AMM Frequently Asked Questions

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Become a Wedding Officiant with Our Free Online Ordination!

How Do I Know The Wedding I Officiate Will Be Legal?

We understand that you want to be 100% certain that the wedding you officiate is legally binding. The legal component of officiating a wedding ceremony is not well understood though it is a lot more straightforward than most people think.

If you strip away all the pomp and circumstance involved in the wedding celebration and leave only the legal components, you are left with only two factors that determine the legality of the marriage:

 

  1. Properly Completing any Required State Officiant Registration
  2. Properly Filing for, Completing, and Returning the Marriage License

 

Marriage is a unique cultural tradition that has been around for millennia. About 100 years ago State governments across the country started taking jurisdiction over marriages. Prior to this, marriages were administered by religious institutions and private communities. The government played no role in marriage.

Things have obviously changed and now marriage exists as a unique intersection between religious and government institutions. From the perspective of the government, marriage is simply a contract between two people, similar to any other contract such as a business partnership between two people.

It is helpful to think of marriage in this context to better understand the legal foundations for what is required of the officiant and couple. The officiant is the third party administering the contract, making sure that the parties committing to the contract are doing so voluntarily and with an understanding of their contractual obligations.

 

 

Observing State Officiant Registration Requirements

As marriage licenses are issued and filed with the State governments, the laws pertaining to who can officiate weddings and whether those individuals are required to register with a government office are up to the legislators of each state.

Most states do not have any laws requiring ministers to register prior to performing marriage. There are a few states that do and they are listed below:

  1. Arkansas
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Hawaii
  4. Louisiana
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Minnesota
  7. Nevada
  8. New Hampshire
  9. New York
  10. Ohio
  11. Oklahoma
  12. Puerto Rico
  13. Vermont
  14. Virginia
  15. West Virginia

Observing Marriage License Requirements

It is the couple, not the officiants, responsibility to file for the marriage license. In most states it is the County Clerk located at the County Courthouse that issues the marriage license.

On the wedding day, before or after the ceremony, the couple must present the marriage license to the officiant and the officiant and couple must complete the marriage license in the presence of any required witnesses.

After the marriage license is completed it must be returned to its issuance office. Depending on the state this must be done by the couple or the officiant, in person or by mail. When the couple receives their marriage license, they will also receive instructions on how to properly return the completed license.

For more information on what office issues the marriage license, how much it costs, how to complete it, and more, check out our <a href='/officiant-training/wedding-day-marriage-license-responsibilities'>Handling the Marriage License Page</a>.





AMERICAN MARRIAGE MINISTRIES

▸ What are American Marriage Ministries Beliefs? ▸ Is American Marriage Ministries a Legal Church?

AMM ORDINATIONS

▸ How Long Does it Take to Get Ordained Online? ▸ Can I Provide Premarital Counseling or Education? ▸ Can I Perform Other Ceremonies Such as Baptisms and Funerals? ▸ I saw this website saying you may not be legal. What is that about? ▸ Are Your Online Ordinations Legal? ▸ Will Getting Ordained as a Minister Affect My Taxes? ▸ How Much Does Your Online Ordination Cost? ▸ Are Your Online Ordinations Valid In My State? ▸ Does Your Ordination Expire? ▸ Is American Marriage Ministries Legally Valid in Tennessee? ▸ How Do I Become Ordained Online? ▸ What is My Title Once I Get Ordained Online? ▸ What Does it Take to Become an Ordained Minister? ▸ How Do I Get Ordained Online? ▸ Does an online church need to be a 501(c)3 recognized organization for the ordination to be valid?

MARRIAGE LICENSE

▸ Which address should I write on the marriage license? ▸ What do I do with the marriage license after the Wedding? ▸ Does the Officiant Have to Return the Marriage License?

MY MINISTER ACCOUNT

▸ What is My Minister ID, and Where Can I Find It? ▸ How Do I Manage My Privacy Settings? ▸ Can I Print My Ordination Certificate From The Website? ▸ How do I deactivate my account?

OFFICIATING WEDDING CEREMONIES

▸ Can I Perform Same-Sex Marriage?

▸ How Do I Know The Wedding I Officiate Will Be Legal?

▸ Do I need to register with the government before performing a marriage? ▸ What Do I Say When Officiating the Wedding? ▸ Can I Legally Officiate Weddings as an AMM Minister? ▸ Is There a Legally Prescribed Place to Officiate a Wedding? ▸ Can I Officiate Weddings in Other States? ▸ Can I Officiate Weddings in Another Country? ▸ Does a wedding ceremony have legal wording requirements? ▸ I am not a U.S. citizen. Can I officiate weddings in the U.S.? ▸ What is a Marriage Officiant? ▸ Can I perform weddings in North Carolina as an American Marriage Ministries Minister? ▸ What Does an Officiant Say at a Wedding? ▸ Can I officiate remote weddings over the internet without being present at the ceremony?

PRODUCTS & ORDERS

▸ How Will I Know My Order Was Placed? ▸ I Need My Ordination Certificate! ▸ Can I Bill and Ship to Separate Addresses? ▸ Can Someone Else Pay for My Order? ▸ Is My Payment Secure? ▸ What Payment Methods Do you Accept? ▸ Why Is My Order Not Going Through? ▸ What Is Your Return Policy? ▸ Can I Place an Order by mail or Over the Phone? ▸ Will I Be Charged Sales Tax? ▸ Which State Should I Select When Ordering My Minister Ordination Package? ▸ What is the Expiration Date on my Letter of Good Standing for? ▸ What Kind of Shipping Options Do You Offer?
GET ORDAINED
WITH AMM

Become a Wedding Officiant with Our Free Online Ordination!