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Oklahoma revisits minister registration (and a look at all the states that require registration to perform marriage)

Published: Friday, Jan. 22nd, 2021


Illustrations by Jessica Levey

In some states, ministers are required to register with the local government before they are able to perform marriage there. Oklahoma (along with 13 other states and Puerto Rico) is one of these, but a new Senate bill might change that -- saving new officiants there both time and money. 

 

In Oklahoma and elsewhere, ‘registration’ or ‘licensing’ happens when an officiant provides the local county clerk’s office with proof of their ordination (typically a Letter of Good Standing and/or Ordination Certificate), and any other completed applications and forms. Sometimes officiants will have to pay an additional processing or application fee, but once the documentation has been correctly submitted, the officiant can sign marriage licenses and conduct legally binding weddings in that state or county. 

 

At present, registration in Oklahoma comes with a fee of around $50, paid to the county clerk when new officiants submit their credentials. 

 

SB 325, prefiled this month for 2021 by Senator Burns, would remove the current registration requirement and fee -- saving new officiants time and money. The bill also proposes destroying any credentials and church and synagogue authority forms already on file with the office of the county clerk, as they would no longer be needed. This bill would not, however, change the rules around who is allowed to solemnize marriage in the state

 

 

Which states require wedding officiants to register with the county or state? Read on!

Which states require wedding officiants to register? Read on! 

 

 

Will Oklahoma remove registration? Time will tell! Bills like this die all the time in the State Senate. For now, all new officiants and AMM Ministers still need to register in Oklahoma before performing a wedding ceremony.

 

These types of filings interest us, because they reveal pathways for making marriage more egalitarian, more affordable, and more easily available to all couples. (And, of course, we like to keep our ministers informed!)

 

 

These are the states that currently require minister registration and licensing:

 

Follow the links to each state’s registration page for detailed information and instructions!

 

 



If you want to avoid hassle and hit the ground running as a new AMM Minister, order your Minister Ordination Package! It includes everything you need for your state’s registration - including your credentials and a pre-filled application. Just place your order, and once you receive your documents in the mail, you’ll be able to proceed with your registration!
 

About the Authors
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves digging into the history and magic of ritual, exploring the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She’s an advocate for marriage equality and individuality. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys easy hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

Natasha Anakotta

Guest Contributor

Natasha is passionate about promoting marriage equality, and encouraging couples to celebrate in a way that’s authentic and unique. Aside from weddings, she enjoys Star Wars, true crime podcasts, and eating macarons by the dozen.

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