clerk and Recorder Website
For more information, see marriage by proxy on the Denver Clerk and Recorder website at
Other States with Marriage by Proxy
Colorado allows for a single proxy marriage. Montana allows for a double proxy marriage, where neither party is present. Other states that allow for single proxy marriage include California, Kansas, and Texas. Most of the proxy marriage laws are limited to members of the military who are deployed for conflicts or wars. Some have residency requirements.
Warning: Contact an attorney before getting married by proxy to make sure your marriage will be considered valid. Some states do not recognize a marriage by proxy or may consider it to be a common law marriage.
Caution: Because the Colorado law just changed in May 2015, many websites contain outdated information for Colorado marriage by proxy .
Disclaimer: This article is not to be considered or used as legal advice. Contact a licensed attorney for legal advice and check state laws for requirements and changes.
Photo credit: wedding rings by Jeff Belmonte from Cuiabá, Brazil (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons