What are the Wedding Officiant Registration Requirements in Vermont?
The Vermont Statutes §5144 requires that all non-resident wedding officiants must register with the Vermont Judiciary before performing marriage.
Vermont Residents are not required to register as wedding officiants with any State office. Continue reading for officiant registration instructions for non-residents of Vermont.
How To Register as a Non-Resident Officiant in Vermont
The Vermont Judiciary website outlines Registration Instructions for authorization of out-of-state clergy. You will need:
- A Completed "Non-Resident Minister To Perform Marriage Ceremony Petition" Application.
- Proof that You Live Out-of-State. (Valid ID such as your Driver's License, Birth Certificate, Military ID, etc.)
- Your Ministry Credentials, such as your Ordination Certificate or Letter of Good Standing.
- To Pay a $100 Filing Fee, Payable to the "Vermont Secretary of State".
Follow these step-by-step instructions to successfully register as a wedding officiant with the Vermont Judiciary.
STEP 1ORDER YOUR MINISTRY CREDENTIALS
Order your Vermont Minister Ordination Package to receive your official Ordination Certificate and Notarized Letter of Good Standing. Your package contains the following items required for successful registration in Vermont:
- Your Ministry Credentials - Ordination Certificate and Letter of Good Standing.
- The Petition for Non-Resident Minister To Perform Marriage Ceremony Petition" Application.
If you live in Vermont you are not required to register with any government office. However, it is a good idea to keep personal copies of your official Ministry Credentials. Proof of your ordination is essential in the event that the couple or government officials request to verify your status as an ordained minister.
STEP 2COMPLETE THE PETITION FOR NON-RESIDENT MINISTER TO PERFORM MARRIAGE CEREMONY
After your package arrives, complete the Petition for Non-Resident Minister To Perform Marriage Ceremony. This is a simple one page form that should only take you a few minutes to complete.
The form needs to be notarized, so do not sign the form until you are in the presence of a notary. Below are instructions on how to complete the form.
- a. Enter your full name and mailing address. Your address must match the address on your government ID.
- b. Enter the couple's names and their respective mailing address or addresses.
- c. Enter the wedding ceremony date and the town in Vermont where the wedding is to take place.
- d. For the field numbered 1 enter "American Marriage Ministries" and your state of residence.
OPTIONAL STEPDRAFT AND INCLUDE AN AFFIDAVIT FROM THE COUPLE
This step is not required when submitting your application but it helps to communicate the seriousness of your intent to perform marriage. There are three empty lines on the form that are immediately preceded by this text:
"Title 18, Section 5144 of Vermont Statutes Annotated provides that the Court may approve these petitions “if the Probate judge determines that the circumstances make the special authorization desirable.” If your ordination or license is not based upon active and on-going ministry, and/or was obtained specifically to obtain authorization to perform the marriage in question, please identify to the Court the circumstances which would support the required finding that this special authorization is desirable:"
On the empty lines write, "See Attached Couple's Affidavit". This affidavit is a document that you will draft with the couple. It testifies that they explicitly sought you out to be their wedding officiant and that you are the most qualified person to perform this function. The affidavit could look something like this:
Petition for Non-Resident Minister To Perform Marriage Ceremony
Affidavit of the Couple
To the Probate Judge,
I (Partner A) and (Partner B) declare that we have duly considered and agreed that the most appropriate person to solemnize our marriage is (Officiant’s Full Name). We have made this decision after serious thought and consideration. (Officiant’s Name) has been an integral part of our lives and our community.
We respectfully request that (Officiant’s Full Name) be authorized to Solemnize our Marriage.
(Printed Name of Partner A)
(Signed Name of Partner A)
(Printed Name of Partner B)
(Signed Name of Partner B)
(Printed Name of Officiant)
(Signed Name of Officiant)
HAVE THE COUPLE'S AFFIDAVIT NOTARIZED
You may also want to have this couple's affidavit notarized. This step is not required but it doesn't hurt. The main complication is that the couple would have to be present when the affidavit is notarized. Alternatively, the couple can have the affidavit drafted without your signature and have it notarized just with their signatures.
Whether it is notarized or not, providing the couple's affidavit helps to better communicate the couple's wishes in having you officiate their wedding ceremony.
STEP 3GET THE PETITION FOR NON-RESIDENT MINISTER NOTARIZED
IMPORTANT! Do not sign the Petition until you are in the presence of a notary. Before you complete the last part of the petition, make sure to do so in the presence of a notary.
If you are not familiar with the notarial process, it simply means having a notary witness you signing the petition. The purpose of the notary is to have a third party confirm that the signature on the document is yours.
A quick Google search for "notary public near me" will yield plenty of results. You can also check with your bank. Most bank branches keep a notary on staff. You may be able to go to your local bank branch and have your petition notarized for free.
STEP 4SUBMIT YOUR NON-RESIDENT MINISTER APPLICATION
The last two things you need are:
- A Copy of Valid Government ID - Driver's License, Birth Certificate, Military ID, etc.
- A $100 Filing Fee, Payable to the "Vermont Secretary of State".
Once you have the remaining items, submit everything to the Probate Division of the Superior Court in the county where the wedding is to take place.
There are 14 Probate Court offices across Vermont. For questions concerning how to submit your application, how to pay your filing fee, and other aspects of submitting your application you should contact the appropriate Probate Court.
APPROVAL OF YOUR NON-RESIDENT MINISTER APPLICATION
Provided there are no complications, your application should be approved in a few days. Most courts will approve your application on the same day they receive your paperwork. By this point you should have communicated with someone at the appropriate Probate Court so you should know what to expect.
Once your application is approved you will have the authority to perform the wedding specified on your Petition.
Start Preparing for the Wedding Ceremony
Your next step is to learn how to officiate a wedding ceremony. If you have no experience, you are in good hands. Our Vermont Wedding Officiant Preparation Guide covers all aspects of how to prepare for a wedding ceremony.
PREPARE FOR THE VERMONT WEDDING CEREMONY
You will learn everything from the format for a wedding ceremony, the names of the ceremony parts, how to write a wedding ceremony, and more.
Use Our AMM Wedding Helper
If the process of planning, scripting, and performing a wedding is daunting, then you need our Wedding Helper suite of tools.
We have distilled years of experience into an easy-to-use platform with training materials, quizzes, a personalized ceremony script generator, and tips to prepare you for performing marriage, all accessible through your minister profile.
That’s only the beginning. After the wedding, you can share your wedding on the AMM Wedding Wall with our nationwide network of ministers.