Before officiating weddings in Minnesota you will first need to get ordained online to become a minister. To do this, just Google for a website that offers online ordinations.
There are dozens of websites that offer online ordinations. Most of them are free though some charge exorbitant fees. We will be openly biased in suggesting that you get ordained with American Marriage Ministries.
Why American Marriage Ministries? Well, AMM’s ordination is free. They are set up specifically to help people officiate weddings. And they are the only IRS Certified 501c3 Charitable Organization that offers online ordinations.
Once you are an ordained minister, your next step is to register as a wedding officiant in the county where the couple intends to get married.
Minister Registration Offices in Minnesota
Minister registration is required in Minnesota however registration is done at a County level. Successful registration with one county office will allow you to officiate weddings anywhere in the state.
This means that you do not necessarily have to register in the same county where the wedding will be taking place. This certainly simplifies things if you live in one part of Minnesota and the couple is having their wedding in another part of the state.
One are that is confusing is that the office charged with registering ministers varies from county to county. In some counties it is the County Clerk, in others it is the Department of Licensing, and so on. You will have to do some research to find out what office is responsible for minister registration in your chosen county.
Minimum Age Requirements
Minnesota is the only state where the minimum age for wedding officiants is 21 years. This should not be an issue for most of you but it is worth mentioning.
Required Ministry Credentials and Documents for Minister Registration
There is no statewide standardized policy for minister registration in Minnesota. It is up to the discretion of each individual County Registrar to decide what documents they require of you.
This usually boils down to one or a combination of the following:
- County Registrar’s Application Form
- Application Fee (Usually $10)
- Government ID
- Ordination Certificate
- Letter of Good Standing
- Church Articles of Incorporation
Once you find out what office you need to register with you will have a better idea of what documents you will need to submit.
How To Obtain Your Ministry Credentials
The church that ordained you will be able to provide you with your Ordination Certificate and Letter of Good Standing.
We hope that you will choose American Marriage Ministries. If that is not the case, obtaining your credentials will be pretty similar with your ordaining church. That is, by ordering your credentials through their website.
You will have to spend some money to do this as it costs money to produce and ship these documents. Depending on who ordained you, it may be a trivial fee, or it may be exorbitant. The best deal you will probably find is through American Marriage Ministries.
You can order their Minister Ordination Package for $45 that contains your Ordination Certificate, Letter of Good Standing, and AMM Articles of Incorporation. The package also contains your Minister’s Manual, which contains useful wedding training information.
For $95 they offer a “Signature Wedding Officiant Package” that includes a Clergy Stole and their comprehensive wedding training manual “Asked to Officiate“. The book is a great resource if you plan on officiating your first wedding.
If you are just looking to get the documents you need to register with the County Clerk’s office, then the Minister Ordination package is the best value. You can also order the documents individually but you’ll be spending about as much as you would by ordering the package.
If you are not ordained with AMM, that organization will probably offer equivalent documents. Just make sure that if the County Clerk requires a Letter of Good Standing, make sure that the document you purchase bears a live signature from a Church Officer, is dated, and Notarized.
Submitting Your Ministry Credentials to the County Registrar
Once you have all your documents in order you simply need to submit them to your chosen registrar’s office. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE!
Ideally you should submit your application documents in person. However if you are not a Minnesota resident, we understand that may not be possible. Talk to the registrar’s office to work out the best method of completing your application.
Some registrar’s will accept your application documents by mail, so long as they are made aware of the extenuating circumstances. If the registrar requires original documents with live signatures then it will have to be delivered in person or by mail.
Approval of Your Application
Once the registrar receives everything they require, it should take no more than a few days for your registration to be approved. By this point you will have spoken to someone at the registrar’s office so you should have a good idea of what to expect.
Most of the information presented here was source from this page.
Now You Can Officiate!
Once the county registrar approves your application, you can officiate weddings anywhere in Minnesota!
Successfully registering as a wedding officiant in Minnesota is just one step. Most of the work will involve preparing for the wedding ceremony. Follow the link below for useful wedding training information.