Minister Licensing Requirements in the State of Ohio

A guide to performing marriage.

Regulations vary throughout the country, so it is important for ministers and couples to be informed. Continue reading to learn about performing 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: Yes

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 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 order to perform marriage in Ohio you are required to register with the Ohio County Clerk. The application fee with the County Clerk'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 recognized in Ohio.

The Ohio County Clerk'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 County Clerk, 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 County Clerk'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 County Clerk
180 E Broad St Suite 103
Columbus, Ohio 43215

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

To verify your registration with the Ohio County Clerk, you can use their Minister Search. For further inquiries, you can contact the Ohio County Clerk 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. 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 Ohio, completed marriage licenses must be returned within 30 days of the wedding. 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 [state] 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.


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 August 3rd, 2015, American Marriage Ministries has ordained 6,993 AMM Ministers in the State of Ohio, who have registered 1,057 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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