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Is this legal?

by Open Ministry

The Open Ministry maintains a church status, so that ministers are able to officiate marriage in all 50 states. As all marriage laws vary from state to state and even county to county, these laws vary widely and are always subject to change. You should always have your credentials and verify your status as a minister with the local county clerk or agency that issues marriage licenses prior to performing any ceremony.

You can find a listing of the various wedding requirements, arranged according to state, in our Marriage Laws Section.

You can refer to this information as a general guideline within the United States, as well as guidelines on whom to talk to in your area for more information. Contact the public official for confirmation of the latest requirements for ministers officiating marriage.

When you speak to your local county clerk or agency that will be issuing the couple's marriage license it can be helpful to use the following questions and phrases:

  • I am an ordained minister with, Open Ministry; a church in California that holds the necessary filing status as religious organization.
  • As a minister of an established church I plan to officiate a marriage ceremony in [state],
  • Can you please tell me what the requirements are for ministers to register in [state and county]?
  • Are the requirements any different for non-resident ministers than they are for residents of [state]?

Please note:
Your ordination is granted to you by our Presiding Chaplain and not just an "online website", you may have completed your application on our website but your ordination has been granted to you and issued by a senior member of our church.


This article was published on Wednesday 09 February, 2011.
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