Minister Licensing Requirements in the Commonwealth of Kentucky

No Minister Registration Required * Kentucky Revised Statutes 402.050

Minimum Minister Age: 18 Years

Minister's Residency: Irrelevant

Same-Sex Marriage Recognized: Yes

* There are no state laws requiring the registration of ministers, but county registrars have asked AMM Ministers to present proof of ordination in the past.

How to Perform Marriage

1. Become an Ordained Minister

American Marriage Ministries is a non-profit, interfaith and non-denominational church with the mission to ensure that all people have the right to perform marriage. We offer ordination to all people, regardless of religious background or spiritual philosophy, that agree with our three tenets:

  1. All people, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, have the right to marry.
  2. It is the right of every couple to choose who will solemnize their marriage.
  3. All people have the right to solemnize marriage.

Applying to become an AMM Minister is not a declaration of exclusive faith; it is an act of fellowship, allowing our tenets to coexist with personal beliefs. We believe that people of all backgrounds can find community within the simple tenets of our faith.

About Our Ordination

The AMM ordination is free, requires no special course of study, and takes only a moment. Our goal is to help people on their path to performing marriage for friends and family.

The act of solemnizing marriage historically belonged to the people, and only recently has it become the domain of the state. A marriage is a momentus spiritual event, but the legal act of solemnizing marriage is nothing more than signing a piece of paper; a task that does not necessitate the time, expense, and academia of a traditional seminarial degree.

If you have been asked by people close to you to solemnize their marriage, we believe you have the right to.

2. Prepare for Performing Marriage

Preparing to officiate a wedding involves two major steps:

  1. Complying with any applicable government regulations.
  2. Preparing what you will say for the ceremony.

We will discuss both steps below, but to fully utilize our resources we recommend that you register the wedding that you will perform with the AMM Wedding Helper - a free tool for AMM Ministers.

a. Minister Licensing Requirements

In Kentucky no laws exist requiring ministers to register with any government office in order to perform marriage though all wedding officiants must be at least 18 years of age. Same-sex marriages are recognized in Kentucky.

The only step you need to take to have the legal authority to perform marriage is to become an AMM minister. Our ordination is free and does not expire. You do not need prior ministerial experience and we welcome people of all beliefs and backgrounds.

Although there is no legal requirement for ministers to register with the Kentucky government, in the past certain County Clerk's offices have asked our ministers to produce documentation verifying their ordination.

We encourage you to speak with your local government registrar and you can find their contact information below:

Please select a county to view their specific contact information.

Please be aware that government workers are prohibited from giving anything that may be construed as legal advice. As such they may provide indirect answers if asked pointed questions. Regarding the legality of performing marriage, the most important question to ask is "I am an AMM minister. Will you dutifully record the completed marriage license if I officiate the wedding and the marriage license has been properly completed and returned within the timeframe specified by the State?".

Though not required, we encourage you to order your Kentucky Minister Licensing Package. Your Minister Licensing Package contains everything you could possibly be asked to produce by any County Clerk in Kentucky, including your Ordination Certificate and Letter of Good Standing.

Standard shipping for all orders is 3-10 business days, depending on where in the country your package is being shipped. We also offer expedited shipping methods in case you are on a tighter timeline.

b. Preparing the Ceremony

Many AMM Ministers get ordained to perform their first marriage and are often unsure of the process. Aside from legal concerns, the biggest fear most people have is public speaking. Plan ahead, practice, and you will do a great job!

A typical wedding ceremony is only 10 - 20 minutes and follows a time tested format. When you speak, remember that you were personally chosen by the couple, and that the most important two people already have faith in your ability. Weddings are a celebration with friends and family – the best audience anyone could ask for.

If you have never conducted a wedding or are simply want to refresh your knowledge, visit the Wedding Training section.

Our resources are here to walk you through a wedding ceremony, discussing structure, providing samples, and more.

Every wedding is unique, and the couple will want to personalize the format of their ceremony. Since you already know them, you should have no trouble collaborating and choosing your words for the ceremony.

Once the script is set, we highly recommend that you rehearse the ceremony by yourself and in front of friends. With enough practice, you will be fully prepared to confidently officiate your first wedding.

3. Officiate the Wedding

By this point you should be fully prepared to officiate. Perform the ceremony and have fun!

Handling the Marriage License

After the ceremony it is time for official recordkeeping. The couple will present their marriage license for you and the witnesses. The minister's job is to look over the license, confirm that the information is accurate, and complete the officiant's section.

In the eyes of the state, solemnizing marriage is the act of administering a contract (the marriage license) between two people.

Marriage licenses vary dramatically in appearance, but all ask for a similar set of information. Our How to Complete a Marriage License page explains all of the details that may be required on a marriage license.

Once completed, you or the couple must return the license to its office of issuance (usually by mail). In Kentucky, completed marriage licenses must be returned within 30 days of its issuance. The license is then recorded by the state and the marriage becomes a legal binding contract.

About the Marriage License (FOR THE COUPLE)

* This information is not for the minister but for the couple, and is included for reference.


Couples getting married in Kentucky must file for a marriage license with the County Clerk's office before their wedding day. The state will not recognize a marriage without a marriage license.


Kentucky Marriage License Info:

Issuing Office: County Clerk

Statewide License Cost: $35.50 - 37

Waiting Period: None

Expiration: 30 Days

Return: Before Expiration


Waiting Period: The minimum amount of time the couple must wait to get married from the date that they are granted their marriage license.

Expiration: The amount of time that the marriage license is valid from its issuance date.

Return: The amount of time that the completed marriage license must be returned after the wedding.


That’s all there is to it!

As of June 28th, 2017, American Marriage Ministries has ordained 2,371 AMM Ministers in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, who have registered 842 weddings. What's This?

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Kentucky Revised Statutes

Solemnization Of Marriage

402.050 Who may solemnize marriage -- Persons present

(1) Marriage shall be solemnized only by:
(a) Ministers of the gospel or priests of any denomination in regular communion with any religious society;
(b) Justices and judges of the Court of Justice, retired justices and judges of the Court of Justice except those removed for cause or convicted of a felony, county judges/executive, and such justices of the peace and fiscal court commissioners as the Governor or the county judge/executive authorizes; or
(c) A religious society that has no officiating minister or priest and whose usage is to solemnize marriage at the usual place of worship and by consent given in the presence of the society, if either party belongs to the society.
(2) At least two (2) persons, in addition to the parties and the person solemnizing the marriage, shall be present at every marriage.

Title XXXV: Domestic Relations - Chapter 402: Marriage - Solemnization

Effective: July 15, 1996 History: Amended 1996 Ky. Acts ch. 205, sec. 1, effective July 15, 1996. -- Amended 1992 Ky. Acts ch. 50, sec. 1, effective July 14, 1992. -- Amended 1978 Ky. Acts ch. 384, sec. 516, effective June 17, 1978. -- Amended 1976 (1st Extra. Sess.) Ky. Acts ch. 14, sec. 401, effective January 2, 1978. -- Amended 1968 Ky. Acts ch. 102, sec. 1. -- Recodified 1942 Ky. Acts ch. 208, sec. 1, effective October 1, 1942, from Ky. Stat. secs. 2103, 2107.

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