Published: Friday, Mar. 12th, 2021
By Jessica Levey
As of early 2021, the West Virginia Secretary of State now offers an online application process to register new wedding officiants. This is great news for ministers wanting to perform marriage in the state!
Prior to this change, officiants had to fill out a paper application that was submitted by mail, a time consuming and sometimes complicated process. With this update, registration is streamlined through an electronic online portal.
A Letter of Good Standing
$25 Application Fee (all major credit cards accepted)
Even though the application process has moved online, you’ll still need to submit official documentation proving your status as an ordained minister in order to register as a “Marriage Celebrant” with the West Virginia Secretary of State.
You will need to provide an official, signed and notarized copy of your Letter of Good Standing.
Though it’s not required, we still encourage submitting a digital copy of your Ordination Certificate as additional proof of ordination to help validate your standing as an ordained minister.
(AMM Ministers: these documents are all included in the Minister Ordination Package)
Once you’ve received all of your credentials in the mail, you’ll make a digital copy of your official documents to submit online through the new registration portal.
You can create a digital copy of your official documents by taking a picture with your phone, or using a color scanner either at home or at a local print shop.
You are required to submit a digital copy of your official Letter of Good Standing. And again, even though it’s not required, we strongly recommend that you also upload a copy of your Ordination Certificate when prompted by the Secretary of State (SOS) website.
Now that you have the documents you’ll need, head to the SOS website to create your online account and begin the registration process! You’ll select ‘Marriage Celebrant Registration Application’, complete the form, and upload your documents. You’ll review your answers and pay the application fee, and receive confirmation that the process is complete.
For a step-by-step guide to this process, including detailed screenshots of the online registration form and how to complete it on our West Virginia Wedding Officiant Registration Requirements page:
It will only take a few days for the SOS to process your application. Once you’re approved, they’ll email you a confirmation email. Keep an eye on your inbox!
Along with the letter, which will be called something similar to "West Virginia Secretary of State Internal Acceptance", you’ll also receive several PDF files. One of these will be a digital certificate issued by the SOS granting you the ability to perform marriage in West Virginia.
Become a Wedding Officiant with Our Free Online Ordination!