How to Complete a Marriage License

It is the minister’s duty to complete the marriage license with the couple, and any required witnesses. Marriage Licenses vary from state to state, even county to county, so it is important to read carefully. Here we review the forms that may appear on the marriage license, but note that not all licenses will contain these forms.

Officiant Title

If the marriage license asks for your Title, write "Minister".

When you become ordained with American Marriage Ministries, you are accepted into our church as a minister. It is with this title, Minister, that you have the authority to perform marriage.

Church Affiliation

If the marriage license asks for your Church, write "American Marriage Ministries".

As a minister with AMM you are able to perform marriage with any religious rite or practice, but when doing so you are still acting as a minister of American Marriage Ministries. We can not give you the authority to act as a representative of any other church.

Religious Denomination

If the marriage license asks for your Denomination, write "Non-Denominational", unless the marriage was celebrated in accordance with a specific denominational rite, which you should specify.

By performing marriage as an AMM minister, you are acting as a representative of American Marriage Ministries, a non-denominational and interfaith church. For this reason "Non-Denominational" is usually the most appropriate response. If your ceremony was celebrated with the tradition of a specific denomination, you should specify this (eg. Baptist). Additionally, there are a few counties that will not allow ministers to specify "Non-Denominational", if you are informed of this by your local county clerk, write "American Marriage Ministries".

Ceremony Type

The license may ask whether the wedding was Civil or Religious. Unless otherwise specified, you should mark: Religious

Even if you perform a ceremony that is secular in nature, you will be doing so in your capacity as a minister, a Religious official. In general, a wedding is only registered as Civil when it has been performed by a judge or other officer of the court.

Witness Requirements

Many states require that 1 - 2 witnesses also sign the marriage license.

It is a requirement in many states that a witness, or pair of witnesses, also sign the marriage license. The witness(es) must complete their required fields on the license and sign the document. Traditionally this is done by the maid of honor and/or best man.

Marriage License Return

The marriage license must be returned by the state-mandated deadline.

Depending on the state, it can be the responsibility of the couple or the minister to return the completed marriage license. The license must be returned to the office from which it was issued, or to another approved government office, in person or via the mail. The marriage will not be legally binding until the license has been recorded by the state.

Sample Marriage License

This is a California Marriage License. Marriage licenses vary across the country; the license you complete will vary slightly from this one.