Minister Licensing Requirements in the State of Louisiana
Minister Required to Register with Parish Louisiana Revised Statutes 202
Minimum Minister Age: 18 Years
Minister's Residency: Irrelevant
Same-Sex Marriage Recognized: Yes
Minister Licensing OfficeParish Clerk of Court
All minister must register with the local Parish Clerk of Court. Registration requirements may vary by office.
Please select a county to view their specific contact information.
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:
- All people, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, have the right to marry.
- It is the right of every couple to choose who will solemnize their marriage.
- 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:
- Complying with any applicable government regulations.
- 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
All ministers in Louisiana are required to register with the Parish Clerk of Court's office in the Parish in which they plan to perform marriage. You do not need to be an Louisiana resident though you must be at least 18 years of age to qualify to perform marriage. Same-sex marriages are recognized in Louisiana.
The application procedure varies by county however all Parish Clerk of Court's offices require a signed document from the minister's church to be submitted with their application. The most commonly requested documents are:
- Ordination Certificate
- Letter of Good Standing
- *Louisiana Marriage Officiant Registration Affidavit*
We recommend that you order your Louisiana Minister Licensing Package. It contains everything you need to register with any Parish Clerk of Court's office in Louisiana. Included in your package is your Letter of Good Standing (Signed and Notarized), Ordination Certificate, and instructional materials on how to conduct a wedding. We will also provide any additional paperwork if requested by the Parish Clerk of Court.
Some offices may also ask to see a copy of your Ordination Credential and/or a completed and notarized form titled "Louisiana Marriage Officiant Registration Affidavit". We have included a partially completed copy of the Affidavit in case it is required by the Parish that issued the marriage license.
If the Affidavit is required, you must complete the document in front of a notary and have the document notarized before submitting it to the Parish Clerk.
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.
Once you have all your paperwork in order you need to mail your application to the appropriate Parish Clerk of Court's office:
Please select a county to view their specific contact information.
Once you have received your paperwork from us, simply mail it to the Parish Clerk of Court's office. Based on past experience, the registration process should only take a few days and once registered you can perform marriage!
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 Louisiana, 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 Louisiana must file for a marriage license with the Parish Clerk of Court's office before their wedding day. The state will not recognize a marriage without a marriage license.
Louisiana Marriage License Info:
Issuing Office: Parish Clerk of Court
Statewide License Cost: $27.50
Waiting Period: 3 days before completing
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 October 17th, 2017, American Marriage Ministries has ordained 1,763 AMM Ministers in the State of Louisiana, who have registered 480 weddings. What's This?Top
Louisiana Revised Statutes
202 Authority to perform marriage ceremony
A marriage ceremony may be performed by:
(1) A priest, minister, rabbi, clerk of the Religious Society of Friends, or any clergyman of any religious sect, who is authorized by the authorities of his religion to perform marriages, and who is registered to perform marriages;
(2) A state judge or justice of the peace.
Title 9: Civil Code-Ancillaries - Code Title IV: Husband and Wife - Chapter 1: Marriage General Principles - Part I. Officiants
Acts 1987, No. 886, Â§3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 1997, No. 73, Â§1.