How do I become licensed to perform weddings?


Quick Answer

The procedure for obtaining a wedding ceremony officiant license typically requires submitting a registration or application to an appropriate state licensing body. Licensing eligibility requirements vary from state to state. Many states grant wedding officiant licenses to clergy, ministers and government personnel, such as city clerks and judges.

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Full Answer

Wedding officiant licenses are usually granted by a designated state agency. For instance, Ohio requires the submission of a minister license application through the office of the secretary of state. Ohio ministers seeking licensing must provide the name of a religious congregation or society along with appropriate credentials when applying. In contrast, New York City's officiant licensing application is open to clergy, court and county clerks, mayors, and appointed or elected judges. As in Ohio, applicants must provide proof of religious or government affiliation. Officiant registration is either a one-step or two-step process, depending on the state of residence.

Some states grant officiate status to professionals, such as a notary public or magistrate. There are states that grant temporary wedding officiant status to any adult upon submission of an application and fee. An example of a temporary license is California's deputy for a day, which grants one-time-only legal permission to perform a marriage ceremony in a specific jurisdiction.

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