Chief Sponsor: Allen M. Christensen

House Sponsor: Rebecca P. Edwards


8     Committee Note:
9          The Judiciary Interim Committee recommended this bill.
10     General Description:
11          This bill increases the marriage license fee and modifies premarital education and
12     counseling provisions.
13     Highlighted Provisions:
14          This bill:
15          ▸     increases the marriage license fee by $20 and creates a restricted account to support
16     marriage and relationship strengthening efforts in the state;
17          ▸     offers a couple a $20 rebate if both parties complete premarital education or
18     counseling that meets specific criteria;
19          ▸     provides content requirements for premarital education and counseling;
20          ▸     provides requirements for providers of premarital education and counseling;
21          ▸     creates the Marriage Education Restricted Account; and
22          ▸     provides a reporting requirement.
23     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
24          None
25     Other Special Clauses:
26          This bill provides a special effective date.
27     Utah Code Sections Affected:

28     AMENDS:
29          17-16-21, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2013, Chapter 278
30          26-2-24, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1995, Chapter 202
31          30-1-30, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1971, Chapter 64
32          30-1-39, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1971, Chapter 64
33          62A-1-120, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2014, Chapter 387
34     ENACTS:
35          62A-1-121, Utah Code Annotated 1953
37          30-1-34, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1971, Chapter 64
38          30-1-36, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1971, Chapter 64
39     REPEALS:
40          30-1-31, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1971, Chapter 64
41          30-1-32, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2011, Chapter 297
42          30-1-33, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2011, Chapter 297
43          30-1-35, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2011, Chapter 297
44          30-1-37, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2011, Chapter 297
45          30-1-38, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1971, Chapter 64

47     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
48          Section 1. Section 17-16-21 is amended to read:
49          17-16-21. Fees of county officers.
50          (1) As used in this section, "county officer" means all of the county officers
51     enumerated in Section 17-53-101 except county recorders, county constables, and county
52     sheriffs.
53          (2) (a) Each county officer shall collect, in advance, for exclusive county use and
54     benefit:
55          (i) all fees established by the county legislative body under Section 17-53-211; and
56          (ii) any other fees authorized or required by law.
57          (b) As long as the Children's Legal Defense Account is authorized by Section
58     51-9-408, the county clerk shall:

59          (i) assess $10 in addition to whatever fee for a marriage license is established under
60     authority of this section; and
61          (ii) transmit $10 from each marriage license fee to the Division of Finance for deposit
62     in the Children's Legal Defense Account.
63          (c) (i) As long as the Division of Child and Family Services, created in Section
64     62A-4a-103, has the responsibility under Section 62A-4a-105 to provide services, including
65     temporary shelter, for victims of domestic violence, the county clerk shall:
66          (A) collect $10 in addition to whatever fee for a marriage license is established under
67     authority of this section, in addition to the amount described in Subsection (2)(b), if an
68     applicant chooses, as provided in Subsection (2)(c)(ii), to pay the additional $10; and
69          (B) to the extent actually paid, transmit $10 from each marriage license fee to the
70     Division of Finance for distribution to the Division of Child and Family Services for the
71     operation of shelters for victims of domestic violence.
72          (ii) (A) The county clerk shall provide a method for an applicant for a marriage license
73     to choose to pay the additional $10 referred to in Subsection (2)(c)(i).
74          (B) An applicant for a marriage license may choose not to pay the additional $10
75     referred to in Subsection (2)(c)(i) without affecting the applicant's ability to be issued a
76     marriage license.
77          (d) The county clerk shall:
78          (i) assess $20 in addition to whatever fee for a marriage license is established under
79     authority of this section; and
80          (ii) transmit $20 from each marriage license fee to the Division of Finance for deposit
81     into the Marriage Education Restricted Account, created in Section 62A-1-121.
82          (3) This section does not apply to any fees currently being assessed by the state but
83     collected by county officers.
84          Section 2. Section 26-2-24 is amended to read:
85          26-2-24. Marriage licenses -- Execution and filing requirements.
86          (1) The state registrar shall supply county clerks with application forms for marriage
87     licenses. [Completed applications shall be transmitted by the clerks]
88          (2) County clerks shall transmit completed applications to the state registrar monthly.
89          (3) The personal identification information contained on each application for a

