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How To Perform Marriage in Minnesota

A Step-by-Step Guide to Officiating Weddings

Ministers in Minnesota : 13,599


Minister Registration Summary

Is government registration required?
Yes | Minnesota Statutes 517.04
With what office do I need to register?
Local Government Registrar
Does my residency affect registration?
No
What is the minimum age for an officiant?
21
Do I need to complete a Gov. application?
Check with County Registrar
Do I need to provide Gov. ID?
Check with County Registrar
Do I need to submit my Ministry Credentials?
Yes
How much does registration cost?
Check With County Registrar
BECOME AN AMM MINISTER

4 Steps to Performing Marriage in Minnesota




Step 1 GET ORDAINED WITH AMERICAN MARRIAGE MINISTRIES

Getting Ordained with American Marriage Ministries is your first step towards performing marriage in Minnesota. American Marriage Ministries is the only IRS Certified 501c3 Non-Profit that offers online ordinations. Getting ordained with AMM is free, quick, and easy!

Beyond ordination we provide all the information and resources you need to learn how to prepare for and officiate weddings. Whether it is your minister registration requirements, learning how to write a wedding ceremony script, or making sure you understand your legal responsibilities when completing the marriage license, we have you covered!

We welcome people of all walks of life. As long as you have a sincere desire to bring communities together through marriage, it is not important to us if you are religious or non-religious, gay or straight, black or white, rich or poor. Ordination as an AMM minister is about celebrating our commonalities.

As a Minister of American Marriage Ministries we encourage you to officiate weddings that reflect the values and beliefs of you and the couple. With over 610,176 Ordained Ministers and hundreds of thousands of successful weddings, what are you waiting for?

Apply For Ordination!


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Step 2 MINISTER REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS IN MINNESOTA

ALL MINISTERS ARE REQUIRED TO REGISTER WITH THE COUNTY REGISTRAR

Before performing marriage in Minnesota you are required to register with a county level government office. Depending on the county, you may have to register with the County Clerk, Department of Licensing, County Treasurer, County Recorder, or County Auditor, to name a few.

One helpful tip is that getting registered in one county gives you the authority to perform marriage anywhere in Minnesota. You do not have to register in the same county where the wedding will be taking place. This simplifies the wedding plans if you live in one part of Minnesota and the wedding is taking place across the state.

There are a few other unique twists on minister registration in Minnesota that are important to take into account.

THERE IS NO DEDICATED OFFICE RESPONSIBLE FOR MINISTER REGISTRATION

We mentioned this above but it is worth repeating. The type of office that is charged with minister registration varies from county to county. we use the term Government Registrar as a generic term for the various offices charged with this responsibility. The Government Registrar is usually the same office that issues the marriage license to the couple.

This office is typically located in the County Courthouse. Below are the most likely offices that handle minister registration:

  • ● County Clerk
  • ● Department of Licensing
  • ● County Treasurer
  • ● County Recorder
  • ● County Auditor


  • For more specific registration steps you will need to contact the appropriate county office. We do not have a comprehensive list of government registrars. Check out Minnesota Official Marriage Systemshould provide more information on which office you need to contact.

    ALL MINISTERS MUST BE AT LEAST 21 YEARS OF AGE

    Minnesota is the only state where the minister must be at least 21 years old before they are legally able to perform marriage. In every other state the minimum age is 18. Why does Minnesota require Wedding Officiants to be at least 21 years old? We have no idea. This is probably not going to be an issue for you but it is worth mentioning.

    HOW TO REGISTER WITH THE GOVERNMENT REGISTRAR

    Since minister registration is done at a county level the application procedure varies from county to county. Each government registrar's office has the latitude to determine their own registration requirements. Depending on the county, you may asked to submit any combination of the following:

  • ● County Registrar’s Application Form
  • ● Application Fee (Usually $10)
  • ● Government ID
  • ● Your Ordination Certificate
  • ● Letter of Good Standing
  • ● Your Church's Articles of Incorporation


  • HOW TO ORDER YOUR MINISTRY CREDENTIALS AND CHURCH ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION

    All government registrars will require some form of your Ministry Credentials. This will be your either your Ordination Certificate or Letter of Good Standing or both. It is highly likely that you will also be asked to include your church's Articles of Incorporation.

