What are the Wedding Officiant Registration Requirements in Louisiana?
The Louisiana Revised Statutes 9-IV-1-I §202 requires that all wedding officiants must register with the Parish Clerk in the Parish where the wedding will take place. A "Parish" is Louisiana's version of a "County".
Officiant registration is done by Parish and all parishes require registration. Successful registration in one Parish only gives you permission to perform marriage in that Parish. If you plan on officiating another wedding somewhere else in Louisiana, you will also have to register with their Parish Clerk's office.
The Parish Clerk's office is usually located within the Parish Courthouse. This is the same office that issues the marriage license to the couple.
Louisiana consists of 64 Parishes. Here is a list of all 64 Parish Clerks Offices in Louisiana.
How To Register as a Wedding Officiant in Louisiana
All Parish Clerks offices will require you to submit a completed Louisiana Marriage Officiant Affidavit. You will also be asked to submit some version of your Official Ministry Credentials. Depending on the Parish this will be a Letter of Good Standing, Ordination Certificate, or both.
You should have all of the following documents to ensure your successful registration with any Parish Clerk:
- Your Completed Louisiana Marriage Officiant Registration Affidavit
- Your Letter of Good Standing
- Your Ordination Certificate
Continue reading for step-by-step instructions on how to successfully register as a wedding officiant with any Parish Clerk in Louisiana.
STEP 1ORDER YOUR MINISTRY CREDENTIALS
Your Louisiana Minister Ordination Package contains all of the documents required for your officiant registration. Your package includes:
- Your Official Ordination Certificate
- Your Letter of Good Standing - Signed and Notarized
- Louisiana Marriage Officiant Registration Affidavit - Partially Completed
You can also download, print, and complete the Affidavit yourself. Just make sure not to sign the affidavit until you are in the presence of a notary.
STEP 2FIND OUT WHERE YOU NEED TO REGISTER
While you wait for your package, find out which of the 64 Parish Clerks Offices you need to Contact. Contact them and politely ask exactly what documents you need to provide to register as a wedding officiant. You can say 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 Parish. 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?"
WHAT IF I AM ASKED FOR A DOCUMENT WITH A LIVE SIGNATURE?
All Parish Clerk's offices will ask for documentation proving your status as an ordained minister. Some will also ask that this document bear a live signature. Your Letter of Good Standing meets this requirement. Your Letter of Good Standing is signed by a church officer, dated, and notarized.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ORDINATION CERTIFICATE AND LETTER OF GOOD STANDING?
ORDINATION CERTIFICATE - Certifies that you were ordained with AMM on a specific date. Your ordination certificate does not bear a live signature.
LETTER OF GOOD STANDING - States that your status as a minister is currently active as of the date the letter is signed by a church officer and notarized. In other words, you are in "Currently in Good Standing".
STEP 3COMPLETE THE AFFIDAVIT
The Louisiana Marriage Officiant Registration Affidavit is a simple one-page application. The partially completed affidavit in your package only needs a few final touches:
- Enter the Name of the Parish Where You Will Be Performing Marriage.
- Sign the Affidavit in the Presence of a Notary.
You can find a notary by Googling "Notary Public Near Me". Another option is to visit your local bank. Most banks have a notary on staff and may be able to notarize your affidavit for free.
Remember not to sign the Affidavit until a notary is present!
STEP 4SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION TO THE PARISH CLERK
Once you have all your paperwork in order you are ready to register with the Parish Clerk. The Clerk may charge a nominal filing fee depending on the Parish.
Depending on the Parish the prefer that you submit your application either by mail or in person. We recommend that you communicate with the Parish Clerk's office to find out their preferred application method.
DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO APPLY!
APPROVAL OF YOUR OFFICIANT APPLICATION
If there are no complications, you should be approved to perform marriage within a few days. By this point you will have probably communicated with someone at the Clerk’s office. So you should have a good idea of how long it will take for your application to be processed.
Once you have successfully registered with the Clerk's office you will have the authority to perform marriage in that Louisiana Parish!
If you plan on performing a marriage in a different Parish in Louisiana, you will also have to register with the Parish Clerk.
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 Louisiana Wedding Officiant Preparation Guide covers all aspects of how to prepare for a wedding ceremony.
PREPARE FOR THE LOUISIANA 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.