Officiant Registration in Massachusetts

Before officiating weddings in Massachusetts you will first need to become a minister by getting ordained online. This is as easy as Googling for a website that offers online ordinations.

Most of these organizations offer ordination for free though there are a few that charge exorbitant fees. We will be openly biased in recommending that you get ordained with American Marriage Ministries.

Why AMM? Their ordination is free. They are set up specifically to help people officiate wedding ceremonies. And they are the only IRS Certified 501c3 Charitable Organization that offers online ordinations.

That being said, if you decide to seek ordination through another organization, that is your prerogative.

Once you are an ordained minister you will then need to register with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth

You can also find more information about registering as an officiant in Massachusetts here.

Minister Registration Office – Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth

Massachusetts is one if the few states where the application procedure is different based on whether or not you are a Massachusetts Resident. You can officiate weddings in Massachusetts if you are a resident or non-resident but the applications you complete and submit will be different.

Massachusetts Residents Officiant Application

The Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth spells out the Procedure to Perform Marriages in Massachusetts By Members of the Clergy Living in Massachusetts. In short, you will need to submit the following documents:

Gathering Your Required Documents

You should be able  to obtain your Ordination Certificate and Letter of Good Standing through the Church that ordained you. Just make sure that the Letter of Good Standing bears a live signature, as that is required by the Secretary of State

If you were ordained with American Marriage Ministries, their Minister Ordination Package contains all the required paperwork. It is $45 and also includes a Minister Manual that contains useful minister registration and wedding training information.

They also offer a “Signature Wedding Officiant Package” that includes everything described above as well as a Clergy Stole and their comprehensive wedding training manual “Asked to Officiate“. It is $95 though the book is probably the best instruction manual for first time officiants.

Submitting Your Resident Application Documents

Once you have all your paperwork in order, you can mail everything to the Massachusetts Secretary of State at:

Secretary of the Commonwealth
Commissions Section
One Ashburton Place, Room 1719
Boston, Massachusetts 02108

You can also fax or email the paperwork to the Secretary of the Commonwealth at:

Fax: 617-727-5914
Email:
[email protected]

Timeline for Approval of Your Resident Application

Provided there are no complications, it should take no more than a day or two for the Secretary of the Commonwealth to approve your application.

If you have any further questions you can contact the Commissions Section at 617-727-2836.


Massachusetts Non-Residents Officiant Application

Applying to perform marriage as a Massachusetts non-residents requires a few more steps.

PLAN AHEAD!

The Secretary of the Commonwealth strongly recommends that you register at least 2 – 4 weeks but not more than 6 weeks before the ceremony.

4 Steps for Non-Resident Registration

STEP 1 – Complete the Out of State Non-Resident Clergy – Petition to Solemnize Marriage.

STEP 2 – Submit the completed application to:

Secretary of the Commonwealth
Commissions Section
One Ashburton Place, Room 1719
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
(FAX) 617-727-5914

STEP 3 – Once your application is received expect it to take 2-4 weeks to be approved. Once approved you will receive a “Solemnization Certificate” from the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

STEP 4 – After you officiate the wedding you must include the Solemnization Certificate when returning the completed marriage license to its issuance office.

Preferably this should be done in person. If you are not able to do this, contact the probate or district court that issued the marriage license to the couple. You should be able to make arrangements for returning both documents by mail.

You can find a listing for all the Probate Courts here and for the District Courts here.


Much of the information for this page was sourced from this page.

Learn More About How to Officiate Weddings

Successfully registering as a wedding officiant in Massachusetts is just one step. Most of the work will involve preparing for the wedding ceremony. Follow the link below for useful wedding training information.

Continue To How To Officiate Weddings ▶︎