New Hampshire Lawmakers Propose Special Wedding Officiant License

Tags: marriage-licenses, first-time-officiants, legislation, minister-rights

Published: Thursday, Jan. 2nd, 2020


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Folks looking to officiate weddings in New Hampshire might be able to sign up for a special marriage officiant license -- if legislation introduced for the state’s 2020 legislative session passes. The proposed license would “temporarily authorize an individual to solemnize a marriage.” 

Each limited-use license would authorize someone to solemnize the civil marriage designated on the registration form, and provide the officiant with proof of such authority from the secretary of state. 

New Hampshire allows ordained ministers and judges to officiate weddings. But for folks that don’t want to get ordained online by organizations like American Marriage Ministries (we’re are all about options here), this new license would open up the space to officiate weddings. 

But for those of you that were ordained online, or with plans to do so, your ordinations remains valid. The law only expands the options available to New Hampshire couples, which is a good thing. 


New Hampshire's Capitol Building in Concord

The license is temporary, and as proposed, would cost $85. The proposed law says that any individual who applies for the special marriage officiant license shall, “register with the secretary of state, complete the registration form prescribed by the secretary of state, and submit an $85 fee to the department of state.” 

The fees from the proposed license would go to support a good cause too.  $80 of the fee would go to the department of health and human services to fund domestic violence programs. The remaining $5 would fund bureaucratic stuff. 

Here at American Marriage Ministries, our goal is to make sure that every couple can find an officiant that shares their values and beliefs. It’s much less important whether that officiant is ordained online by us, or licensed by the state to perform a single marriage. What matters is that the couple and the officiant are happy.

Of course, it’s worth pointing out that our ordination is free, whereas this proposed license would cost $85. It's also worth noting that once ordained, you can officiate as many weddings as you like. So if you want to save a few bucks…

Either way, more options are good, and we applaud New Hampshire’s lawmakers for their efforts in this space. 



If you would like to learn more about how to get ordained online and officiate weddings in New Hampshire, check out our New Hampshire State Minister Registration page. The state has one of the more complex registration processes, but we can provide you with the necessary paperwork and instructions.


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