How to Get Certified to Marry Someone: Ordination, Certification, and Minister Licensing Explained
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 12th, 2020
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:
Ordination vs. Government License: Do You Need to Register to Officiate Weddings in Your State?
Published: Thursday, Feb. 6th, 2020
If this is your first time officiating a wedding, your first concern might be, “how do I make sure the wedding is legal?” The good news is, it’s actually pretty easy. But, you’ll need to figure out the following: Do you need a government minister license, or is your online ordination sufficient?
Let’s start by breaking down the difference, and then learn about which states require a government license or some other form of registration.
An ordination is the first, and often only requirement to officiate weddings in all 50 states. Ordination grants someone the authority to perform certain acts as a “minister” or religious authority, sanctioned by a religious institution. When you get ordained by American Marriage Ministries, it empowers you to legally join couples in marriage and sign the marriage license as an AMM minister. You don’t need to hold any specific beliefs. All that is re...(continued)
Is Virginia about to get rid of its discriminatory marriage officiant laws?
Published: Thursday, Jan. 23rd, 2020
After years of preventing online-ordained ministers (and many other Virginians) from officiating weddings, lawmakers in Virginia might soon allow regular folk to officiate weddings for friends and family members. This development is part of an update to the state’s marriage law currently making its way through Virginia’s legislature.
If passed, the law would make it much easier for American Marriage Ministries' (AMM) Ministers to officiate weddings in the state. It would also represent a step towards marriage equality in a state where county clerks routinely prevent ministers from registering as wedding officiants.
Here’s a summary of 2020 Virginia House Bill No. 863:...(continued)
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Here’s why you should always check local marriage license rules…
Published: Monday, Sep. 9th, 2019
Late last month, an online church sued the Cleveland County Register of Deeds in North Carolina, alleging that the County’s Register of Deeds Betsy Harnage denied a marriage license to an unnamed couple because their officiant was ordained online. A few days later, local media reported that they were dropping the lawsuit.
It turns out, the real problem was that the couple got married before applying for their marriage license – which is against the rules. You need to apply for the marriage license before the ceremony!
That's just the way things work. ...(continued)
Clark County, Las Vegas, issues new rules, making it easier for online-ordained ministers and others to perform weddings
Published: Thursday, Feb. 28th, 2019
After years of lobbying by ministers and couples, the Clark County government, which includes Las Vegas, has made it easier for online-ordained ministers to officiate weddings, regardless of religious affiliation. The updated requirements remove the need for officiants to submit proof of their religious affiliation, opening the option up to anyone that completes the appropriate application process, pays the applicable fee(s) and completes the required training.
While Clark County has recognized American Marriage Ministries ordinations for a decade now, this decision opens the doors to ministers of other religious organizations.
American Marriage Ministries applauds this decision by the Clark County Government, which lowers the barriers to marriage for couples of all stripes. We would also like to thank our ministers and other partners for supporting our efforts, and for working tirelessly to promote marriage equality across the country....(continued)