90     marriage license filed with the county clerk shall be entered on a form supplied by the state
91     registrar.
92          (4) The person performing the marriage shall furnish the date and place of marriage
93     and [his] the person's name and address. [The form shall be completed and certified by the
94     county clerk]
95          (5) The county clerk shall complete and certify the form before it is filed with the state
96     registrar.
97          (6) In accordance with Subsection (2), by January 1, 2018, county clerks are
98     encouraged to transmit forms to the state registrar in electronic form.
99          Section 3. Section 30-1-30 is amended to read:
100          30-1-30. Premarital education or counseling -- State policy -- Applicability.
101          It is the policy of the state of Utah to enhance the possibility of couples to achieve more
102     stable, satisfying and enduring marital and family relationships by providing opportunities for
103     and encouraging the use of premarital education or counseling prior to securing a marriage
104     license [by persons under 19 years of age and by persons who have been previously divorced].
105          Section 4. Section 30-1-34 is repealed and reenacted to read:
106          30-1-34. Premarital education or counseling -- Rebate.
107          (1) (a) As described in Subsection 17-16-21(2)(d), a county clerk shall assess $20 in
108     addition to whatever fee for a marriage license is established under authority of Section
109     17-16-21, and shall transmit the $20 to the Marriage Education Restricted Account, created in
110     Section 62A-1-121, to support marriage and relationship strengthening efforts in the state.
111          (b) (i) The Utah Marriage Commission shall offer a $20 rebate to a married couple that
112     receives premarital education or counseling in accordance with this section.
113          (ii) Each party may receive the premarital education or counseling together as a couple
114     or separately.
115          (iii) Each party shall complete the premarital education or counseling not more than
116     one year before and at least seven days before the day on which the marriage license is issued.
117          (2) Within 90 days of the day on which the marriage license is issued, the married
118     couple shall submit to the Utah Marriage Commission:
119          (a) a signed and dated statement from the person who provided the premarital
120     education or counseling confirming that the premarital education or counseling was received;

121     and
122          (b) a copy of the marriage license or the license number listed on the marriage license.
123          (3) The premarital education or counseling shall be provided by:
124          (a) a licensed or ordained minister or the minister's designee who has been authorized
125     by the minister or denomination to conduct premarital education or counseling;
126          (b) a person authorized to solemnize marriages under Section 30-1-6;
127          (c) a licensed counselor;
128          (d) an individual certified by the National Council on Family Relations as a certified
129     family life educator;
130          (e) a Family and Consumer Sciences educator;
131          (f) an individual who is an approved instructor of a premarital education curriculum
132     that meets the requirements of Subsection (4)(a); or
133          (g) an online course approved by the Utah Marriage Commission.
134          (4) (a) The premarital education or counseling shall include, as a minimum, the
135     following topics:
136          (i) commitment in marriage;
137          (ii) the importance of providing a safe and nurturing environment for children;
138          (iii) effective communication and problem-solving skills, including avoiding violence
139     and abuse in the relationship; and
140          (iv) effective financial management.
141          (b) At least six hours of premarital education or three hours of counseling are required
142     to fulfill the requirements of this section.
143          (c) Religious organizations offering formal premarital education or counseling,
144     including religious principles related to marriage, are exempt from the content requirements in
145     Subsection (4)(a), but shall adhere to the length-of-time requirement.
146          (d) Providers are encouraged to make use of research-based relationship inventories.
147          (5) The statement from the person who provided the premarital education or
148     counseling shall include the following:
149          "I, (name of provider), confirm that I provided (names of both parties) at least six hours
150     of premarital education or three hours of premarital counseling. I am authorized to provide
151     premarital education or counseling in accordance with Subsection 30-1-34(3) Utah Code

