Ceremonies & Officials

Once you have obtained your civil union license, your union must be certified. Then your civil union application and certificate must be recorded with the Clerk and Recorder.

A civil union may be certified by a member of a clergy recognized by a religious denomination, a judge of a court, a retired judge, a court magistrate, or a Native American tribal official. Colorado law does not allow a friend or relative to certify a civil union (sign the certificate as officiant) unless they are qualified as a civil union officiant. Public officials (who generally have the power to perform marriages in Colorado) are not authorized under the Colorado Civil Union Act to be a civil union officiant. 

Alternatively, you and your intended partner may certify your own civil union (see below for more detail on self certification). Clergy from out of state do not need to be registered in Colorado to perform a civil union.

The certifying official will complete your civil union certificate, attesting that your certification has been performed lawfully. (Note: The license and certificate are two distinct instruments that appear on the single form. Please do not separate them.)

Civil Union by Absentee Affidavit

If you or your intended partner is unable to be present at the time of application, the absent party may fill out an absentee affidavit form for this purpose. This form can be found on our Forms page.

Self Certification

Colorado statutes allows couples to self certify, or perform their own civil union. To do this, a couple need only indicate such on the civil union certificate form on the third line, indicating "themselves." The couple must both sign below where the clergy or judicial officer would otherwise sign, and then sign again as "Party One" and "Party Two." Neither witnesses nor officiant are required for a valid self certification.

You may choose to self certify while in the building and return the certificate to the Clerk and Recorder immediately. In any event, you must return the civil union certificate for recording no later than 63 days from the date the license was issued. A later return will incur late fees.

Finding a Judge

Denver County Court maintains a list of judges who perform civil union ceremonies during the week, on weekends, and in the evenings.

Name Change

If you plan to change your name after union, please reference this 7 step checklist.

See Our May 1 Photos

Photos from the May 1, 2013 midnight event inaugurating civil unions in Colorado.