Washington DC Marriage Officiant Government Registration Requirements

Learn what the marriage officiant registration requirements are in Washington DC. This page covers everything you need to know to legally officiate wedding ceremonies in Washington DC.


10 Useful Officiant
Registration Facts



1.

Who can officiate weddings in Washington DC?

" (a) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) "Religious" includes or pertains to a belief in a theological doctrine, a belief in and worship of a divine ruling power, a recognition of a supernatural power controlling man's destiny, or a devotion to some principle, strict fidelity or faithfulness, conscientiousness, pious affection, or attachment.

(2) "Society" means a voluntary association of individuals for religious purposes.

(b) For the purpose of preserving the evidence of marriages in the District of Columbia, every minister of any religious society approved or ordained according to the ceremonies of his religious society, whether his residence is in the District of Columbia or elsewhere in the United States or the territories, may be authorized by any judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to celebrate marriages in the District of Columbia. Marriages may also be performed by any judge or justice of any court of record; provided, that marriages of any religious society which does not by its own custom require the intervention of a minister for the celebration of marriages may be solemnized in the manner prescribed and practiced in any such religious society, the license in such case to be issued to, and returns to be made by, a person appointed by such religious society for that purpose. The Clerk of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia or such deputy clerks of the Court as may, in writing, be designated by the Clerk and approved by the Chief Judge, may celebrate marriages in the District of Columbia. "
Washington DC Code § 46-406

2.

Are online ordained ministers recognized in Washington DC?

Yes. All online ordained ministers, including those ordained through AMM are recognized in Washington DC.
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3.

Am I as the minister officiant required to register with the Washington DC Government?

Yes. All officiants must register with the Washington DC Marriage Bureau before they officiate a wedding.

4.

What Washington DC office handles officiant registration?

The Marriage Bureau in Washington DC is responsible for officiant registration.

5.

How old do I have to be to officiate a wedding in Washington DC?

All Wedding Officiants in Washington DC must be at least 18 years old.

6.

Does my residency affect the registration process?

No. Your state or country of residence is irrelevant to the officiant registration process in Washington DC.

7.

Do I need to complete a government application before officiating a wedding?

Yes. You must complete either the Officiant Application or the Temporary Officiant Application.

8.

Do I need to submit proof of my ministry credentials to the Washington DC government?

No. However it is a good idea to keep personal copies of your Ministry Credentials for your own records.

9.

How much does the officiant registration process cost in Washington DC?

It will cost you about $35 or $25 to register as a wedding officiant in Washington DC.

10.

How long does it take to register as a wedding officiant in Washington DC?

Depends. We recommend that you begin your registration at least 30 days before the wedding.

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STATE OFFICIANT PAGES

1. How To Get Ordained In Washington DC

2. Washington DC Marriage Officiant Government Registration

3. Washington DC Officiant Ceremony Preparation 4. How To Officiate a Wedding in Washington DC 5. After Officiating a Wedding in Washington DC
▸  Washington DC Marriage Laws ▸ Washington DC Zoom Wedding Legal Information

What are the Wedding Officiant Registration Requirements in Washington DC?


The Washington DC Code § 46-412 requires that all wedding officiants must register with the Washington DC Marriage Bureau before performing marriage. The DC Marriage Bureau provides two application pathways for wedding officiants:



  1. Officiant Application
  2. Temporary Officiant Application


How to Register as a Wedding Officiant in Washington DC

The District of Columbia Courts website outlines exactly what you need to register as a wedding officiant in Washington DC:


  1. A Completed Officiant or Temporary Officiant Application.
  2. A $35 or $25 Filing Fee.

Additionally, you will need to file an application for each wedding you officiate in Washington DC. Both applications only give you the authority to officiate one wedding.

Follow the step-by-step instructions below to register as a wedding officiant in Washington DC. These instructions apply to both the Officiant Application and the Temporary Officiant Application.

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STEP 1CHOOSE THE APPROPRIATE OFFICIANT APPLICATION

Up until a few years ago the officiant registration process in Washington DC was quite difficult. Due to the overwhelming demand of our DC ministers and the rise in popularity of online ordinations generally, the DC Courts have recognized the need for simplifying the officiant registration process. However figuring out which application to complete can still be confusing.


WHICH APPLICATION IS RIGHT FOR ME?

Your first step is to decide which officiant application you want to submit to the DC Marriage Bureau. Since both officiant applications only give you the authority to officiate a single ceremony, we believe it is best to choose the Temporary Officiant Application, since it is $10 cheaper.

The following instructions are for completing the Temporary Officiant Application.

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STEP 2COMPLETE THE TEMPORARY OFFICIANT APPLICATION

The Temporary Officiant Application may look daunting at first, so let's break it down. Basically you will need to enter information about yourself and the couple.


TEMPORARY OFFICIANT INFORMATION

  1. Your Full Name
  2. Your Date of Birth
  3. Your Social Security Number
  4. Your Physical and Mailing Addresses
  5. Your Telephone Number
  6. The Wedding Date

INFORMATION ABOUT PARTIES TO BE MARRIED

  1. First Party Full Name
  2. First Party Address
  3. First Party Telephone Number
  4. Second Party Full Name
  5. Second Party Address
  6. Second Party Telephone Number

IMPORTANT!

DO NOT SIGN THE FORM UNTIL YOU ARE IN THE PRESENCE OF THE DEPUTY CLERK OR A NOTARY PUBLIC.

Take the Washington DC Marriage Laws Quiz

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STEP 3SUBMIT YOUR OFFICIANT APPLICATION TO THE DC MARRIAGE BUREAU

Once your application is complete, you need to submit it in person to the DC Marriage Bureau:

District of Columbia Marriage Bureau
Moultrie Courthouse Room JM-690
500 Indiana Ave NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20001


If you are not able to submit the application in person, then contact the Bureau and provide details of your situation.

Phone: (202) 879-4840
Hours: 8:30am – 5pm M-F


There is no guarantee that they will allow your application to be submitted by mail however they may be more accommodating if you communicate your extenuating circumstances. Normally they process the filing fee at the courthouse however if you cannot register in person, they may accept a check or money order. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION!

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Everything you need to Officiate Weddings like pro!

APPROVAL OF YOUR TEMPORARY OFFICIANT APPLICATION

Provided there are no complications your application should be approved the same day your application is paid for and submitted. Upon approval of your application you will have the authority to officiate a wedding in the District of Columbia.

You will need to repeat this process for any additional weddings you plan on officiating in Washington DC.

ORDER YOUR WASHINGTON DC MINISTRY CREDENTIALS

You are not required to submit your Ministry Credentials with the DC Marriage Bureau. However, it is good practice to keep official copies for your own records. Proof of your ordination is essential in the event that the couple or government officials request to see proof of your ordination.

We encourage you to order your District of Columbia Minister Ordination Package to keep official copies of your ministry credentials. Your package includes your official Ordination Certificate, Letter of Good Standing, and partially completed Temporary Officiant Application.

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 guidance on how to officiate weddings.

Minister Ordination Package

Everything you need to officiate your first wedding.

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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 Washington DC Wedding Officiant Preparation Guide covers all aspects of how to prepare 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.

PREPARE FOR THE WASHINGTON DC WEDDING CEREMONY

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.



GET ORDAINED
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Officiate a Wedding in District of Columbia as an AMM Officiant!