What are the Wedding Officiant Registration Requirements in Washington DC?
Officiant Registration is Required
Registration Office: DC Marriage Bureau
Approximate Cost: $25 - $35
Registration Difficulty: Easy
Processing Time: Up To 5 Days
The Washington DC Code § 46-406 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:
- Application For Temporary Authorization To Celebrate A Marriage
- Application For Authorization To Celebrate Marriages
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:
- A Completed Officiant or Temporary Officiant Application.
- A $25 - $35 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.
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.
STEP 2COMPLETE THE TEMPORARY OFFICIANT APPLICATION
The Application For Temporary Authorization To Celebrate A Marriage 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
- Your Full Name
- Your Date of Birth
- Your Social Security Number
- Your Physical and Mailing Addresses
- Your Telephone Number
- The Wedding Date
INFORMATION ABOUT PARTIES TO BE MARRIED
- First Party Full Name
- First Party Address
- First Party Telephone Number
- Second Party Full Name
- Second Party Address
- Second Party Telephone Number
DO NOT SIGN THE FORM UNTIL YOU ARE IN THE PRESENCE OF THE DEPUTY CLERK OR A NOTARY PUBLIC.
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:
DC Marriage Bureau
Moultrie Courthouse Room JM-690
500 Indiana Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20001
If you are not able to submit the application in person, then contact the Bureau and provide details of your situation.
Phone: (202) 879-1212
Hours: Monday-Friday | 8:30am - 5:00pm
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!
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.
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.