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What are the Wedding Officiant Registration Requirements in California?

No Officiant Registration is Required

You may be surprised to hear this, but wedding officiants in California are not required to register with any government office prior to performing marriage. The California State Government has no laws requiring officiant registration or an office dedicated to the registration of wedding officiants.


California does have a law (California Law § 400) that specifies who can solemnize marriage. This includes all ministers, including online ordained ministers of American Marriage Ministries. However, there are no laws, offices, or procedures requiring officiants to register with any government office.


Simply put, once you are an online ordained minister of American Marriage Ministries you immediately have the legal ability to officiate weddings anywhere in California. If you have been asked to officiate a wedding in California, Get ordained with AMM today!


Ordination with AMM is fast, free, and simple. To learn more about getting ordained in California with AMM, check out our Get Ordained in California page.

Keep Records of Your Ministry Credentials

Though there are no officiant registration requirements in California, you must be an ordained minister to be able to legally perform marriage. Local regulations in California stipulate that wedding officiants under the designation of "Minister" be ordained by a religious organization, such as American Marriage Ministries.


While you are not required to register with any California government office as a wedding officiant, it is a good idea to keep personal records of your official Ministry Credentials. Proof of your ordination is essential in the event that the couple, government officials, or the wedding venue request to see proof of your ordination.


We recommend that you order your California Minister Ordination Package to receive your official ministry credentials. Your package includes your official Ordination Certificate and Letter of Good Standing.


Your Letter of Good Standing is signed by a church officer, dated, and notarized. Your Minister Ordination Package also includes your AMM Minister's Manual, a valuable resource for officiant training information.


Part of the proceeds from your order will go towards our charitable activities. So along with receiving your AMM ministry credentials, you are also helping to support a good cause.

Start Preparing for the Wedding Ceremony


Your next step is to learn how to officiate a wedding in California. If you have no prior experience, you are in good hands. Our California Wedding Officiant Preparation Guide covers all aspects of preparing for a 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 seems daunting, then you need our Wedding Helper suite of tools. It will show you how to officiate a wedding in California.

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 a 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.



Do I need to register as a California wedding officiant?

According to California wedding officiant requirements, you are not required to register with any government office to perform a marriage ceremony. However, it's good practice to keep your ordination credentials readily available, as county clerks may request proof of ordination for filing a marriage certificate, and couples might also wish to verify your status.


What are the requirements for officiating a wedding in California?

According to California's family code § 400, the California officiant requirements include being at least 18 years old and ordained by a religious denomination. It's essential to ensure the couple has a valid marriage license before the ceremony, which you and the parties must sign afterward. The ceremony itself must involve a declaration by the couple and a formal proclamation by you. Always verify specific local requirements with the county clerk's office where the wedding will occur to ensure compliance and avoid any issues.


Who can officiate a wedding in California?


In California, various individuals are authorized to officiate weddings. This includes clergy from any religious denomination, judges, magistrates, Members of Congress, state officials, and local elected officials. Additionally, anyone who becomes an online ordained minister from American Marriage Ministries is recognized as a California marriage officiant and is legally permitted to perform marriage ceremonies.


Is it hard to get ordained in California?


Becoming ordained in California is a straightforward and simple process. At American Marriage Ministries, we provide a simple and quick online ordination process. Once you complete the application, you'll receive your ordination certificate, which allows you to begin officiating a wedding in California without the need to be affiliated with a physical church.


How long does it take to get a California officiant license?

Learning how to officiate a wedding in California and becoming an ordained minister is a quick process with American Marriage Ministries. You can be ordained at no cost through AMM, and the process can be completed online in just a few minutes. This immediately grants you the legal authority to conduct marriage ceremonies across the state.


How long does an ordained minister license last in California?

Your wedding officiant license in California is valid indefinitely, provided you remain in good standing with American Marriage Ministries. This requires acting ethically and complying with local laws, ensuring your continued ability to officiate weddings.


How do I get a marriage license in California?

After the wedding ceremony, the marriage license must be signed by the couple, the officiant, and at least one adult witness. The completed license must then be returned to the county clerk or recorder's office from which it was issued within 10 days. Fees for California marriage licenses typically range from $35 to $116, and there is no mandatory waiting period. The license is valid for 90 days from the date of issuance.


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Signature Wedding Officiant Package

Signature Wedding Officiant Package

Our premiere package contains everyting you need to officiate like a pro.

The Book of Wedding Vows and Ceremonies

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