West Virginia Officiant Government Registration Requirements

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

10 Useful Officiant
Registration Facts



1.

Who can officiate weddings in West Virginia?

" A religious representative who has complied with the provisions of section 2-402, a family court judge, a circuit judge or a justice of the supreme court of appeals, is authorized to celebrate the rites of marriage in any county of this state. Celebration or solemnization of a marriage means the performance of the formal act or ceremony by which a man and woman contract marriage and assume the status of husband and wife.

For purposes of this chapter, the term "religious representative" means a minister, priest or rabbi and includes, without being limited to, a leader or representative of a generally recognized spiritual assembly, church or religious organization which does not formally designate or recognize persons as ministers, priests or rabbis. "
West Virginia Code § 48-2-401

2.

Are online ordained ministers recognized in West Virginia?

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

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

Yes. All officiants must register with the West Virginia Secretary of State before they officiate a wedding.

4.

What West Virginia office handles officiant registration?

The Secretary of State in West Virginia is responsible for officiant registration.

5.

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

All Wedding Officiants in West Virginia 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 West Virginia.

7.

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

Yes. You must complete and submit the West Virginia Marriage Celebrant Registration Form.

8.

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

Yes. You are required to submit an official copy of your Ministry Credentials to the Secretary of State.

9.

How much does the officiant registration process cost in West Virginia?

It will cost you about $25 to register as a wedding officiant in West Virginia.

10.

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

You should receive notice of approval from the Secretary of State in about a week.

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What are the Wedding Officiant Registration Requirements in West Virginia?

The West Virginia Code §48-2-402 requires that all wedding officiants are required to register with the office of the West Virginia Secretary of State before performing marriage. The application process is straightforward and is outlined below.



How To Register as an Officiant with the West Virginia Secretary of State

The West Virginia Secretary of State provides the following guidelines on officiant registration:


  1. Applicant must be 18 years of age or older. Show proof by submitting a copy of his/her birth certificate, driver's license, military ID or passport.
  2. Applicant shall present certification that he or she is authorized to perform marriages by his/her church, synagogue, spiritual assembly or religious organization.
  3. Applicant shall present documentation that he/she is in regular communion with the church, synagogue, spiritual assembly or religious organization of which he/she is a member.
  4. The application shall provide at least one of the following as a statement of his/her representation of a religious group;
    • a. An official ordination paper from a church, synagogue, spiritual assembly organization, group or school showing that the person is an ordained minister for that group; or
    • b. A letter or document signed by at least two members of a group stating that the person requesting to be registered to perform marriages ministers to that group and is in regular communion with that group.

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REQUIRED ITEMS FOR WEST VIRGINIA OFFICIANT REGISTRATION

Below are the five items you will need to successfully register as a "Marriage Celebrant" with the West Viriginia Secretary of State:

  1. An Official Ordination Certificate
  2. A Letter of Good Standing
  3. A Completed West Virginia Marriage Celebrant Registration Form
  4. Valid Government ID
  5. $25 Application Fee


Continue reading for step-by-step instructions on how to register as a wedding officiant in West Virginia.

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STEP 1ORDER YOUR MINISTRY CREDENTIALS

Officiant Registration ORDER NOW Government Registration Guarantee

Your West Virginia Minister Ordination Package contains all the required documents for successful registration with the Secretary of State.

Minister Ordination Package

Everything you need to officiate your first wedding.

STEP 2GATHER THE REMAINING ITEMS

While you wait for your package you can get a head start on the remaining items. You will need a:


  1. Photocopy of Valid Government ID - Driver's License, Birth Certificate, Passport, Military ID, or Birth Certificate
  2. $25 Check or Money Order Payable to the "West Virginia Secretary of State"".

10 Sample Wedding Ceremony Scripts

Need inspiration? Check out our free ceremony scripts!

STEP 3COMPLETE THE WEST VIRGINIA MARRIAGE CELEBRANT REGISTRATION APPLICATION

Your package includes the West Virginia "Marriage Celebrant Registration" application. This is a one-page piece of paper that should only take you a minute to complete.

The application included in your package is partially completed. Verify that the information on the application is correct and complete the remaining fields, including:


  1. Your County of Residence
  2. Your Birth Date
  3. Your Denomination - We recommend that you put "Non-Denominational" unless you plan on conducting the marriage according to the Tenets of a specific religious denomination.
  4. Your Signature

If there are any errors on the application, you can request a corrected one from us or print one out yourself.

Take Our Quiz

Test your understanding of West Virginia Marriage Laws.

STEP 4SUBMIT YOUR OFFICIANT APPLICATION TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE

Once all you have all your paperwork is in order you are ready to mail it to:

West Virginia Secretary of State
Building 1, Suite 157-K 1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
Charleston, West Virginia 25305


Do not forget to include the $25 Application Fee.

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APPROVAL OF YOUR OFFICIANT APPLICATION WITH THE WEST VIRGINIA SECRETARY OF STATE

It should take no more than a few days for the Secretary's office to process your application. Once you are approved they should notify you of this via email.

You can also confirm your registration with the Secretary of State's Business & Licensing Search. Search for yourself by putting in your first and last name and selecting "Minister" from the select field labeled "Type".

Once you have confirmation that you have successfully registered with the Secretary of State's office you will have authority to perform marriage anywhere in West Virginia!

If you have further questions about the registration process you can contact the West Virginia Secretary of State:

Phone: (304) 558-8000
Hours: 8:30am-5:00pm M - F

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Signature Wedding Officiant Package

Everything you need to Officiate Weddings like pro!



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 West Virginia 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 WEST VIRGINIA 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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Officiate a Wedding in West Virginia as an AMM Officiant!