resources |  legal

State by State

Please note that there are some states where online ordination may be recognized only with extra paperwork (or where you may be given a hard time). Some states require a “letter of good standing” from the organization that granted an individual power to officiate.  For those states, we definitely recommend being ordained through American Marriage Ministries, as their website walks you through extra steps needed.

Please check with the actual county or town clerk to check on the specific requirements. We have tried to keep the below as up-to-date as possible, but please check with the local authority to be sure, as we have heard of opinions varying even within the same state or county. And there are sometimes non-ordination ways to officiate, like California’s Deputy Marriage Commissioner for a Day program.

American Marriage Ministries (one of the places where we recommend that you get ordained) has a map with details as well.

  1. Alabama Wedding Laws

    In summary: Licensed ministers or pastors of recognized religious societies, and current or retired Alabama judges. Some clerks will not authorize ministers unless they have an established ministry and congregation.

    Section 30-1-7– Persons authorized to solemnize marriages. (a) Generally. Marriages may be solemnized by any licensed minister of the gospel in regular communion with the Christian church or society of which the minister is a member, by a judge of the Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals, Court of Civil Appeals, any circuit court or any district court within this state, by a judge of any federal court, or by a judge of probate within his or her county, or any retired judge of the Supreme Court, retired judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals, retired judge of the Court of Civil Appeals, retired judge of the circuit court, retired judge of the district court within this state or a retired judge of probate within his or her county. (b) Pastor of religious society; clerk of society to maintain register of marriages; register, etc., deemed presumptive evidence of fact. Marriage may also be solemnized by the pastor of any religious society according to the rules ordained or custom established by such society. The clerk or keeper of the minutes of each society shall keep a register and enter therein a particular account of all marriages solemnized by the society, which register, or a sworn copy thereof, is presumptive evidence of the fact.

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, but stayed pending SCOTUS decision

  2. Alaska Wedding Laws

    In summary: A minister, priest, recognized leader, or rabbi of any church or congregation in the state, a commissioned officer of the Salvation Army, marriage commissioner, or a judicial officer of the state can perform weddings.

    Getting married in Alaska is not difficult. In fact, Alaska’s straightforward wedding laws make it one of the easiest states for those who become legally ordained online to officiate weddings in. There are no residency requirements for the bride, groom or the wedding officiant and the Alaska marriage license is relatively easy to come by. The officiant must also be at least 18 years of age and must file the appropriate paperwork with the county clerk of the county where the wedding will be located to be deemed a marriage commissioner. The county clerk where you plan on performing the wedding will help guide potential wedding officiants through the application process. Note that is not difficult to obtain a marriage commissioner appointment as long as you file the correct paperwork at least one week prior to performing the wedding ceremony. Alaska has quite liberal interpretations as to who can be a wedding officiant.

    Sec. 25.05.261. Who may solemnize. (a) Marriages may be solemnized (1) by a minister, priest, or rabbi of any church or congregation in the state, or by a commissioned officer of the Salvation Army, or by the principal officer or elder of recognized churches or congregations that traditionally do not have regular ministers, priests, or rabbis, anywhere within the state; (2) by a marriage commissioner or judicial officer of the state anywhere within the jurisdiction of the commissioner or officer; or (3) before or in any religious organization or congregation according to the established ritual or form commonly practiced in the organization or congregation. (b) This section may not be construed to waive the requirements for obtaining a marriage license. Sec. 25.05.271. Duty of officiating person before ceremony. The officiating person shall determine that the parties presenting themselves to be married are the parties named in the license. If the officiating person knows of a legal impediment to the marriage, the officiating person may not perform the ceremony.

    Details:  http://www.courts.alaska.gov/trialcourts/trialcts.htm

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  3. Arizona Wedding Laws

    In summary: Licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, or pastors of recognized religious societies.

    25-124. Persons authorized to perform marriage ceremony; definition A. The following are authorized to solemnize marriages between persons who are authorized to marry: 1. Duly licensed or ordained clergymen.

    http://www.azleg.state.az.us/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/25/00124.htm&Title=25&DocType=ARS

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  4. Arkansas Wedding Laws

    In summary: Ministers must have their credentials recorded in one of Arkansas’ 75 counties, and therefore must register with the local County Clerk. Registration requirements may vary by office.  **Registration Always Required**

    9-11-213. Persons who may solemnize marriages. (a) For the purpose of being registered and perpetuating the evidence thereof, marriage shall be solemnized only by the following persons: (1) The Governor; (2) Any former justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court; (3) Any judges of the courts of record within this state, including any former judge of a court of record who served at least four (4) years or more; (4) Any justice of the peace of the county where the marriage is solemnized, including any former justice of the peace who served at least three (3) terms since the passage of Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55; (5) Any regularly ordained minister or priest of any religious sect or denomination;

    Ministers must have their credentials recorded in one of Arkansas’ 75 counties.

    Same Sex Wedding Law: N/A

  5. California Wedding Laws

    In summary: Clergy, Justices, Judges, Magistrates, Marriage Commissioners (current or retired).

    What authorization do I need to perform a marriage in California? In California, it is the ordination or investment by the denomination that gives each clergy member the authority to perform the marriage rite.

    400. Marriage may be solemnized by any of the following who is of the age of 18 years or older:

    420. A priest, minister, or rabbi of any religious denomination. No particular form for the ceremony of marriage is required for solemnization of the marriage, but the parties shall declare, in the presence of the person solemnizing the marriage and necessary witnesses, that they take each other as husband and wife.

    Please note that, when filling out a marriage license, the State requests that you use the title “Minister” or “Reverend”, and not “Officiant”, in Box #29D.

    The County Clerks also require that you enter your religious denomination in box #29B. Failing to state a denomination results in a rejection, and requires a duplicated marriage license.

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

    http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/birthdeathmar/Pages/FAQforMarriageLicenseCeremonyInfo.aspx

  6. Colorado Wedding Laws

    14-2-109. Solemnization and registration. Statute text (1) A marriage may be solemnized by a judge of a court, by a court magistrate, by a retired judge of a court, by a public official whose powers include solemnization of marriages, by the parties to the marriage, or in accordance with any mode of solemnization recognized by any religious denomination or Indian nation or tribe. Either the person solemnizing the marriage or, if no individual acting alone solemnized the marriage, a party to the marriage shall complete the marriage certificate form and forward it to the county clerk and recorder within sixty days after the solemnization. Any person who fails to forward the marriage certificate to the county clerk and recorder as required by this section shall be required to pay a late fee in an amount of not less than twenty dollars. An additional five-dollar late fee may be assessed for each additional day of failure to comply with the forwarding requirements of this subsection (1) up to a maximum of fifty dollars. For purposes of determining whether a late fee shall be assessed pursuant to this subsection (1), the date of forwarding shall be deemed to be the date of postmark.

