How To Check If Wedding Officiant Is Legal

The easiest way to know how to check if wedding officiant is legal is by asking your county clerk’s office. We will also guide you below with what to do and the requirements to ensure that your marriage will be recognized and legal. 

And speaking of identifying the validity of your wedding officiant, those who were ordained should know how to perform a marriage ceremony. Read how to conduct a wedding ceremony to understand the flow of weddings. 

how to check if wedding officiant is legal


Here’s How To Check If Wedding Officiant Is Legal

The best way to ensure that your wedding officiant is legal to perform your marriage ceremony is with your county clerk’s office. You can call, visit, or set an appointment with them to fully understand the marriage requirements and the ins and outs of weddings in your state. 

By checking with the county government, you’ll also know what to do to get a marriage license, which is mandatory before getting married. States also have different laws regarding who can legally perform a marriage ceremony. 

This is called solemnization, where someone can become a recognized officiant. You risk not getting your union recognized if the person who officiated your wedding has not gone through the formality to become a recognized officiant. 


What is solemnization? 

Solemnization refers to the formal requirement to perform a marriage ceremony and the professional to marry the couple. States vary in the marriage laws that dictate who can perform a wedding, which is why some states allow professionals like a city clerk to perform a wedding, while in others, a notary public is also authorized to solemnize a wedding. 

The parties getting married must be declared in the presence of authorized people like the officiant and attending witnesses that they take each other as husband and wife. The requirements about the witnesses present also depend on the state where you’ll get married. 


How to make sure your wedding ceremony is legal

To confirm that the wedding you officiated is legal, you first need to check the validity of the marriage license. Then, as the wedding officiant, you should also complete the required registration in your state or county. 

Some states require the officiant to register with a government official to become a legal and authorized wedding officiant. If you’re interested in becoming a recognized wedding officiant, remember that these states will require you to register with a government office:

  • New York
  • Nevada
  • Washington DC
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Ohio
  • Massachusetts
  • Oklahoma
  • Vermont
  • Delaware
  • Louisiana
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • Arkansas
  • Hawaii


Can Anyone Officiate A Wedding?

Not anyone can officiate a wedding, but anyone can perform a unity ceremony. The only difference is your officiant should be recognized by your state laws to ensure that you’ll have a legal marriage. 

To confirm the validity and legality of your wedding, know the laws and requirements of your state regarding who can officiate and who can get married. For example, some states do not require registration for the officiant to perform a marriage, while others have a wedding officiant registration. 

If you don’t have one yet, here’s how to hire a wedding officiant


Can you officiate a wedding online?

Can the officiant perform a marriage ceremony online? Virtual officiating a ceremony is not ideal because the officiant should be physically present at the wedding. 

The officiant will sign and complete the marriage license to ensure the marriage is legally binding. Wedding licenses require live signatures so that the marriage will be legally recognized. 


Can a non-US citizen officiate a wedding?

A non-US citizen can officiate weddings in the US, except in Nevada. This is because this state has minister registration laws limited to US citizens. 

However, you are still subject to the state marriage laws like a US citizen. 


Who Can Legally Marry A Couple?

A legal and recognized officiant can marry a couple, and the union should be valid. Check with your county clerk’s office to confirm your qualification to perform a legal marriage.

Some states require ministers to register before performing a wedding. 


Can An Ordained Minister Marry Someone In Any State?

A person’s ordination is valid in all US States and Territories except Virginia. However, you must complete all the Minister Registration Requirements on the state where you’ll marry the couple. 

Keep in mind that some places require minister registration. Regardless, ordination is not specific to where you live, and you can perform weddings in other states. 


What Are The Marriage Officiant Requirements?

Usually, clergy members, judges, court clerks, and justices of the peace can legally perform a marriage. But to determine if you can legally perform weddings, check the state laws regarding licensing and authorizing the officiant who can perform a marriage. 

In some states, other people can also be authorized to be wedding officiants. California, for example, permits anyone to become a Deputy Commissioner of Marriages for one day. 



And that’s it! You just learned how to check if wedding officiant is legal by asking your county clerk’s office. 

States vary in marriage laws, including who can legally perform a marriage ceremony. And to ensure the validity of your wedding, understand the legalities and documents you must accomplish, such as the marriage license and if the officiant needs to complete the Minister Registration Requirements.

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