Minister Licensing Requirements in the State of Ohio

A guide to performing marriage.

You have been asked to perform a wedding and you want to learn more about the process. Continue reading to learn the steps that you must take to perform marriage in the State of Ohio as an AMM minister.

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Minister Licensing Summary

Minister Required to Register with State Ohio Revised Code 3101.08

Minimum Minister Age: 18 Years

Minister's Residency: Irrelevant

Same-Sex Marriage Recognized: No

Minister Registration RequirementsRequired by the Secretary of State

  1. Application for Minister's License to Solemnize Marriage
  2. Ordination Certificate
Application Fee: $10

Minister Licensing OfficeMinister are Required to Register with the:

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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 allowing our tenets to coexist with personal beliefs. We encourage people of all backgrounds to 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.

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

Our ordination is informed by these facts - we exist to protect the right of all people to solemnize marriage. 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 in more detail below, but to fully utilize our resources we recommend you register the wedding using the AMM Wedding Helper - a free tool AMM Ministers can use to prepare for performing marriage.

a. Minister Licensing Requirements

In order to perform marriage in Ohio you are required to register with the Ohio Secretary of State. The application fee with the Secretary of State's office is $10. You do not have to be an Ohio resident though you do need to be at least 18 years of age. Same-sex marriages are not recognized in Ohio.

The Ohio Secretary of State's office requires the following documents:

  1. Application for Minister's License to Solemnize Marriage
  2. Ordination Certificate

We reccommend that you order your Ohio Minister Licensing Package. It includes everything you need to register with the Secretary of State, including your Letter of Good Standing and completed Application for Minister's License to Solemnize Marriage.

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.

Application Instructions

You can also complete and print the Ohio Secretary of State's application yourself. For the field "Religious Society or Congregation" we reccommend that you put "American Marriage Ministries". The rest of the application should be self-explanatory.

Filing Instructions

Once you have your paperwork in order, you need to mail it to the:

Ohio Secretary of State
180 E Broad St Suite 103
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Based on past experience, the registration process with the Ohio Secretary of State should take 2-3 days. Once registered you can perform marriage!

To verify your registration with the Ohio Secretary of State, you can use their Minister Search. For further inquiries, you can contact the Ohio Secretary of State at:

Phone: (614) 728-9200
Hours: 8am-5pm M-F

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. Hakuna Matata! Plan ahead, practice, and you will do a great job.

A typical wedding ceremony is only 10-20 minutes long, and follows a time tested format. Remember that you have been personally chosen by the couple, so when you go to speak 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 looking to refresh your knowledge, visit the Wedding Training section of our site.

Our Wedding Training resources will walk you through a wedding ceremony discussing the structure, providing a sample, 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. Setting aside the time to practice is invaluable. 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 the wedding. This part is all up to you. Have fun!

Handling the Marriage License

This is the legal component, filling out a form and signing your name. In the eyes of the state, solemnizing marriage is simply acting as a third party administering a contract (the marriage license) between two people.

On the wedding day, either before or after the ceremony, the couple will present you with their marriage license. Your job is to look over the information, confirm that it is accurate, and complete your portion of the license.

Marriage Licenses can vary dramatically in appearance, but they all ask for a similar set of information. Once the license is in front of you it should be clear. Our Handling the Marriage License page explains all of the forms that may appear on a marriage license.

Once completed, you or the couple return the license to its issuing office (usually by mail). In Ohio the completed marriage license must be returned within 30 days of the wedding. The Marriage License is then recorded and forwarded to a state office, that state office records it, and the marriage becomes a legal binding contract.

About the Marriage License (FOR THE COUPLE)

* The information in this box is not for the minister, but for the couple. Regardless we have included this information here for reference.


The marriage license is the legal document of marriage filed for by the couple from the County Clerk before the wedding day. The marriage license is the document absolutely required for the marriage to be legal in the eyes of the State.


Ohio Marriage License Info:

Issuing Office: County Clerk

Cost: $40-60

Waiting Period: None

Expiration: 60 Days

Return: 30 Days from Wedding


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 March 29th, 2015, American Marriage Ministries has ordained 6,994 AMM Ministers in the State of Ohio, who have registered 915 weddings. What's This?

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Ohio Revised Code

Solemnization Of Marriage

3101.08 Who may solemnize marriages

An ordained or licensed minister of any religious society or congregation within this state who is licensed to solemnize marriages, a judge of a county court in accordance with section 1907.18 of the Revised Code, a judge of a municipal court in accordance with section 1901.14 of the Revised Code, a probate judge in accordance with section 2101.27 of the Revised Code, the mayor of a municipal corporation in any county in which such municipal corporation wholly or partly lies, the superintendent of the state school for the deaf, or any religious society in conformity with the rules of its church, may join together as husband and wife any persons who are not prohibited by law from being joined in marriage.

Title XXXI: Domestic Relations - Children - Chapter 3031: Marriage

Effective Date: 04-11-1991

Minister Licensing

3101.10 License to solemnize marriages

A minister upon producing to the secretary of state, credentials of the minister?s being a regularly ordained or licensed minister of any religious society or congregation, shall be entitled to receive from the secretary of state a license authorizing the minister to solemnize marriages in this state so long as the minister continues as a regular minister in that society or congregation. A minister shall produce for inspection the minister?s license to solemnize marriages upon demand of any party to a marriage at which the minister officiates or proposes to officiate or upon demand of any probate judge.

Amended by 129th General Assembly File No. 52, SB 124, § 1, eff. 1/13/2012.

Effective Date: 06-04-1976

Title XXXI: Domestic Relations - Children - Chapter 3031: Marriage

Minister Licensing

3101.11 Recording license to solemnize marriages

The secretary of state shall enter the name of a minister licensed to solemnize marriages upon a record kept in the office of the secretary of state.

Effective Date: 06-04-1976

Title XXXI: Domestic Relations - Children - Chapter 3031: Marriage

Minister Licensing

3101.12 Evidence of recording

When the name of a minister licensed to solemnize marriages is entered upon the record by the secretary of state, such record and the license issued under section 3101.10 of the Revised Code shall be evidence that such minister is authorized to solemnize marriages in this state.

Effective Date: 06-04-1976

Title XXXI: Domestic Relations - Children - Chapter 3031: Marriage

Minister Licensing Requirements in:

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