    The marriage ceremony may be performed by:

    • a judge
    • a retired judge
    • a magistrate
    • any public official authorized to perform marriages
    • any person recognized as authorized to perform marriages by
      • any religious denomination
      • any Indian nation
      • any Indian tribe
      • the people getting married

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  7. Connecticut Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any ordained or licensed clergymen, and justices of the peace (in the state).  **Registration Always Required**

    “Persons authorized to solemnize marriages in this state include (1) all judges and retired judges, either elected or appointed, including federal judges and judges of other states who may legally join persons in marriage in their jurisdictions, (2) family support magistrates, state referees and justices of the peace who are appointed in Connecticut, and (3) all ordained or licensed members of the clergy, belonging to this state or any other state, as long as they continue in the work of the ministry. All marriages solemnized according to the forms and usages of any religious denomination in this state, including marriages witnessed by a duly constituted Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is, are valid… All marriages attempted to be celebrated by any other person are void.” Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-22(a) (2011).

    http://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/Notebooks/Pathfinders/MarriageinCT/marriage.pdf
    (Page 15)

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  8. Delaware Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any ordained minister, and clerks of the peace.

    106. Solemnization of marriages; production of license; penalty; registration of persons authorized to solemnize marriages. (a) A clergy person or minister of any recognized religion, current and former members of this State’s Supreme

    Court, Superior Court, Family Court, Court of Chancery, Court of Common Pleas, and Justice of the Peace Court, and the several clerks of the peace of various counties may solemnize marriages between persons who may lawfully enter into the matrimonial relation.

    http://delcode.delaware.gov/title13/c001/sc01/index.shtml

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  9. Florida Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any ordained or licensed clergymen, notary publics, and justices of the peace.

    Persons authorized to perform marriages:

    All regularly ordained ministers of the gospel or elders in communion with some church, or other ordained clergy, and all judicial officers, including retired judicial officers, clerks of the circuit courts, and notaries public of this state may solemnize the rights of matrimonial contract, under the regulations prescribed by law. See statute 741.07.

    http://www.stateofflorida.com/Portal/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=30

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  10. Georgia Wedding Laws

    In summary: Licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, or pastors of recognized religious societies, and justices of the peace.

    The license shall be directed to any judge, including judges of state and federal courts of record in this state, city recorder, magistrate, minister, or other person of any religious society or sect authorized by the rules of such society to perform the marriage ceremony; such license shall authorize the marriage of the persons therein named and require the judge, city recorder, magistrate, minister, or other authorized person to return the license to the judge of the probate court with the certificate thereon as to the fact and date of marriage within 30 days after the date of the marriage. The license with the return thereon shall be recorded by the judge in a book kept by such judge for that purpose.

    http://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-19/chapter-3/article-2/19-3-30/

    Same Sex Wedding Law: N/A

  11. Hawaii Wedding Laws

    In summary: The marriage performer must be commissioned by the State of Hawaii, Department of Health.  **Registration Always Required**

    In order for a wedding officiant to perform a legally binding wedding ceremony in Hawaii, he or she must be registered and licensed by the Hawaiian Department of Health. The law regarding who can legally marry a couple in Hawaii is determined by Hawaiian statute § 572-12. In a nutshell, this statute authorizes an individual to perform marriage ceremonies if he or she is a priest, minister or officer of any religious denomination or society, and who has been authorized to perform wedding ceremonies by that organization. Online ordinations are recognized by the State of Hawaii. An active or retired justice or magistrate of a state or federal court may also perform wedding ceremonies. There are no residency requirements for wedding officiants, nor is an age limitation specified in the statute. This means that ministers from the mainland can facilitate marriages in Hawaii without any legal difficulties. The appropriate documentation certifying the solemnization or authorization for an individual to perform wedding ceremonies by his or her denomination, religious organization or church, must be filed with the Hawaiian Department of Health. The documents required by the Department of Health for those who received online ordinations from online ministries are ordination credentials, used to demonstrate ministerial status, and a letter of good standing, used to verify that the minister’s parent organization has confidence in the minister’s ability to perform wedding ceremonies correctly. More information may be obtained from the Department of Health by calling: (808) 586-4540.

    572-12 By whom solemnized. A license to solemnize marriages may be issued to, and the marriage rite may be performed and solemnized by any minister, priest, or officer of any religious denomination or society who has been ordained or is authorized to solemnize marriages according to the usages of such denomination or society, or any religious society not having clergy but providing solemnization in accordance with the rules and customs of that society, a legislator or constitutional officer of the State, or a member of the United States Congress who represents a district within the State, while that person holds office, or any justice [or], judge, or magistrate, active or retired, of a state or federal court in the State, upon presentation to such person or society of a license to marry, as prescribed by this chapter. Such person or society may receive the price stipulated by the parties or the gratification tendered.”

    http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/vol12_ch0501-0588/hrs0572/hrs_0572-0012.htm

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  12. Idaho Wedding Laws

    In summary: Priests or ministers of any denomination, and judges, or other designated officials, i.e., mayor or governor may perform weddings.  American Marriage Ministries notes: “There are no state laws requiring the registration of ministers, however in the past county registrars have asked our ministers to present proof of ordination.”

    32-303. BY WHOM SOLEMNIZED. Marriage may be solemnized by either a current or retired justice of the supreme court, a current or retired court of appeals judge, a current or retired district judge, any federal judge, the current or a former governor, lieutenant governor, a current or retired magistrate of the district court, mayor, priest or minister of the gospel of any denomination. To be a retired justice of the supreme court, court of appeals judge, district judge or magistrate judge of the district court, for the purpose of solemnizing marriages, a person shall have served in one (1) of those offices and shall be receiving a retirement benefit from either the judges retirement system or the public employee retirement system for service in the judiciary.

    http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/idstat/Title32/T32CH3SECT32-303.htm

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  13. Illinois Wedding Laws

    In summary: Ordained ministers, judges, retired judges, and public officials whose powers include solemnization of marriages

    According to Illinois marriage law 750, active or retired judges, ordained ministers and certain public officials may perform marriages. A retired judge is not allowed to receive payment for officiating a wedding ceremony. Ministers of the Universal Life Church Monastery may officiate marriage ceremonies in Illinois as long as they are they can prove they are in good standing with the ULC Monastery. The county clerk will require valid identification from the online ordained minster and a copy of their ordination credential. The marriage certificate must be signed by the wedding officiant and filed with the Illinois Department of Public Health in Springfield, Illinois.

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  14. Indiana Wedding Laws

    In summary: Marriages may be performed by a member of the clergy (including a minister, priest, bishop, rabbi, and imam), a judge, a magistrate, a clerk of the circuit court, or a clerk or clerk-treasurer of a city or town.

    IC 31-11-6-1 Persons authorized to solemnize marriages Sec. 1. Marriages may be solemnized by any of the following: (1) A member of the clergy of a religious organization (even if the cleric does not perform religious functions for an individual congregation), such as a minister of the gospel, a priest, a bishop, an archbishop, or a rabbi. (2) A judge. (3) A mayor, within the mayor’s county. (4) A clerk or a clerk-treasurer of a city or town, within a county in which the city or town is located. (5) A clerk of the circuit court. (6) The Friends Church, in accordance with the rules of the Friends Church. (7) The German Baptists, in accordance with the rules of their society. (8) The Bahai faith, in accordance with the rules of the Bahai faith. (9) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in accordance with the rules of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. (10) An imam of a masjid (mosque), in accordance with the rules of the religion of Islam.

