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Oklahoma Wedding Officiants won’t need to register with the state beginning November 2022

Published: Sunday, May. 16th, 2021


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No more registration requirements for wedding ministers in Oklahoma, plus updates to completing and returning the marriage license

 

 


Wedding officiants who wish to solemnize marriages in Oklahoma will no longer need to register with the state beginning on November 1, 2022. 

 

Last week, legislators in Oklahoma passed House Bill 3075, which removes the current registration requirement for resident and non-resident ministers officiating weddings in the state. The act also amends several laws governing the completion and return of an Oklahoma marriage license.

 

Instead of registering, ministers performing weddings under the new law will need to “certify on the marriage certificate that he or she holds credentials or authority from his or her church or synagogue authorizing him or her to solemnize marriages.”

 

The relevant section of § 43-7 is amended to read:

 

TITLE 43. MARRIAGE AND FAMILY

Section 7. Solemnization of marriages.

Subsection B. 

 

2. The preacher, minister, priest, rabbi, or ecclesiastical dignitary shall certify on the marriage certificate that he or she holds credentials or authority from his or her church or synagogue authorizing him or her to solemnize marriages.

3. Repealed 

4. Repealed

 

See the full text for HB3075 here. 

 

 

Other important changes passed in HB 3075 include: New provisions for name changes on the marriage license; the marriage license expiration period is extended from 10 days to 30 days; and the marriage license return period is extended from 5 days to 30 days from the wedding ceremony. 

 

Related: Marriage License Waiting Period, Expiration, and Return Period explained 
 

Rep. Bob Ed Culver (R-Tahlequah), who authored the bill, said: "This bill is a simple but important one that provides cleanup language for some of our statutes regarding the issuance of marriage licenses and name changes… Flashy bills about controversial topics often get the headlines, and they are important, but this bill will have an immediate impact for Oklahomans, and I'm proud to have authored it." (via OKHouse.gov)

 

Similar legislation was introduced in 2021 (SB 325, which AMM covered here) but failed to pass. 

 

This act was approved by Governor Kevin Stitt (R) on May 11th, and will become effective November 1, 2022.

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How will this affect AMM Ministers in Oklahoma?

 

Changes to the registration process do not affect your ability to perform marriages in the state, and online ordination with American Marriage Ministries continues to be recognized in Oklahoma. 

 

We expect that the new process will make it easier for wedding officiants to solemnize marriages by eliminating the filing costs and time associated with registration, and by providing more time to return the signed marriage certificate after the ceremony.  

 

However, until the new laws go into effect in November, officiants who are performing a wedding in Oklahoma for the first time will need to register with the County Clerk Office (in the county where the ceremony will take place) by submitting their minister credentials before the ceremony. 

 

These credentials are provided in the Oklahoma Minister Ordination Package, including your Ordination Certificate and Notarized Letter of Good Standing, and any additional church documents requested by the County Clerk.

 

Learn more about how to register by visiting Oklahoma Officiant Government Registration Requirements on the AMM website.

 

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An illustration of the United States, with a star drawn in each state that requires gov. registration

States that currently require government registration for wedding officiants. 

Illustration by Jessica Levey

 

 

Did you know?

What is minister registration or licensing? In some states, ministers are required to register with the local government before they are able to perform marriage there. While the process in each state is different, this usually required submitting proof of ordination, such as an Ordination Certificate, notarized Letter or Good Standing, and other ministry credentials.

 

The states below currently require minister registration and licensing. Follow the links to each state’s registration page for detailed information and instructions. 

 

 

*Oklahoma will no longer require minister registration beginning November 1, 2022.

 

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Get ordained! 

 

How to Become a Wedding Officiant in Oklahoma

 

Friends and family members can perform wedding ceremonies in Oklahoma if they’ve been ordained. Get ordained online with American Marriage Ministries to get started.

 

 

 

 


 

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