How To Perform Marriage in Ohio

A Step-by-Step Guide to Officiating Weddings

Ministers in Ohio : 22,102


Minister Registration Summary

Who Can Perform Marriage?
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
Are AMM Ministry Credentials Recognized?
Yes | Order Your Ministry Credentials
Is government registration required?
Yes | Ohio Revised Code 3101.08
With what office do I need to register?
Secretary of State
Does my residency affect registration?
No
What is the minimum age for an officiant?
18
Do I need to complete a Gov. application?
Yes
Do I need to provide Gov. ID?
No
Do I need to submit my Ministry Credentials?
Yes
How much does registration cost?
$10
BECOME AN AMM MINISTER

4 Steps to Performing Marriage in Ohio




Step 1 GET ORDAINED WITH AMERICAN MARRIAGE MINISTRIES

Getting Ordained with American Marriage Ministries is your first step towards performing marriage in Ohio. 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 659,530 Ordained Ministers and hundreds of thousands of successful weddings, what are you waiting for?

Apply For Ordination!


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Step 2 OHIO MINISTER REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS

ALL MINISTERS ARE REQUIRED TO REGISTER WITH THE OHIO SECRETARY OF STATE

You are required to register with the office of the Ohio Secretary of State before performing marriage.

Registration with the Ohio Secretary of State is simple. You can complete the entire process by mail. Provided there are no complications, the Secretary's office takes no more than 2-3 days to process your application.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS TO REGISTER AS A MINISTER WITH THE OHIO SECRETARY OF STATE

The Ohio Secretary of State outlines clear Licensing Procedures for ministers that want to perform marriage. In short, you will need to submit:

  • ● Your Completed Application for Minister's License to Solemnize Marriage

  • ● Your Ministry Credentials (Ordination Certificate or Letter of Good Standing)

  • ● A $10 Check or Money Order. (Payable to the "Ohio Secretary of State")


  • HOW TO COMPLETE YOUR APPLICATION FOR MINISTER'S LICENSE TO SOLEMNIZE MARRIAGE

    The Application for Minister's License to Solemnize Marriage is a simple one page form that should only take you a few minutes to complete. Below are detailed instructions on how to complete the form.

  • ● Enter Your Name

  • ● Enter Your Mailing Address

  • ● Enter Your Email Address & Phone Number

  • ● For "Religious Society or Congregation" enter "American Marriage Ministries"


  • That's it! Like we said, pretty easy.

    A completed Application for Minister's License to Solemnize Marriage is also included in your Ohio Minister Ordination Package for your convenience.

    HOW TO ORDER YOUR MINISTRY CREDENTIALS

    Order your Ohio Minister Ordination Package to receive official hardcopies of your ministry credentials. Your package includes your Ordination Certificate as well as your Letter of Good Standing. Your Letter of Good Standing is signed by a Church Officer, Dated, and Notarized.

    As stated above, your Ohio Minister Ordination Package also includes your completed Application for Minister's License to Solemnize Marriage.

    SUBMITTING YOUR MINISTER APPLICATION TO THE OHIO SECRETARY OF STATE

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

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

    APPROVAL OF YOUR MINISTER APPLICATION

    Provided there are no complications, your application should be approved in no more than 2-3 days. You can also verify your registration with the Ohio Secretary of State with their Minister Search.

    If you have questions about the minister registration process you can contact the Ohio Secretary of State:

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

    As soon as you are registered with the Ohio Secretary of State you will have the authority to perform marriage anywhere in Ohio!


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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 Ohio marriage licenses.




    OHIO 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 Clerk

    Marriage License Fee

    $44 - $65

    Marriage License Waiting Period

    None

    Marriage License Expiration

    60 Days

    Marriage License Return

    Within 30 Days from Wedding

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


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