Massachusetts Marriage Officiant Government Registration Requirements

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


10 Useful Officiant
Registration Facts



1.

Who can officiate weddings in Massachusetts?

" A marriage may be solemnized in any place within the commonwealth by the following persons who are residents of the commonwealth: a duly ordained minister of the gospel in good and regular standing with his church or denomination, including an ordained deacon in The United Methodist Church or in the Roman Catholic Church; a commissioned cantor or duly ordained rabbi of the Jewish faith; by a justice of the peace if he is also clerk or assistant clerk of a city or town, or a registrar or assistant registrar, or a clerk or assistant clerk of a court or a clerk or assistant clerk of the senate or house of representatives...
...
Churches and other religious organizations shall file in the office of the state secretary information relating to persons recognized or licensed as aforesaid, and relating to usages of such organizations, in such form and at such times as the secretary may require. "
Massachusetts General Laws § Section 38

2.

Are online ordained ministers recognized in Massachusetts?

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

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

Yes. All officiants must register with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth before they officiate a wedding.

4.

What Massachusetts office handles officiant registration?

The Secretary of the Commonwealth in Massachusetts is responsible for officiant registration.

5.

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

All Wedding Officiants in Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts.

7.

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

Yes. Massachusetts residents must complete the Massachusetts Resident Clergy Form. If you do not live in Massacusetts, you must complete the Out of State Non-Resident Clergy – Petition to Solemnize Marriage Application.

8.

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

Yes. You are required to submit an official copy of your Ministry Credentials to the Secretary of the Commonwealth if you are a Massachusetts resident.

9.

How much does the officiant registration process cost in Massachusetts?

It will cost you about $50 to register as a wedding officiant in Massachusetts.

10.

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

It can take 2 - 4 weeks for your application to be processed.

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AMM MINISTERS IN
MASSACHUSETTS

STATE OFFICIANT PAGES

1. How To Get Ordained In Massachusetts

2. Massachusetts Marriage Officiant Government Registration

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

What are the Wedding Officiant Registration Requirements in Massachusetts?


The Massachusetts General Laws II-III-207 §38 requires that all wedding officiants must register with the Secretary of the Commonwealth before performing marriage.

Be aware that your state residency status affects the registration process. The Secretary of the Commonwealth offers two registration methods. One is for Massachusetts residents and the other is for Non-Residents.

We will cover the application process for both Massachusetts residents and non-residents below.



Massachusetts Resident Officiant Instructions

Applying to perform marriage as a Massachusetts resident is easy. The Secretary of the Commonwealth's website clearly outlines the registration process. In short, you will need to submit the following documents:



To help clarify the process, we have broken down how Massachusetts residents can register as wedding officiants with the Secretary of the Commonwealth into three simple steps.

STEP 1 ORDER YOUR REQUIRED MINISTRY CREDENTIALS

Your Massachusetts Minister Ordination Package contains all the required documents you need for successful officiant registration. Included in your package is your:


Your Letter of Good Standing is signed by a church officer, dated, and notarized, as required by the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Minister Ordination Package

Everything you need to officiate your first wedding.

STEP 2 COMPLETE THE MASSACHUSETTS RESIDENT CLERGY FORM

The Resident Clergy Form is a simple one page document. The completed form is included in your Massachusetts Minister Ordination Package. You can also Download a PDF and complete it yourself.

The form asks for basic personal information. You will also be asked for your religious title, ordaining church name, and church address. For clarification, this is what you should enter in those fields:



STEP 3 FILE YOUR RESIDENT CLERGY APPLICATION

Once you have all your paperwork in order, you can mail, fax, or email it to:

Secretary of the Commonwealth
Commissions Section
One Ashburton Place, Room 1719
Boston, Massachusetts 02108


(FAX) 617-727-5914
[email protected]

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APPROVAL OF YOUR MASSACHUSETTS RESIDENT CLERGY APPLICATION

Provided there are no complications, your application should be approved as soon as it is filed with the Secretary's Office. If submitting your application by mail please allow a few days for shipment of your application. You should receive a confirmation email from the Secretary of the Commonwealth's office once your application is approved.

Once you receive confirmation of your application you will have the authority to perform marriage anywhere in Massachusetts!



Massachusetts Non-Resident Officiant Instructions

The registration procedure for non-residents is slightly more complex, but not difficult. The Secretary's office strongly recommends applying at least 2-4 weeks but no more than 6 weeks prior to the wedding.

We have broken down the application process for Massachusetts non-residents into 4 easy-to-follow steps. These 4 steps encompass your minister registration and ultimate filing of the marriage license after the wedding.

Make sure to plan ahead and DO NOT WAIT until the last minute!

Take the Massachusetts Marriage Laws Quiz

Test Your Officiant Registration Knowledge.

STEP 1 COMPLETE THE OUT OF STATE NON-RESIDENT CLERGY APPLICATION

Your first step is to complete the Out of State Non-Resident Clergy – Petition to Solemnize Marriage Application.

The name of the application may be a mouthful but it is actually an easy form to complete. For the section with the checkboxes you will want to check the last one marked "Other" and write in "American Marriage Ministries".

The rest of the application consists of entering:



STEP 2 SUBMIT YOUR NON-RESIDENT CLERGY APPLICATION

Once your application is completed, mail, fax, or email it to:

Secretary of the Commonwealth
Commissions Section
One Ashburton Place, Room 1719
Boston, Massachusetts 02108


(FAX) 617-727-5914
[email protected]

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Stay up-to-date with the latest wedding industry trends.

STEP 3 RECEIVE YOUR SOLEMNIZATION CERTIFICATE

Now you must wait for your application to be processed. Expect to wait 2 - 4 weeks to receive your “Solemnization Certificate” from the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Make sure to keep your Solemnization Certificate somewhere safe. You will need it after you officiate the wedding.

Take the Massachusetts Marriage Laws Quiz

Test Your Officiant Registration Knowledge.

STEP 4 FILE THE SOLEMNIZATION CERTIFICATE WITH THE MARRIAGE LICENSE

After you officiate the wedding, your Solemnization Certificate must be returned with the marriage license to the City or Town Clerk's office that issued the marriage license.

It is ideal that you do this in person. However if you are traveling to conduct this wedding and are not able to appear in person, contact the Probate or District Court that issued the marriage license to the couple. With advance notice they should be able to make accomodations and allow for both documents to be returned by the couple or by mail.

Marriage licenses are issued by the Probate and District Courts.

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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 Massachusetts 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 MASSACHUSETTS 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.



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WITH AMM

Officiate a Wedding in Massachusetts as an AMM Officiant!