Minister Licensing Requirements in the State of New Hampshire

Minister Registration Required for Non-Residents New Hampshire Statutes 457:31

Minimum Minister Age: 18 Years

Minister's Residency: Required if Non-Resident

Same-Sex Marriage Recognized: Yes

Non-Resident MinistersMinister Registration Requirements

  1. Application to Perform a Marriage Ceremony in New Hampshire
Application Fee: $25

Non-Resident MinistersMinister Licensing 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:

  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

Only ministers who are not New Hampshire residents are required to register with the New Hampshire Town Clerk's office. The application fee is $25 and the minister must be at least 18 years of age. Same-sex marriages are recognized in New Hampshire.

Steps for Residents

As a New Hampshire resident, 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.

Once ordained as an AMM minister you can perform marriage anywhere in New Hampshire.

Steps for Non-Residents

Non-Residents of New Hampshire are required to register with the New Hampshire Town Clerk's office prior to performing marriage. The Town Clerk charges a $25 application fee and requires you to complete and submit:

  1. Application to Perform a Marriage Ceremony in New Hampshire
Application Instructions

On the checkbox area we reccommend that you check the first box, "An ordained minister who does not reside in..." and that you enter "American Marriage Ministries" in the attached denomination field. The rest of the application will ask you to provide personal details about yourself, the couple, and the wedding.

Once you have completed the application, you can mail it to the:

New Hampshire Town Clerk
State House, Room 204
Concord, New Hampshire 03301

Please allow a few days for processing your application. You can contact the Town Clerk if you have further questions:

Phone: 603-271-3242
Hours: 8:00am-4:30pm M-F

Once your signed off by the New Hampshire Town Clerk you can perform marriage!

Though not required we recommend that you order your New Hampshire Minister Licensing Package. The minister licensing package includes your Letter of Good Standing, Ordination Certificate, instructional material on how to conduct a wedding, and more.

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 New Hampshire, completed marriage licenses must be returned within 90 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 New Hampshire must file for a marriage license with the Town Clerk's office before their wedding day. The state will not recognize a marriage without a marriage license.

New Hampshire Marriage License Info:

Issuing Office: Town Clerk

Statewide License Cost: $45 - 60

Waiting Period: None

Expiration: 90 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 February 23rd, 2018, American Marriage Ministries has ordained 657 AMM Ministers in the State of New Hampshire, who have registered 403 weddings. What's This?


New Hampshire Statutes

Solemnization Of Marriage

457:31 Solemnization of Marriage

A marriage may be solemnized in the following manner:

I. In a civil ceremony by a justice of the peace as commissioned by the state and by judges of the United States appointed pursuant to Article III of the United States Constitution, by bankruptcy judges appointed pursuant to Article I of the United States Constitution, or by United States magistrate judges appointed pursuant to federal law; or

II. In a religious ceremony by any minister of the gospel in the state who has been ordained according to the usage of his or her denomination, resides in the state, and is in regular standing with the denomination; by any member of the clergy who is not ordained but is engaged in the service of the religious body to which he or she belongs, and who resides in the state, after being licensed therefor by the secretary of state; or within his or her parish, by any minister residing out of the state, but having a pastoral charge wholly or partly in this state.

Title 63: Domestic Relations - Chapter 457: Marriages

Source. RS 147:6. CS 156:6. 1861, 2484:1. GS 161:9. 1877, 57:1. GL 180:9. PS 174:8. 1919, 56:1. 1921, 79:1. PL 286:28. RL 338:31. RSA 457:31. 1969, 435:1. 1998, 294:1. 2001, 11:1, eff. April 24, 2001. 2006, 86:2, eff. July 4, 2006. 2009, 59:3, eff. Jan. 1, 2010.

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