How to Get Certified to Marry Someone: Ordination, Certification, and Minister Licensing Explained

Tags: certificate, county-clerk-offices, clergy, get-ordained

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 12th, 2020

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The first step before officiating a wedding, even before you start talking about the ceremony, is making sure you are legally allowed to solemnize weddings. Everyone has the legal right to do so, but much like other important life events, the government has found a way to involve itself. So, as a wedding minister, you need to ensure that you meet your state’s requirements – which always starts with getting ordained online here at theamm.org
 
Having got that out of the way (we’ll wait for a minute here while you fill out and submit the form), let’s move on to certification, and what that entails.
 
The reason this is confusing is because different states and municipalities use “certification,” and “licensing” interchangeably. In other words, they mean the same thing.
 
In a nutshell, getting certified to marry someone involves the following steps:
 
First, you have to get ordained online which you can do right here on this website.
 
Second, you need to read our minister registration pages, and find out if you need to be certified by your state or local county government. That depends on where the wedding is taking place, not where you live.
 
The laws regarding minister registration vary from state to state. And while many states do not require ministers to register before performing marriage, many do.
 
Below is a list of states where Wedding Officiant Registration is Required. However, you should still check with your local county clerk, as many county-level offices have their own policies.
 
Arkansas
District of Columbia
Hawaii
Louisiana
Massachusetts
Minnesota
Nevada
New Hampshire
New York
Ohio
Oklahoma
Puerto Rico
Vermont
Virginia
West Virginia

 
 
If you are going to officiate a wedding in any of the states mentioned above, you should order your Minister Ordination Package for that state. Your package will contain everything you need to successfully register, including Government Applications, Ordination Certificate, and Letter of Good Standing.
 
And if your state is not listed above, it’s still a good idea to make sure you have your ordination credentials on hand, since you are performing a legal function, and proof may be required at a later date.
 

GET ORDAINED
WITH AMM

Become a Wedding Officiant with Our Free Online Ordination!