Before officiating weddings in Ohio you need to get ordained online. This process is as simple as finding a website that offers online ordinations that reflects your values.
A quick Google search will provide plenty of options. Most churches offering online ordinations are free though some charge exorbitant fees. We will be openly biased in recommending that you get ordained with American Marriage Ministries.
Why American Marriage Ministries? 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 Ohio Secretary of State.
Minister Registration Office – Ohio Secretary of State
No matter where you plan on officiating weddings in Ohio you need to register with the Secretary of State’s office. This actually vastly simplifies the officiant registration process as there are 88 counties in Ohio!
The officiant licensing procedures in Ohio are pretty straightforward. Simply put, you will need to submit:
- Your Official Ordination Certificate or Letter of Good Standing
- Your Completed Application for Minister’s License to Perform Marriage
- A $10 Check or Money Order Payable to the “Ohio Secretary of State”.
Ordering Your Ministry Credentials
The following instructions assume you were ordained with American Marriage Ministries. If you were ordained with another church they should also be able to provide you with equivalent paperwork to successfully register with the Ohio Secretary of State.
To receive your official Ministry Credentials, including your Ordination Certificate and Letter of Good Standing, you can order your Minister Ordination Package from AMM. Your package for Ohio will also include a partially completed Ohio Minister’s License to Perform Marriage to help simplify the registration process.
Their “Signature Wedding Officiant Package” also includes everything described above in addition to a Clergy Stole and their comprehensive wedding training manual “Asked to Officiate“. The book is an especially good resource for first time officiants.
Completing Your Application for Minister’s License to Solemnize Marriage
The application provided by the Ohio Secretary of State is a simple one page document. Most of the fields should be self-explanatory, consisting of your names, address, email, and phone number.
The field for “Religious Society or Congregation” should be filled in with “American Marriage Ministries“. If you were not ordained with American Marriage Ministries then simply enter the name of your ordaining church.
Submitting Your Application for Minister’s License to Solemnize Marriage
The Ohio Secretary of State prefers that you submit your application by mail. Along with the completed application, make sure to include your Letter of Good Standing and a check or money order for $10. You should mail your application to:
Ohio Secretary of State
180 East Broad Street, Suite 103
Columbus, OH 43215
Approval of Your Application for Minister’s License to Solemnize Marriage
Provided there are no complications, approval of your application should take no more than two or three days from the time it is received by the Secretary of State.
Factoring in shipping time, we recommend that you allow for one week before you hear back from the Ohio Secretary of State’s office.
If you have not heard back from the Secretary of State or have other questions about your application, you can contact them at:
Central Ohio: (614) 466-8770
Toll Free: (877) SOS-FILE (877-767-3453)
Email: [email protected]
The information provided here was mainly sourced from this page.
Now You Can Officiate!
Registering with the Ohio Secretary of State is the easy part to officiating weddings in Ohio. The real work is in preparing for the wedding ceremony. Follow the link below for more guidance on how to officiate weddings.