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  15. Iowa Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any ordained or licensed clergymen, and justices of the peace.

    595.10 Who may solemnize. Marriages may be solemnized by: 1. A judge of the supreme court, court of appeals, or district court, including a district associate judge, associate juvenile judge, or a judicial magistrate, and including a senior judge as defined in section 602.9202, subsection 3. 2. A person ordained or designated as a leader of the person’s religious faith.

    Download of details via Officiant Brochure: Click to Download Asset

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  16. Kansas Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any ordained or licensed clergymen, and justices of the peace.  American Marriage Ministries notes: “There are no state laws requiring the registration of ministers, however in the past county registrars have asked our ministers to present proof of ordination.”

    23-2504. Solemnizing marriage; persons authorized to officiate. (a) Marriage may be validly solemnized and contracted in this state, after a license has been issued for the marriage, in the following manner: By the mutual declarations of the two parties to be joined in marriage, made before an authorized officiating person and in the presence of at least two competent witnesses over 18 years of age, other than the officiating person, that they take each other as husband and wife. (b) The following are authorized to be officiating persons: (1) Any currently ordained clergyman or religious authority of any religious denomination or society; (2) any licentiate of a denominational body or an appointee of any bishop serving as the regular clergyman of any church of the denomination to which the licentiate or appointee belongs, if not restrained from so doing by the discipline of that church or denomination; (3) any judge or justice of a court of record; (4) any municipal judge of a city of this state; and (5) any retired judge or justice of a court of record. (c) The two parties themselves, by mutual declarations that they take each other as husband and wife, in accordance with the customs, rules and regulations of any religious society, denomination or sect to which either of the parties belong, may be married without an authorized officiating person.

    http://www.kslegislature.org/li_2012/b2011_12/statute/023_000_0000_chapter/023_025_0000_article/023_025_0004_section/023_025_0004_k/

    To call any of the county clerks in Kansas, visit http://www.kscountyclerks.org/clerks.htm

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  17. Kentucky Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any ordained or licensed clergymen who have been licensed in Kentucky to perform weddings, and justices of the peace.  American Marriage Ministries notes: “There are no state laws requiring the registration of ministers, however in the past county registrars have asked our ministers to present proof of ordination.”

    402.050 Who may solemnize marriage — Persons present.

    (1) Marriage shall be solemnized only by: (a) Ministers of the gospel or priests of any denomination in regular communion with any religious society; (b) Justices and judges of the Court of Justice, retired justices and judges of the Court of Justice except those removed for cause or convicted of a felony, county judges/executive, and such justices of the peace and fiscal court commissioners as the Governor or the county judge/executive authorizes; or (c) A religious society that has no officiating minister or priest and whose usage is to solemnize marriage at the usual place of worship and by consent given in the presence of the society, if either party belongs to the society.

    (2) At least two (2) persons, in addition to the parties and the person solemnizing the marriage, shall be present at every marriage.

    Effective:July 15, 1996 History: Amended 1996 Ky. Acts ch. 205, sec. 1, effective July 15, 1996. — Amended 1992 Ky. Acts ch. 50, sec. 1, effective July 14, 1992. — Amended 1978 Ky. Acts ch. 384, sec. 516, effective June 17, 1978. — Amended 1976 (1st Extra. Sess.) Ky. Acts ch. 14, sec. 401, effective January 2, 1978. — Amended 1968 Ky. Acts ch. 102, sec. 1. — Recodified 1942 Ky. Acts ch. 208, sec. 1, effective October 1, 1942, from Ky. Stat. secs. 2103, 2107.

    http://www.lrc.ky.gov/Statutes/statute.aspx?id=36470

    Same Sex Wedding Law: N/A

  18. Louisiana Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any ordained or licensed clergymen who have registered with the clerk of the district court of the parish or with the health department if in New Orleans, and justices of the peace.  **Registration Always Required**

    §202.  Authority to perform marriage ceremony

    A marriage ceremony may be performed by:

    (1)  A priest, minister, rabbi, clerk of the Religious Society of Friends, or any clergyman of any religious sect, who has attained the age of majority and is authorized by the authorities of his religion to perform marriages, and who is registered to perform marriages;

    (2)  A state judge or justice of the peace.

    Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 1997, No. 73, §1; Acts 2014, No. 651, §1.

    http://legis.la.gov/Legis/law.aspx?d=106877

    Same Sex Wedding Law: N/A

  19. Maine Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any ordained ministers or clergymen who have been licensed by the secretary of State. Application with a $5 fee needs to be made through the town clerk or treasurer.

    §655. Authorization

    1. Persons authorized to solemnize marriages.  The following may solemnize marriages in this State:
    A. If a resident of this State:
    (1) A justice or judge;
    (2) A lawyer admitted to the Maine Bar; or
    (4) A notary public under Title 4, chapter 19; [2011, c. 111, §2 (AMD).]
    B. Whether a resident or nonresident of this State and whether or not a citizen of the United States:
    (1) An ordained minister of the gospel;
    (2) A cleric engaged in the service of the religious body to which the cleric belongs; or
    (3) A person licensed to preach by an association of ministers, religious seminary or ecclesiastical body; and [2011, c. 111, §3 (AMD).]

    http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/19-A/title19-Asec655.html

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  20. Maryland Wedding Laws

    In summary: Official of a religious order or a deputy clerk or a judge

    Ceremonies can be performed by an official of a religious order (such as an ordained minister), the Clerk of the Circuit Court, a deputy clerk designated by the county administrative circuit court judge, a judge. See Family Law 2-406 for further detail. Maryland does not require celebrants to register with the state. However, it is crucial that the celebrant properly complete the license form and return it to our office within 5 days of performing the ceremony.

    http://www.courts.state.md.us/clerks/calvert/marriagelicense.html

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  21. Massachusetts Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any ordained ministers or clergymen, and justices of the peace may perform weddings. Out-of-state clergy need to obtain a Certificate of Authorization from the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth before the wedding ceremony. NOTE: A non-minister or non-justice of the peace (such as a relative of family friend) may receive from the Governor, for a $25 fee, special one-time permission to perform a marriage.  **Registration Always Required**

    Chapter 207: Section 38 Situs; persons authorized Section 38. Section 38. 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, by a justice of the peace if he has been designated as provided in the following section and has received a certificate of designation and has qualified thereunder; an authorized representative of a Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is in accordance with the usage of their community; a priest or minister of the Buddhist religion; a minister in fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association and ordained by a local church; a leader of an Ethical Culture Society which is duly established in the commonwealth and recognized by the American Ethical Union and who is duly appointed and in good and regular standing with the American Ethical Union; the Imam of the Orthodox Islamic religion; and, it may be solemnized in a regular or special meeting for worship conducted by or under the oversight of a Friends or Quaker Monthly Meeting in accordance with the usage of their Society; and, it may be solemnized by a duly ordained nonresident minister of the gospel if he is a pastor of a church or denomination duly established in the commonwealth and who is in good and regular standing as a minister of such church or denomination, including an ordained deacon in The United Methodist Church or in the Roman Catholic Church; and, it may be solemnized according to the usage of any other church or religious organization which shall have complied with the provisions of the second paragraph of this section.

    https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartII/TitleIII/Chapter207/Section38

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state (and was the first on in the US!)

  22. Michigan Wedding Laws

    In summary: Marriages may be performed by federal, probate, district, and municipal judges, and district court magistrates, in their court area; mayors, in their city; County clerks; ministers and pastors of the gospel, both resident and non-resident.

    CHAPTER 83 – Chapter 83. Of marriage and the solemnization thereof. (EXCERPT) 551.7 Persons authorized to solemnize marriage; records; returns; disposition of fees charged by mayor or county clerk. Sec. 7. (1) Marriages may be solemnized by any of the following: (h) A minister of the gospel, anywhere in the state, if the minister is ordained or authorized to solemnize marriages according to the usages of the denomination, and is a pastor of a church in this state, or continues to preach the gospel in this state. (i) A minister of the gospel, anywhere in the state, if the minister is not a resident of this state but is authorized to solemnize marriages under the laws of the state in which the minister resides.

    http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?mcl-551-7

    Same Sex Wedding Law: N/A

  23. Minnesota Wedding Laws

    In summary: Counties will require that credentials be registered.  **Registration Always Required**

    517.04 Solemnization Marriages may be solemnized throughout the state by a judge of a court of record, a retired judge of a court of record, a court administrator, a retired court administrator with the approval of the chief judge of the judicial district, a former court commissioner who is employed by the court system or is acting pursuant to an order of the chief judge of the commissioner’s judicial district, the residential school administrators of the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf and the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind, a licensed or ordained minister of any religious denomination, or by any mode recognized in section 517.18. 517.05 Credentials of minister Ministers of any religious denomination, before they are authorized to solemnize a marriage, shall file a copy of their credentials of license or ordination with the court administrator of the district court of a county in this state, who shall record the same and give a certificate thereof. The place where the credentials are recorded shall be endorsed upon and recorded with each certificate of marriage granted by a minister.

    https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=517.05

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  24. Mississippi Wedding Laws

    In summary: Clergy, mayors, local Board of Supervisors members, and judges of the state Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Circuit court, Chancery court, Justice court, or County court.  American Marriage Ministries notes: “There are no state laws requiring the registration of ministers, however in the past county registrars have asked our ministers to present proof of ordination.”

    SEC. 93-1-17. By whom marriages may be solemnized.

    Any minister of the gospel ordained according to the rules of his church or society, in good standing; any Rabbi or other spiritual leader of any other religious body authorized under the rules of such religious body to solemnize rites of matrimony and being in good standing; any judge of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, circuit court, chancery court or county court may solemnize the rites of matrimony between any persons anywhere within this state who shall produce a license granted as herein directed. Justice court judges and members of the boards of supervisors may likewise solemnize the rites of matrimony within their respective counties.

    http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/mscode/ (and search with term: 93-1-17)

    Same Sex Wedding Law: N/A

  25. Missouri Wedding Laws

    In summary: Marriages may be performed by any clergyman in good standing, either active or retired, and by any judge, including a municipal judge.  American Marriage Ministries notes: “There are no state laws requiring the registration of ministers, however in the past county registrars have asked our ministers to present proof of ordination.”

    451.100. Marriages may be solemnized by any clergyman, either active or retired, who is in good standing with any church or synagogue in this state. Marriages may also be solemnized, without compensation, by any judge, including a municipal judge. Marriages may also be solemnized by a religious society, religious institution, or religious organization of this state, according to the regulations and customs of the society, institution or organization, when

    either party to the marriage to be solemnized is a member of such society, institution or organization.

    http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C400-499/4510000100.htm

    Same Sex Wedding Law: N/A (but recognizes same sex marriages from other states)

  26. Montana Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any ordained or licensed clergymen, and justices of the peace.

    40-1-301. Solemnization and registration. (1) A marriage may be solemnized by a judge of a court of record, by a public official whose powers include solemnization of marriages, by a mayor, city judge, or justice of the peace, by a tribal judge, or in accordance with any mode of solemnization recognized by any religious denomination, Indian nation or tribe, or native group.

    http://leg.mt.gov/bills/mca/40/1/40-1-301.htm

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  27. Nebraska Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any ordained or licensed clergymen, and justices of the peace.

    42-108 Marriage ceremony; who may perform; return; contents. Every judge, retired judge, or clerk magistrate, and every preacher of the gospel authorized by the usages of the church to which he or she belongs to solemnize marriages, may perform the marriage ceremony in this state.

    http://nebraskaccess.ne.gov/marriagelicense.asp

    Same Sex Wedding Law: N/A

  28. Nevada Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any ordained or licensed clergymen who have obtained a certificate of permissions to perform marriages, and justices of the peace. Ministry or church must be established within the state. An out-of-state minister may obtain permission to perform one ceremony in the State of Nevada.  **Registration Always Required**

    For out-of-state ministers. NRS 122 provides that a licensed or ordained minister in good standing with his denomination or church whose congregation is in another state may perform marriages in the county if authorized to do so by the county clerk. A separate authorization is required for each marriage performed.

    Such a minister may perform not more than five marriages in this state in any calendar year. In some instances a temporary certificate may be obtained for a local minister filling in for another minister during an absence.

    NRS 122.062 Licensed or ordained ministers and chaplains of Armed Forces to obtain certificates from county clerk; temporary replacements; solemnization by minister licensed or ordained in another state. 1. Any licensed or ordained minister in good standing within his denomination, whose denomination, governing body and church, or any of them, are incorporated or organized or established in this state, may join together as husband and wife persons who present a marriage license obtained from any county clerk of the State, if the minister first obtains a certificate of permission to perform marriages as provided in this section and NRS 122.064 to 122.073, inclusive. The fact that a minister is retired does not disqualify him from obtaining a certificate of permission to perform marriages if, before his retirement, he had active charge of a congregation within this state for a period of at least 3 years. 2. A temporary replacement for a licensed or ordained minister certified pursuant to this section and NRS 122.064 to 122.073, inclusive, may solemnize marriages pursuant to subsection 1 during such time as he may be authorized to do so by the county clerk in the county in which he is a temporary replacement, for a period not to exceed 90 days. The minister whom he temporarily replaces shall provide him with a written authorization which states the period during which it is effective.

    Clark County:  PLEASE NOTE: The person performing the marriage ceremony MUST possess a Certificate of Authority to Perform Marriages issued by a County Clerk from the State of Nevada. An out-of-state minister may obtain permission to perform one ceremony in the State of Nevada. Use below link for information on how to apply for a Temporary Certificate of Permission to Perform Marriages. There is no application fee.

    http://www.clarkcountynv.gov/depts/clerk/services/pages/ministerlicenses.aspx

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  29. New Hampshire Wedding Laws

    In summary: Weddings can be solemnized by a judge, supreme court justice, assistant judge, justice of the peace, priest, rabbi, or minister residing in New Hampshire. Non-residents clergy need to receive a special license from the Secretary of State.  **Registration Always Required for Non-Residents**

    457:31 Who May Solemnize. ? Marriage may be solemnized by a justice of the peace as commissioned in the state; by any minister of the gospel in the state who has been ordained according to the usage of his or her denomination, resides in the state, and is in regular standing with the denomination; by any clergyman who is not ordained but is engaged in the service of the religious body to which he or she belongs, resides in the state, after being licensed therefore by the secretary of state; within his or her parish, by any minister residing out of the state, but having a pastoral charge wholly or partly in this state.

    http://gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XLIII/457/457-31.htm

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  30. New Jersey Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any ordained or licensed clergymen, and justices of the peace.

    37:1-13 Authorization to solemnize marriages 37:1-13. Each judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, each judge of a federal district court, United States magistrate, judge of a municipal court, judge of the Superior Court, judge of a tax court, retired judge of the Superior Court or Tax Court, or judge of the Superior Court or Tax Court, the former County Court, the former County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, or the former County District Court who has resigned in good standing, surrogate of any county, county clerk and any mayor or the deputy mayor when authorized by the mayor, or chairman of any township committee or village president of this State, and every minister of every religion, are hereby authorized to solemnize marriage between such persons as may lawfully enter into the matrimonial relation; and every religious society, institution or organization in this State may join together in marriage such persons according to the rules and customs of the society, institution or organization.

    Most counties in New Jersey will require your official credentials to register.

    http://law.onecle.com/new-jersey/37-marriages-and-married-persons/1-13.html

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  31. New Mexico Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any ordained or licensed clergymen, and justices of the peace.

    40-1-2. Clergymen or civil magistrates may solemnize; A. A person may solemnize the contract of matrimony by means of an ordained clergyman or authorized representative of a federally recognized Indian tribe, without regard to the sect to which he may belong or the rites and customs he may practice.

    http://law.justia.com/codes/new-mexico/2006/nmrc/jd_40-1-2-e7db.html

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  32. New York Wedding Laws

    In summary: An authorized, officially ordained member of the clergy or a public official in the State of New York such as a mayor, city clerk, deputy city clerk, appointed marriage officer, justice, or judge. In New York City, an officiant must be registered with the City of New York.  **Registration Required for Some Locations**

    To be valid, a marriage ceremony must be performed by any of the individuals specified in Section 11 of the New York State Domestic Relations Law. These include:

    • the mayor of a city or village;
    • the former mayor, the city clerk or one of the deputy city clerks of a city of more than one million inhabitants;
    • a marriage officer appointed by the town or village board or the city common council;
    • a justice or judge of the following courts: the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern or Western Districts of New York, the New York State Court of Appeals, the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, the New York State Supreme Court, the Court of Claims, the Family Court, a Surrogates Court, the Civil and Criminal Courts of New York City (including Housing judges of the Civil Court) and other courts of record;
    • a village, town or county justice;
    • a member of the clergy or minister who has been officially ordained and granted authority to perform marriage ceremonies from a governing church body in accordance with the rules and regulations of the church body;
    • a member of the clergy or minister who is not authorized by a governing church body but who has been chosen by a spiritual group to preside over their spiritual affairs;
    • other officiants as specified by Section 11 of the Domestic Relations Law.

    The person performing the ceremony must be registered with the City of New York in order to perform a ceremony within the New York City limits. The officiant does not have to be a resident of New York State. Ship captains are not authorized to perform marriage ceremonies in New York State.

    http://www.health.ny.gov/publications/4210/

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  33. North Carolina Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any ordained or licensed clergymen, and justices of the peace.  American Marriage Ministries notes: “There are no state laws requiring the registration of ministers, however in the past county registrars have asked our ministers to present proof of ordination.”

    a. In the presence of an ordained minister of any religious denomination, a minister authorized by a church, or a magistrate; and b. With the consequent declaration by the minister or magistrate that the persons are husband and wife; or (2) In accordance with any mode of solemnization recognized by any religious denomination, or federally or State recognized Indian Nation or Tribe.

    http://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_51/GS_51-1.html

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  34. North Dakota Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any ordained or licensed clergymen, and justices of the peace.  American Marriage Ministries notes: “There are no state laws requiring the registration of ministers, however in the past county registrars have asked our ministers to present proof of ordination.”

    14-03-09. Who may solemnize marriages. Marriages may be solemnized by all judges of courts of record; municipal judges; recorders, unless the board of county commissioners designates a different official; ordained ministers of the gospel; priests; clergy licensed by recognized denominations pursuant to chapter 10-33; and by any person authorized by the rituals and practices of any religious persuasion.

    http://www.legis.nd.gov/cencode/t14c03.pdf?20130627233238 (page 2)

    Same Sex Wedding Law: N/A

  35. Ohio Wedding Laws

    In summary: Clergy approved by the Secretary of State, judges, mayors, superintendents of state school for deaf. In Ohio, all ministers are required to register with the Secretary of State’s Office before performing marriage.  **Registration Always Required**

    3101.08. Who may solemnize. An ordained or licensed minister of any religious society or congregation within this state who is licensed to solemnize marriages, a judge of a county court in accordance with section 1907.18 of the Revised Code, a judge of a municipal court in accordance with section 1901.14 of the Revised Code, a probate judge in accordance with section 2101.27 of the Revised Code, the mayor of a municipal corporation in any county in which such municipal corporation wholly or partly lies, the superintendent of the state school for the deaf, or any religious society in conformity with the rules of its church, may join together as husband and wife any persons who are not prohibited by law from being joined in marriage.

    Minister Licensing Requirements in Ohio

    In Ohio all ministers are required to register with the Secretary of State’s Office before performing marriage. The minister does not need to be an Ohio resident, though he or she must be at least 18 years old. To register ministers will need the following: 1. Letter of Good Standing (signed by a church officer) 2. Completed Application (http://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/Upload/Records/forms/min.pdf) 3. $10 Application Fee Documents may be mailed or delivered personally to their office and will be processed within 2-3 business days.

    When planning the wedding, the minister must allow for processing time once the application has been submitted. When registered the minister can search for their record in the Ohio Secretary of State’s Minister License Database. Once the minister’s application is recorded by the Ohio Secretary of State, they are licensed to perform marriage.

    http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3101.08

    Same Sex Wedding Law: N/A

  36. Oklahoma Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any ordained or licensed clergymen, and justices of the peace.  **Registration Always Required**

    43-7. Solemnization of marriages. A. All marriages must be contracted by a formal ceremony performed or solemnized in the presence of at least two adult, competent persons as witnesses, by a judge or retired judge of any court in this state, or an ordained or authorized preacher or minister of the Gospel, priest or other ecclesiastical dignitary of any denomination who has been duly ordained or authorized by the church to which he or she belongs to preach the Gospel, or a rabbi and who is at least eighteen (18) years of age. B. 1. The judge shall place his or her order of appointment on file with the office of the court clerk of the county in which he or she resides. 2. The preacher, minister, priest, rabbi, or ecclesiastical dignitary who is a resident of this state shall have filed, in the office of the court clerk of the county in which he or she resides, a copy of the credentials or authority from his or her church or synagogue authorizing him or her to solemnize marriages. 3. The preacher, minister, priest, rabbi, or ecclesiastical dignitary who is not a resident of this state, but has complied with the laws of the state of which he or she is a resident, shall have filed once, in the office of the court clerk of the county in which he or she intends to perform or solemnize a marriage, a copy of the credentials or authority from his or her church or synagogue authorizing him or her to solemnize marriages. 4. The filing by resident or nonresident preachers, ministers, priests, rabbis, ecclesiastical dignitaries or judges shall be effective in and for all counties of this state; provided, no fee shall be charged for such recording.

    http://www.oklegislature.gov/osStatuesTitle.html (Title 43)

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  37. Oregon Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any clergy person of a religious organization or congregation, county clerk or judicial officer.

    106.120 Who may solemnize marriage; fee; personal payment; records. (1) As used in this section, “judicial officer” means: (a) A judicial officer of this state as that term is defined in ORS 1.210 and includes but is not limited to a judge of a municipal court and a justice of the peace. (b) An active judge of a federal court. (c) An active United States magistrate judge. (2) Marriages may be solemnized by: (a) A judicial officer; (b) A county clerk; (c) Religious congregations or organizations as indicated in ORS 106.150 (2); or (d) A clergy person of any religious congregation or organization who is authorized by the congregation or organization to solemnize marriages.

    http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/106.120

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  38. Pennsylvania Wedding Laws

    American Marriage Ministries notes: “There are no state laws requiring the registration of ministers, however in the past county registrars have asked our ministers to present proof of ordination.”

    ULC warns, “Pennsylvania is unfortunately one of three states in the United States which generally does not accept our ordination. This means that a person who becomes an ordained minister through the Universal Life Church in order to be a wedding officiant will have difficulties filing for a marriage license in most of Pennsylvania, even though they can officiate wedding ceremonies to their heart’s content in 47 other US states. The only county in Pennsylvania which generally DOES accept the ULC ordination is Bucks County in the southwestern corner of the state.”

    In summary: Couples can obtain a self-uniting license. Any ordained minister, priest or rabbi of any regularly established church or congregation, Judges, Justices of Peace, and County Clerks or their appointed Deputies may perform wedding ceremonies. Mayors of cities and boroughs are also authorized to perform marriage ceremonies. Review Pennsylvania Statutes, Title 23, Chapter 15 for more information. Again, please note that certain counties have new requirements in place that require the clergy member to have an active congregation and that one of the couples for whom they solemnize a marriage be a member of that congregation. BE SURE to contact the county in which you wish to perform a wedding to check on the status of these updates.

    1503. Persons qualified to solemnize marriages. (a) General rule.–The following are authorized to solemnize marriages between persons that produce a marriage license issued under this part: 1. A justice, judge or district justice of this Commonwealth. 2. A former or retired justice, judge or district justice of this Commonwealth who is serving as a senior judge or senior district justice as provided or prescribed by law. 3. An active or senior judge or full-time magistrate of the District Courts of the United States for the Eastern, Middle or Western District of Pennsylvania. 4. An active or senior judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit who is a resident of this Commonwealth. 5. A mayor of any city or borough of this Commonwealth. 6. A minister, priest or rabbi of any regularly established church or congregation. (b) Religious organizations.–Every religious society, religious institution or religious organization in this Commonwealth may join persons together in marriage when at least one of the persons is a member of the society, institution or organization, according to the rules and customs of the society, institution or organization. (c) Marriage license needed to officiate.–No person or religious organization qualified to perform marriages shall officiate at a marriage ceremony without the parties having obtained a marriage license issued under this part.

    http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/23/00.015.003.000..HTM

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  39. Rhode Island Wedding Laws

    Who can perform the ceremony?

    General Laws of Rhode Island § 15-3-5: Officials empowered to join persons in marriage. – 15-3-5. • Every ordained clergy or elder in good standing. • Every justice of the supreme court, superior court, family court, workers’ compensation court, district court or traffic tribunal. • The clerk of the supreme court, every clerk or general chief clerk of a superior court, family court, district court, or traffic tribunal. • Magistrates, special or general magistrates of the superior court, family court, traffic tribunal or district court. • Administrators of the workers’ compensation court and every former justice or judge and former administrator of these courts. • Every former chief clerk of the district court. • Every former clerk or general chief clerk of a superior court. • The secretary of the senate. • Elected clerks of the general assembly. • Any former secretary of the senate or any former elected clerk of the general assembly who retires after July 1, 2007. • Judges of the United States appointed pursuant to Article III of the United States Constitution. • Bankruptcy judges appointed pursuant to Article I of the United States Constitution. • United States magistrate judges appointed pursuant to federal law. • Every justice and every former justice of the municipal courts of the cities and towns in this state. • The police court of the town of Johnston. • Every probate judge and every former probate judge. • Wardens of the town of New Shoreham may join persons in marriage in New Shoreham.

    http://sos.ri.gov/documents/business/notarypublic/GeneralMarriageRhodeIsland.pdf

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  40. South Carolina Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any ordained or licensed clergymen, and justices of the peace.  American Marriage Ministries notes: “There are no state laws requiring the registration of ministers, however in the past county registrars have asked our ministers to present proof of ordination.”

    SECTION 20-1-20. Persons who may perform marriage ceremony. Only ministers of the Gospel, Jewish rabbis, officers authorized to administer oaths in this State, and the chief or spiritual leader of a Native American Indian entity recognized by the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs pursuant to Section 1-31-40 are authorized to administer a marriage ceremony in this State.

    http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t20c001.php

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  41. South Dakota Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any ordained or licensed clergymen, and justices of the peace.

    American Marriage Ministries notes: “There are no state laws requiring the registration of ministers, however in the past county registrars have asked our ministers to present proof of ordination.”

    25-1-30. Persons authorized to solemnize marriages. Marriage may be solemnized by a justice of the Supreme Court, a judge of the circuit court, a magistrate, a mayor, either within or without the corporate limits of the municipality from which the mayor was elected, or any person authorized by a church to solemnize marriages.

    http://legis.sd.gov/Statutes/Codified_Laws/DisplayStatute.aspx?Type=Statute&Statute=25-1-30

    Same Sex Wedding Law: N/A

  42. Tennessee Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any ordained or licensed clergymen over the age of 18, and justices of the peace. Some counties will not authorize clergy unless they have an active ministry and a congregation.  American Marriage Ministries notes: “There are no state laws requiring the registration of ministers, however in the past county registrars have asked our ministers to present proof of ordination.”

    36-3-301. Persons who may solemnize marriages.

    (a) (1) All regular ministers, preachers, pastors, priests, rabbis and other spiritual leaders of every religious belief, more than eighteen (18) years of age, having the care of souls, and all members of the county legislative bodies, county mayors, judges, chancellors, former chancellors and former judges of this state, former county executives or county mayors of this state, former members of quarterly county courts or county commissions, the governor, the speaker of the senate and former speakers of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives and former speakers of the house of representatives, the county clerk of each county and the mayor of any municipality in the state may solemnize the rite of matrimony. For the purposes of this section, the several judges of the United States courts, including United States magistrates and United States bankruptcy judges, who are citizens of Tennessee are deemed to be judges of this state. The amendments to this section by Acts 1987, ch. 336, which applied provisions of this section to certain former judges, do not apply to any judge who has been convicted of a felony or who has been removed from office.

    (2) In order to solemnize the rite of matrimony, any such minister, preacher, pastor, priest, rabbi or other spiritual leader must be ordained or otherwise

    designated in conformity with the customs of a church, temple or other religious group or organization; and such customs must provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act.

    http://www.rutherfordcountytn.gov/countyclerk/marriage_solemnize.htm

    Same Sex Wedding Law: N/A

  43. Texas Wedding Laws

    In summary: Persons authorized to perform weddings in Texas include licensed or ordained Christian ministers, priests, Jewish rabbis, officers authorized by religious organizations, justices of the supreme court, judges of the court of criminal appeals, justices of the courts of appeals, judges of the district, county, and probate courts, judges of the county courts at law, judges of the courts of domestic relations, judges of the juvenile courts, retired justices or judges, justices of the peace, retired justices of the peace, and judges or magistrates of a federal court of Texas.

    Section 2.202 of the Texas Family Code:

    (a) The following persons are authorized to conduct a marriage ceremony:
    (1) a licensed or ordained Christian minister or priest;
    (2) a Jewish rabbi;
    (3) a person who is an officer of a religious organization and who is authorized by the organization to conduct a marriage ceremony; and
    (4) a justice of the supreme court, judge of the court of criminal appeals, justice of the courts of appeals, judge of the district, county, and probate courts, judge of the county courts at law, judge of the courts of domestic relations, judge of the juvenile courts, retired justice or judge of those courts, justice of the peace, retired justice of the peace, judge of a municipal court, or judge or magistrate of a federal court of this state.
    (b) For the purposes of this section, a retired judge or justice is a former judge or justice who is vested in the Judicial Retirement System of Texas Plan One or the Judicial Retirement System of Texas Plan Two or who has an aggregate of at least 12 years of service as judge or justice of any type listed in Subsection (a)(4).
    (c) Except as provided by Subsection (d), a person commits an offense if the person knowingly conducts a marriage ceremony without authorization under this section. An offense under this subsection is a Class A misdemeanor.
    (d) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly conducts a marriage ceremony of a minor whose marriage is prohibited by law or of a person who by marrying commits an offense under Section 25.01, Penal Code. An offense under this subsection is a felony of the third degree.

    http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/FA/htm/FA.2.htm

    Same Sex Wedding Law: N/A

  44. Utah Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any ordained or licensed clergymen, and justices of the peace.

    Who May Solemnize a Marriage

    A minister, rabbi, priest, mayor, judge, county clerk, Native American spiritual adviser, the Governor, mayors, court commissioners and judges, as well as particular members of the legislature may perform wedding ceremonies. Two witnesses over 18 must also be present at the wedding ceremony.

    The person who solemnizes the marriage must sign a certificate of marriage and then files the certificate and the marriage license with the county clerk who issued the license. Utah Code §30-1-6

    http://www.utcourts.gov/howto/marriage/

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  45. Vermont Wedding Laws

    In summary: Authorized persons to perform weddings in Vermont are judges, supreme court justices, assistant judges, justices of the peace, and ordained or licensed clergymen. Non-resident clergy need to file for a permit from the county Probate Court where the marriage will take place.

    Check with State for clarification on somewhat vague requirements.

    Minister Licensing Requirements in Vermont

    In Vermont there is no government licensing required for a minister to perform marriage. The minister does not need to be a Vermont resident, though he or she must be at least 18 years old. We recommend that the minister speak with the registrar at the office where the couple files for their marriage license. Most towns do not have additional requirements, however the minister may be asked to show their credentials before performing marriage. Alternatively, an individual may apply for Temporary Officiant status to perform a marriage. He or she will be required to pay a fee of $100 and complete a registration form through the secretary of state. Temporary Officiants do not need to become a minister.

    https://www.sec.state.vt.us/temporary-officiants.aspx

    § 5144. Persons authorized to solemnize marriage

    (a) Marriages may be solemnized by a supreme court justice, a superior judge, a judge of probate, an assistant judge, a justice of the peace, a magistrate, an individual who has registered as an officiant with the Vermont secretary of state pursuant to section 5144a of this title, a member of the clergy residing in this state and ordained or licensed, or otherwise regularly authorized thereunto by the published laws or discipline of the general conference, convention, or other authority of his or her faith or denomination, or by such a clergy person residing in an adjoining state or country, whose parish, church, temple, mosque, or other religious organization lies wholly or in part in this state, or by a member of the clergy residing in some other state of the United States or in the Dominion of Canada, provided he or she has first secured from the probate division of the superior court in the unit within which the marriage is to be solemnized a special authorization, authorizing him or her to certify the marriage if the probate judge determines that the circumstances make the special authorization desirable. Marriage among the Friends or Quakers, the Christadelphian Ecclesia, and the Baha’i Faith may be solemnized in the manner heretofore used in such societies.

    http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/18/105/05144

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  46. Virginia Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any ordained minister who can show proof of ordination and regular communion with religious society. Some counties will not provide authorization unless clergy has active ministry and congregation. Marriage Commissioners, and Judges (Circuit Court, District Court, or retired) in Virginia may also perform civil weddings. The state of Virginia currently requests that you visit your County Clerk’s office in person to inquire about becoming registered as a wedding officiant. Please visit their websites for directions and hours.  **Registration Always Required**

    § 20-23. Order authorizing ministers to perform ceremony.

    When a minister of any religious denomination shall produce before the circuit court of any county or city in this Commonwealth, or before the judge of such court or before the clerk of such court at any time, proof of his ordination and of his being in regular communion with the religious society of which he is a reputed member, or proof that he is commissioned to pastoral ministry or holds a local minister’s license and is serving as a regularly appointed pastor in his denomination, such court, or the judge thereof, or the clerk of such court at any time, may make an order authorizing such minister to celebrate the rites of matrimony in this Commonwealth. Any order made under this section may be rescinded at any time by the court or by the judge thereof.

    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+20-23

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  47. Washington Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any ordained or licensed clergymen, and justices of the peace. Form of solemnization.

    In the solemnization of marriage no particular form is required, except that the parties thereto shall assent or declare in the presence of the minister, priest, imam, rabbi, or similar official of any religious organization, or judicial officer solemnizing the same, and in the presence of at least two attending witnesses, that they take each other to be spouses.

    [2012 c 3 § 6 (Referendum Measure No. 74, approved November 6, 2012); Code 1881 § 2383; 1866 p 82 § 5; RRS § 8443.]

    There is no residency requirement to perform marriages in Washington. Additionally, active or retired judges and justices of the peace may perform weddings in Washington State. Online ordained ministers must present appropriate ordination papers indicating he or she has been approved to perform marriages and must also present appropriate identification to the county clerk where the marriage is to be performed. Additionally, two certified copies of the marriage certificate must be forwarded to the county auditor within thirty days of the solemnization of the union.

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=26.04.070

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  48. Washington DC Wedding Laws

    In Summary: Ordained ministers, and justices of the peaces. Ordination Certificate, founding documents of spiritual or religious organization required in addition to letter of character in good standing by DC citizen. Other requirements may be imposed. Approval of Judge required. Allow processing time by court. $35 fee (cash only) to apply for authorization.  **Registration Always Required**

    The application fee for authorization to celebrate marriages in the District of Columbia is $35 (cash). You must have an endorser from the same religious society, who is from currently registered with the Marriage Bureau Section, Family Court. If there is no endorser, you must request the written “Procedures for the Registration of Clergy Without Endorser.” Authorization is indefinite for District of Columbia marriage ceremonies.

    The county clerk may require Founding Documents from the ordaining organization for registration.  If you are ordained through the American Marriage Ministries, follow these instructions:  https://theamm.org/minister-licensing/district-of-columbia/   If you are ordained through the ULC Monastery, you can view and print a PDF copy of those documents here: http://ulccaselaw.com/legalPDF/Universal-life-church-incorp-notarized.pdf.

    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.

    http://www.dccourts.gov/internet/public/aud_marriage/marriage.jsf

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality district

  49. West Virginia Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any ordained minister who has received authorization to perform marriages in the state of West Virginia. The court in each city and county has appointed persons who are eligible to perform civil wedding. Application required and placed on Statewide Registry of authorized officiants.  **Registration Always Required**

    Minister Licensing Requirements in West Virginia

    In West Virginia all ministers are required to register with the Secretary of State before performing marriage. Ministers are able to complete this state registration locally, through most County Clerk’s Offices. This is the same office that the couple must visit to file for their marriage license. The minister does not need to be a West Virginia resident, though he or she must be at least 18 years old.

    Registration of Ministers Authorized to Perform Marriages

    State Registration

    In 2001, the West Virginia Legislature adopted S. B. 59, establishing provisions for the registration of religious representatives to be authorized to perform marriages in any county in West Virginia. These provisions are under West Virginia Code §48-2-402.

    Requirements for Registration

    1. Proof of Age The registrant must be 18 years of age or older, and may show proof using a photocopy of a birth certificate, driver license, passport or military ID.

    2. Proof of Authority The registrant must be:

    duly authorized to perform marriages by his or her church, synagogue, spiritual assembly or religious organization; and

    in regular communion with that group of which he or she is a member.

    Registry

    The Secretary of State established a registry of all persons authorized to perform marriages. County clerks in the 55 counties forwarded to the Secretary of State the names of persons authorized since 1960 to perform marriages for inclusion in the registry.

    Download the form needed to register: http://www.sos.wv.gov/business-licensing/licensing/Documents/m-1.pdf and contact your ordaining organization for the needed documents.  If you are ordained through the American Marriage Ministries, here are the steps for you: https://theamm.org/minister-licensing/west-virginia/

    48-2-402. Qualifications of religious representative for celebrating marriages; registry of persons authorized to perform marriage ceremonies; special revenue fund. (a) Beginning the first day of September, two thousand one, the secretary of state shall, upon payment of the registration fee established by the secretary of state pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, make an order authorizing a person who is a religious representative to celebrate the rites of marriage in all the counties of the state, upon proof that the person: (1) Is eighteen years of age or older; (2) Is duly authorized to perform marriages by his or her church, synagogue, spiritual assembly or religious organization; and (3) Is in regular communion with the church, synagogue, spiritual assembly or religious organization of which he or she is a member. (b) The person shall give bond in the penalty of one thousand five hundred dollars, with surety approved by the commission. Any religious representative who gives proof before the county commission of his or her ordination or authorization by his or her respective church, synagogue, spiritual assembly or religious organization is exempt from giving the bond. (c) The secretary of state shall establish a central registry of persons authorized to celebrate marriages in this state. Every person authorized under the provisions of subsection (a) of this section to celebrate marriages shall be listed in this registry. Every county clerk shall, prior to the first day of October, two thousand one, transmit to the secretary of state the name of every person authorized to celebrate marriages by order issued in his or her county since one thousand nine hundred sixty and the secretary of state shall include these names in the registry. The completed registry and periodic updates shall be transmitted to every county clerk. (d) A fee not to exceed twenty-five dollars may be charged by the secretary of state for each registration received on or after the first day of September, two thousand one, and all money received shall be deposited in a special revenue revolving fund designated the “Marriage Celebrants Registration Fee Administration Fund” in the state treasury to be administered by the secretary of state. Expenses incurred by the secretary in the implementation and operation of the registry program shall be paid from the fund. (e) No marriage performed by a person authorized by law to celebrate marriages may be invalidated solely because the person was not listed in the registry provided for in this section. (f) The secretary of state shall promulgate rules to implement the provisions of this section.

    http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/ChapterEntire.cfm?chap=48&art=2&section=402#02

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  50. Wisconsin Wedding Laws

    In summary: Ordained member of the clergy, a judge, a court commissioner, or certain religious appointees. Non-residents of the state may need a letter of sponsorship.  American Marriage Ministries notes: “There are no state laws requiring the registration of ministers, however in the past county registrars have asked our ministers to present proof of ordination.”

    765.16  Marriage contract, how made; officiating person.

    (1m) Marriage may be validly solemnized and contracted in this state only after a marriage license has been issued therefor, and only by the mutual declarations of the 2 parties to be joined in marriage that they take each other as husband and wife, made before an authorized officiating person and in the presence of at least 2 competent adult witnesses other than the officiating person. The following are authorized to be officiating persons:
    (a) Any ordained member of the clergy of any religious denomination or society who continues to be an ordained member of the clergy.
    (b) Any licentiate of a denominational body or an appointee of any bishop serving as the regular member of the clergy of any church of the denomination to which the member of the clergy belongs, if not restrained from so doing by the discipline of the church or denomination.
    (c) The 2 parties themselves, by mutual declarations that they take each other as husband and wife, in accordance with the customs, rules and regulations of any religious society, denomination or sect to which either of the parties may belong.
    (d) Any judge of a court of record or a reserve judge appointed under s. 753.075.
    (e) Any circuit court commissioner appointed under SCR 75.02 (1) or supplemental court commissioner appointed under s. 757.675 (1).
    (f) Any municipal judge.
     (2m) An officiating person under sub. (1m) (a)(b)(d)(e), or (f) must be at least 18 years old.
    History: 1977 c. 3231979 c. 32 ss. 4892 (4)1979 c. 176259; Stats. 1979 s. 765.16; 1981 c. 20 s. 22001985 a. 291991 a. 3151999 a. 852001 a. 612013 a. 372.

    http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/765/16#JUMPDEST_765.16

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state

  51. Wyoming Wedding Laws

    In summary: Any ordained or licensed clergymen, and justices of the peace.  American Marriage Ministries notes: “There are no state laws requiring the registration of ministers, however in the past county registrars have asked our ministers to present proof of ordination.”

    20-1-106. Who may solemnize marriage; form of ceremony. (a) Every district or circuit court judge, district court commissioner, supreme court justice, magistrate and every licensed or ordained minister of the gospel, bishop, priest or rabbi, or other qualified person acting in accordance with the traditions or rites for the solemnization of marriage of any religion, denomination or religious society, may perform the ceremony of marriage in this state. (b) In the solemnization of marriage no particular form is required, except that the parties shall solemnly declare in the presence of the person performing the ceremony and at least two (2) attending witnesses that they take each other as husband and wife.

    http://legisweb.state.wy.us/statutes/statutes.aspx?file=titles/Title20/T20CH1.htm

    Same Sex Wedding Law: Yes, this is a Marriage Equality state