152     Annotated, 1953."
153          (6) The names of the parties in the provider's statement shall be identical to the legal
154     names of the parties as they appear on the marriage license.
155          Section 5. Section 30-1-36 is repealed and reenacted to read:
156          30-1-36. Activities included in premarital education or counseling.
157          (1) (a) Premarital education may include lectures, classes, or seminars provided by a
158     provider that meets the requirements of Subsection 30-1-34(3)(e) or (f).
159          (b) Premarital education may also include an online course in accordance with
160     Subsection 30-1-34(3)(g).
161          (2) Premarital counseling may include individual, couple, or group counseling with a
162     provider that meets the requirements of Subsection 30-1-34(3)(a), (b), (c), or (d).
163          Section 6. Section 30-1-39 is amended to read:
164          30-1-39. Violation of counseling provisions -- Infraction.
165          Any person [coming within the provisions of this act] who falsely represents that [he]
166     the person has complied with the requirements of [a master plan for premarital counseling or
167     who, for the purpose of evading the provisions of this act, applies for a marriage license in a
168     county within the state of Utah which does not require premarital counseling, is guilty of a
169     misdemeanor.] Section 30-1-34 or who colludes with another person for the purpose of
170     receiving the benefit of Subsection 30-1-34(1)(b) is guilty of an infraction.
171          Section 7. Section 62A-1-120 is amended to read:
172          62A-1-120. Utah Marriage Commission.
173          (1) As used in this section, "commission" means the Utah Marriage Commission
174     created by this section.
175          (2) There is created within the department the "Utah Marriage Commission."
176          (3) The commission shall consist of 17 members appointed as follows:
177          (a) two members of the Senate appointed by the president of the Senate;
178          (b) two members of the House of Representatives appointed by the speaker of the
179     House of Representatives;
180          (c) six current or former representatives from marriage and family studies departments,
181     social or behavioral sciences departments, health sciences departments, colleges of law, or
182     other related and supporting departments at institutions of higher education in this state, as

183     shall be appointed by the governor;
184          (d) five representatives selected and appointed by the governor from among the
185     following groups:
186          (i) social workers who are or have been licensed under Title 58, Chapter 60, Part 2,
187     Social Worker Licensing Act;
188          (ii) psychologists who are or have been licensed under Title 58, Chapter 61,
189     Psychologist Licensing Act;
190          (iii) physicians who are or have been board certified in psychiatry and are or have been
191     licensed under Title 58, Chapter 67, Utah Medical Practice Act;
192          (iv) marriage and family therapists who are or have been licensed under Title 58,
193     Chapter 60, Part 3, Marriage and Family Therapist Licensing Act;
194          (v) representatives of faith communities;
195          (vi) public health professionals;
196          (vii) representatives of domestic violence prevention organizations; or
197          (viii) legal professionals; and
198          (e) two representatives of the general public appointed by the members of the
199     commission appointed under Subsections (3)(a) through (d).
200          (4) (a) A member appointed under Subsections (3)(c) through (e) shall serve for a term
201     of four years. A member may be appointed for subsequent terms.
202          (b) Notwithstanding Subsection (4)(a), the governor shall, at the time of appointment
203     or reappointment, adjust the length of terms to ensure that the terms of commission members
204     are staggered so that approximately half of the commission is appointed every two years.
205          (c) A commission member shall serve until a replacement is appointed and qualified.
206          (d) When a vacancy occurs in the membership for any reason, the replacement shall be
207     appointed for the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment.
208          (5) (a) The commission shall annually elect a chair from its membership.
209          (b) The commission shall hold meetings as needed to carry out its duties. A meeting
210     may be held on the call of the chair or a majority of the commission members.
211          (c) Nine commission members constitute a quorum and, if a quorum exists, the action
212     of a majority of commission members present constitutes the action of the commission.
213          (6) (a) A commission member who is not a legislator may not receive compensation or

