The Sussex County Clerk of the Peace manages the Marriage Bureau which issues marriage licenses, officiates Memorable Marriage ceremonies and provides certified copies of marriage licenses issued in Sussex County, Delaware. The Marriage Bureau office for Sussex County is open to the public for the issuance of marriage licenses and ceremonies, by appointment only.The Clerk of the Peace is elected to a four-year term in the "on-years" when the Delaware governor and U.S. President are up for election.
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Jay attended school in the Milford School District until transferring to Lighthouse Christian Academy for his high school years, where he graduated with his high school diploma.
Jay was elected to serve on the town council for the Town of Ellendale in 2010. Prior to that, he also served on the town’s planning and zoning board. In 2014, Jay was elected Mayor of Ellendale, where he served until Jan. 3, 2017, when he was sworn in as the new Clerk of the Peace in Sussex County. The Clerk of the Peace is the head of the Marriage Bureau for the County government. The office is responsible for issuing marriage licenses, certified copies of marriage certificates, and conducting ceremonies in the office, as well as other locations all over Sussex County.
Jay has always been active in his community and as a public servant through volunteering, mainly with the fire service. He is still very active in the Ellendale Fire Company. In the past, he has held the positions of 1st Assistant Chief, 2nd Assistant Chief, Board of Director, Fire Captain, Fire Recorder, President, and Vice President. He is currently serving the 2019-2021 as DVFA President. He has been honored with many awards. In 2012, he earned the distinguished award of being inducted into the Delmarva Volunteer Firemen’s Association Hall of Fame. He also serves at the county and state levels of the fire service.
Jay continues to work on many volunteer projects around the county and state.
As an elected official of a constitutional office within Sussex County, we are honored to assist the in-state constituents and out of state visitors with their needs related to the Clerk of the Peace/Marriage Bureau in a friendly and streamlined manner. The joy of sharing in our couple’s special day is motivation enough
We have reached many milestones over the past 4 years providing excellent services within our growing community. We have also updated the Ceremony Room to create a more Sussex County welcoming feel. We have, due to the needs of those getting married, added to our services the ability to have the ceremonies translated into Spanish and Haitian Creole for those participating and witnessing the joyous moment to feel more involved in the special day of their friend and families. I was also involved in supporting legislation to counter the increases in human trafficking by updating the Delaware Code to eliminate the ability of anyone under the age of 18 from marrying. The increase of out of town visitors wanting a destination weddings, especially in our beautiful Eastern Sussex Beaches, we would like to explore more translation opportunities to accommodate those from all around the world including Eastern Europe and Asia.
COVID-19 challenged our office to adapt to the continuing needs of the public wanting to move forward with their nupituals, but with limited access and the Governor’s State of Emergency Orders along with the County Administrator closing the County Administration Building, in essence closing our office, we placed on hold the work of the Marriage Bureau. Being the first County office to re-open, following all the CDC guidelines for safe operations, we began to schedule ZOOM appointments to issue licenses and made ourselves available to perform ceremonies on the top steps of the County Administration Building while the couple stood at the bottom of the steps, practicing safe distancing. We continue to operate on an appointment only schedule to eliminate cross traffic and unnecessary exposure and avoiding crowds of couples waiting to be seen gathering in the hallways of the County Building.
As stated earlier, as a Constitutional elected official in Sussex County, administering public funds and trust, the closer I am to the people who elected me the more accountable I am to them. All government is local and in Delaware, especially Sussex County, being available to meet with and serve the interests of the people mandate that this office, and all Row Offices remain elected and accountable to the citizens.