    Order your Minnesota Minister Ordination Package to receive all of the aforementioned documents. Your package includes your Official Ordination Certificate, Letter of Good Standing, and American Marriage Ministries Articles of Incorporation. Your Letter of Good Standing is signed by a church officer, dated, and notarized. We will also provide any additional paperwork if requested by the County Registrar.

    COLLECTING EVERYTHING ELSE YOU MAY NEED TO REGISTER

    Depending on the county you may be asked to complete an Application Form. This usually boils down to a one page application that only takes a few minutes to complete.

    You will also likely be asked to submit some form of valid id. Most registrar's will accept your:

  • ● Driver's License
  • ● Passport
  • ● Birth Certificate
  • ● Military ID
  • ● State ID


  • Finally, most registrars charge a $10 application fee, though this may vary by county.

    SUBMITTING YOUR MINISTER APPLICATION

    Once you have all your paperwork in order, you simply need to submit it to the registrar's office. Provided there are no complications your application should be approved within a few days. By this point you will have spoken to someone at the registrar’s office so you should have a good idea of how long it will take them to approve your application.

    As soon as the county registrar's office gives you the green light, you will have the authority to perform marriage anywhere in Minnesota!


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    Step 3 LEARN HOW TO OFFICIATE WEDDINGS

    Chances are good this will be the first wedding you officiate. This undertaking may seem daunting and we are here to guide you through the process. The Wedding Training section of our site will teach you how to officiate weddings like a pro.

    We break down the process of preparing for officiating a wedding into simple, easy-to-follow steps. We start with explaining the structure of a wedding ceremony and provide sample wedding ceremonies to help you get an idea of what other people have written.

    Once you have the first draft of your wedding ceremony script written, you can follow our guide on officiant best practices for advice on how to polish and practice reading your ceremony script.

    ASKED TO OFFICIATE | OFFICIANT TRAINING MANUAL

    If you are interested in a thorough resource that covers everything you could ever possibly want to know about officiating a wedding ceremony, we recommend purchasing a copy of our book Asked To Officiate. Originally written by two career wedding officiants, Asked To Officiate draws on their decades of experience officiating hundreds of wedding ceremonies.

    Asked To Officiate is also included in our Signature Wedding Officiant Package. This package covers all the bases, including your Ministry Credentials, a Wedding Stole, Asked To Officiate, and your Minister's Manual.


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    Step 4 OFFICIATE THE WEDDING!

    By this point you should be fully prepared to officiate the wedding. Have a fun and memorable wedding ceremony! After you have conducted the wedding you have one last and very important job… to complete the marriage license for the couple.

    COMPLETING THE MARRIAGE LICENSE

    This is your one legal responsibility. Fortunately, it is also an easy task to fulfill. Completing the marriage license simply involves completing your portion of the license and signing it with the couple in the presence of any required witnesses. That's it!

    We understand that you want to do everything correctly. That’s why you are the officiant! If you want to know more about what fields you may have to complete on the marriage license and what you should write, check out our Wedding Officiant Guidelines for Completing Marriage Licenses.

    RETURNING THE MARRIAGE LICENSE

    After the marriage license is completed it must be returned to its issuance office. This is usually the responsibility of the couple though some states require this to be done by the minister. When the couple receives their marriage license it should also come with instructions as to who must return it and how.

    Different states have different deadlines that dictate when the completed marriage license must be returned, so make sure that this duty be done as soon as possible. In most states this is as easy as mailing the marriage license back to the county clerk. Below is more information about Minnesota marriage licenses.




    MINNESOTA MARRIAGE LICENSE INFORMATION

    Prior to the wedding ceremony it is the couple’s responsibility to file for their marriage license. The marriage license issuance office is usually located at the county courthouse. Your job as the wedding officiant is to sign and complete your section of the license. Once the marriage license is completed and returned to the office where it was issued, the marriage is recorded and made legal.

    Marriage License Issuance Office

    County Registrar

    Marriage License Fee

    $40-$115

    Marriage License Waiting Period

    5 Days To Receive

    Marriage License Expiration

    6 Months

    Marriage License Return

    Within 5 Days from Wedding

    What Does Marriage License Waiting Period, Expiration, and Return Mean?


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