What are the Wedding Officiant Registration Requirements in Delaware?
The Del. Code tit. 13 § 106 requires that all wedding officiants must register with the Clerk of the Peace in the county where the wedding is to take place.
Successful registration with the Clerk of the Peace ony gives you the authority to officiate weddings in that county. If you plan on officiating a wedding in a different Delaware county then you will also have to register with the Clerk of the Peace in that county.
How to Register as a Wedding Officiant in Delaware
Delaware just recently became a State that requires officiant registration. Prior to 2020 wedding officiants were not required to register with any government office in Delaware. However an update to the Del. Code tit. 13 § 106 in 2020 now requires all wedding officiants to register with the Clerk of the Peace in the county where the wedding is to take place.
Due to how recently and quickly this newly amended law was passed, there are some wrinkles to be aware of in order to successfully register as a wedding officiant in Delaware. These are:
- Though the new law is in effect, the State of Delaware has not yet codified the officiant registration process. This means that though officiant registration is technically required, there is still no officiant registration process or state issued guidelines to follow. This page was last updated on February 25th 2021. As soon as we recieve updated instructions we will update this page accordingly.
- In the meantime we have been in contact with the three County Clerk's offices in Delaware to get some clarity on how wedding officiants should proceed with the new Delaware requirements. We have been told that until the officiant registration process has been codified that officiants should contact the Clerk of the Peace in the county where the wedding is to take place.
- Until there is an established officiant registration process in place, officiants should keep official copies of their ministry credentials, as these will probably be requested by the Clerk.
- The officiant registration process may vary depending on whether you are a Delaware resident or not. Until this is clarified, you should also bring this up if you are traveling from out of state to officiate a wedding in Delaware
Delaware Officiant Registration
The officiant registration procedure in Delaware is handled at the county level through the office of the Clerk of the Peace. This means that the application process and required documents can vary from county to county. Also, as stated above the State has not yet codified its newly enacted officiant registration requirements.
Until such a time we cannot provide specific instructions but we can give you general guidelines to follow. First, we recommend that you contact the Clerk of the Peace in the county where the wedding is going to take place and ask them what exactly you need to do through their office before officiating the ceremony.
You will likely be asked to submit one or all of the following documents.
- A Completed County Application (if required by the county)
- Your Ordination Certificate
- Your Letter of Good Standing
The Clerk of the Peace may require you to complete a simple form that they provide. Speak with the Clerk's office to clarify those details. As soon as they codify the officiant registration process we will have this information updated. In the meantime, you can continue by following these steps.
STEP 1ORDER YOUR REQUIRED MINISTRY CREDENTIALS
All Delaware County Clerks will require you to submit some official documentation of your ministry credentials. This will either be in the form of your Ordination Certificate, Letter of Good Standing, or both.
A "Letter of Good Standing" is the document that carries more authority. This letter states that you are a minister in Good Standing with American Marriage Ministries and that we recognize your authority to perform marriage. Your Letter of Good Standing is signed by a church officer, dated, and notarized.
If the Clerk requests a document with a live signature, then you will need to order and submit your Letter of Good Standing.
The easiest way to register with an Delaware County Clerk is to order your Delaware Minister Ordination Package or Signature Wedding Officiant Package.
Both packages contain all the required ministry credentials you need to register with any County Clerk In Delaware. This includes your Ordination Certificate and Letter of Good Standing as well as officiant training materials, such as our AMM Minister's Manual.
STEP 2CONTACT A CLERK OF THE PEACE'S OFFICE
While you wait for your package to arrive, figure out which County you need to register with. This should be the Clerk of the Peace in the county where the wedding is to take place.
Call or email them to find out exactly what documents you need to submit to register as a wedding officiant. You can ask them something like this:
"Hi, my name is [YOUR NAME].
I am a minister of American Marriage Ministries. One of my duties is officiating wedding ceremonies and I have been asked to officiate a wedding in your county. My understanding is that as a minister I am required to register with your office prior to performing any marriages. Can you tell me what I need to do to register with your office?"
STEP 3SUBMIT YOUR PAPERWORK TO THE CLERK OF THE PEACE
After you have received your Ministry Credentials you can then submit them to the appropriate County Clerk. We strongly recommend that you do this well in advance of the wedding in case any complications arise with your paperwork.
Provided there are no complications, it should take no more than a day or two for the County Clerk's office to process your application. Once approved by the County Clerk, you will have the authority to officiate weddings anywhere in Delaware!
APPROVAL OF YOUR OFFICIANT APPLICATION
Provided there are no complications, you should be authorized as soon as they receive your paperwork. If the Clerk's office is busy it may take them a few days to process your application.
Once successfully registered with the Clerk's office you will have the authority to perform marriage anywhere in Delaware.
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 Delaware Wedding Officiant Preparation Guide covers all aspects of how to prepare for a wedding ceremony.
PREPARE FOR THE DELAWARE 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.