Last Updated: October 5th, 2023

10 Essential Facts to Know Before Officiating a Wedding in Washington, DC

The facts below cover all the important aspects of what requirements you need to meet to be able to legally officiate a wedding ceremony in Washington, DC.


Who Can Officiate Weddings in Washington, DC?

This is the relevant exerpt from the Washington DC Code § 46-406.

" (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. "

Basically, this means that as long as you are ordained through any church, you can officiate weddings.


Are Online Ordinations Recognized in Washington, DC?

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

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Is Government Registration Required to Officiate a Wedding in Washington, DC?

The Washington, DC Government does not license, register, or certify ministers or wedding officiants. Officiant registration is not required in Washington, DC to officiate a wedding.


What Office Do I Register with Before Officiating a Wedding in Washington, DC?

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


What is the Minimum Legal Age to Officiate a Wedding in Washington, DC?

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


Does my Residency Affect the Registration Process?

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


Does the Washington, DC Government Provide an Application I Need to Complete?



Do I Need to Submit Proof of my Ministry Credentials to the Washington, DC Government?


How Much Does the Officiant Registration Process Cost in Washington, DC?

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


How Long Does it Take to Register as a Wedding Officiant in Washington, DC?

Washington, DC Officiant Registration Step-by-Step Instructions

For a more detailed guide on how to complete the officiant registration process in Washington, DC, check out our Washington, DC Officiant Registration page by clicking the button below.



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