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I have been asked to provide proof that I am an ordained minister. What documents do I need and how do I get them?

Most places require some documentation establishing that you are recognized by a church as an ordained minister. The most commonly required documents are credentials identifying you as an ordained minister (which can be purchased in the Minister Supplies Store as the “Basic Credentials Pack”) and legal documents you may need for registering a marriage that describes the ordaining church (purchased as the “Basic Wedding Pack”). These are sold separately because not all states require ministers to show credentials before performing a wedding ceremony and some ministers will not want to perform weddings.

Before the marriage ceremony, you should contact the County Clerk in the county where you will be conducting the marriage and ask for the exact steps and documentation you will need both before and after the ceremony in order for the marriage to be considered legal. State and county requirements vary widely from the required forms to the deadlines for turning in paperwork after the ceremony.

A few states also required a signed and notarized Letter of Good Standing, written by the church on the ordained minister’s behalf. This can also be purchased as an individual item at the Minister Supply Store. Please verify with the County Clerk in the location where you will be officiating the wedding that you need this item before you purchase it.

For more detailed information, please look over our Officiating Your First Wedding guide, in your Minister’s Dashboard.

If you are located outside of the US, these documents may not be accepted as evidence of being ordained. Please reach out to your non-US leadership within your country for more information about what you need to provide to demonstrate you are a minister.

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