214     benefits for the commission member's service, but may receive per diem and travel expenses as
215     allowed in:
216          (i) Section 63A-3-106;
217          (ii) Section 63A-3-107; and
218          (iii) rules made by the Division of Finance according to Sections 63A-3-106 and
219     63A-3-107.
220          (b) Compensation and expenses of a commission member who is a legislator are
221     governed by Section 36-2-2 and Legislative Joint Rules, Title 5, Legislative Compensation and
222     Expenses.
223          (7) The department shall staff the commission.
224          (8) The commission shall:
225          (a) promote coalitions and collaborative efforts to uphold and encourage a strong and
226     healthy culture of strong and lasting marriages and stable families;
227          (b) contribute to greater awareness of the importance of marriage and leading to
228     reduced divorce and unwed parenthood in the state;
229          (c) promote public policies that support marriage;
230          (d) promote programs and activities that educate individuals and couples on how to
231     achieve strong, successful, and lasting marriages, including promoting and assisting in the
232     offering of:
233          (i) events;
234          (ii) classes and services, including those designed to promote strong, healthy, and
235     lasting marriages and prevent domestic violence;
236          (iii) marriage and relationship education conferences for the public and professionals;
237     and
238          (iv) enrichment seminars;
239          (e) actively promote measures designed to maintain and strengthen marriage, family,
240     and the relationships between husband and wife and parents and children; [and]
241          (f) support volunteerism and private financial contributions and grants in partnership
242     with the commission and in support of the commission's purposes and activities for the benefit
243     of the state as provided in this section[.];
244          (g) regularly publicize information on premarital education and counseling services or

245     classes available in the state that meet the requirements specified in Section 30-1-34; and
246          (h) administer the Marriage Education Restricted Account established in Section
247     62A-1-121.
248          (9) Funding for the commission shall be as approved by the Legislature through annual
249     appropriations and the added funding sought by the commission from private contributions and
250     grants that support the duties of the commission described in Subsection (8).
251          (10) The commission shall provide a report to the Social Services Appropriations
252     Subcommittee during the 2022 annual General Session, covering:
253          (a) the number and percentage of couples who received a rebate under Section 30-1-34;
254          (b) expected outcomes of the program and whether they were met; and
255          (c) recommendations regarding the continuance of the rebate.
256          Section 8. Section 62A-1-121 is enacted to read:
257          62A-1-121. Marriage Education Restricted Account.
258          (1) There is created within the General Fund a restricted account known as the
259     "Marriage Education Restricted Account."
260          (2) The restricted account shall be funded from the additional fee collected by the
261     county clerk pursuant to Subsection 17-16-21(2)(d).
262          (3) Upon appropriation, the restricted account shall be used to fund, support, and
263     promote education programs in accordance with Subsection 62A-1-120(8)(d).
264          (4) The restricted account may accrue interest, which shall be deposited into the
265     restricted account.
266          (5) At the close of any fiscal year, any balance in the fund in excess of $400,000 shall
267     be transferred to the General Fund.
268          Section 9. Repealer.
269          This bill repeals:
270          Section 30-1-31, Premarital counseling board in county -- Appointment, terms,
271     compensation, offices -- Common counseling board with adjacent county.
272          Section 30-1-32, Master plan for counseling.
273          Section 30-1-33, Conformity to master plan for counseling as prerequisite to
274     marriage license -- Exceptions.
275          Section 30-1-35, Persons performing counseling services designated by board --

276     Exemption from license requirements.
277          Section 30-1-37, Confidentiality of information obtained under counseling
278     provisions.
279          Section 30-1-38, Fee for counseling.
280          Section 10. Effective date.
281          This bill takes effect on January 1, 2018.

Legislative Review Note
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel