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West Virginia State Marriage Law & Information

Most counties in West Virginia will require your official credentials to register


West Virginia Marriage Law

NOTE: West Virginia requires this specialized Letter of Good Standing for minister registration.

West Virginia Code

§48-1-212

Clergy defined.

"Clergy" includes a minister, priest, rabbi or other clergy who has qualified as such before the county commission or the clerk of the county commission as provided for in section 2-402 of this chapter.

Note: Code updated with legislation passed through the 2008 2nd Extraordinary Session

§48-2-202

Endorsement and return of licenses by persons solemnizing marriage; duties of clerk pertaining thereto.

  • The person solemnizing a marriage shall retain the marriage license and place an endorsement on it establishing the fact of the marriage and the time and place it was celebrated.
  • Before the sixth day of the month after the month in which the marriage was celebrated, the person who solemnized the marriage shall forward the original of the marriage license to the clerk who issued the license.
  • In the event that the marriage authorized by the license is not solemnized within sixty days from the date of its issuance, then the license is null and void. If the county clerk has not received the original license within sixty days after the expiration date on the license, the clerk shall notify each of the applicants of that fact, by certified mail, return receipt requested.

Note: Code updated with legislation passed through the 2008 2nd Extraordinary Session

§48-2-402

Qualifications of religious representative for celebrating marriages; registry of persons authorized to perform marriage ceremonies; special revenue fund.

  • 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:
    • Is eighteen years of age or older;
    • Is duly authorized to perform marriages by his or her church, synagogue, spiritual assembly or religious organization; and
    • Is in regular communion with the church, synagogue, spiritual assembly or religious organization of which he or she is a member.
  • 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.
  • Upon written request from the registrant, the Secretary of State shall designate the registrant as inactive on the registry.
    • Upon written notice from the governing body of the registrant's authorizing body that the registrant has died or that the registrant's authority to perform marriages has been revoked, the Secretary of State shall attempt to notify the registrant of the change in the registrant's status by United States mail addressed to the registrant's last known address. If the registrant fails to provide the Secretary of State with proof of good standing with his or her authorizing body within thirty days, the registrant shall be designated on the registry as inactive.
  • A fee not to exceed twenty-five dollars may be charged by the Secretary of State for each registration or reactivation of an individual designated as inactive on the registry 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.
  • 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.
  • The Secretary of State shall promulgate rules to implement the provisions of this section.

Note: Code updated with legislation passed through the 2008 2nd Extraordinary Session

Marriage License Agency: County Clerk
Common Law: No
Civil Union: No
Duration of Marriage Licence: Dependent on county



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