Before officiating weddings in Oklahoma you need to become a minister by getting ordained online. This process is as easy as finding a website that will ordain you online.
There are dozens of websites where you can get ordained online. 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? AMM ordination is free. They are set up specifically to help people perform marriage. And they are the only IRS Certified 501c3 Charitable Organization that offers online ordinations.
No matter where you choose to get ordained, once you are a minister you will then need to register with an Oklahoma County Clerk’s office. You must register with the same County Clerk’s office that issues the Marriage License to the couple.
Oklahoma Minister Registration Office – County Clerk
There are 77 counties in Oklahoma. As we are not Google, it is impossible for us to keep our own updated records of their addresses and contact info.
This website is a great starting place. It lists all 77 Counties, complete with their contact information.
Simply find out which Clerk’s office you need to register with and contact them. They will let you know what documents they want to see from you as well as any application fees, additional forms, and government ID.
Required Ministry Credentials for Registration
There is no statewide policy for minister registration in Oklahoma. It is up to the discretion of each individual County Clerk to decide what paperwork they require of you.
This usually boils down to one or both of two documents. These are:
- Your Ordination Certificate
- Your Letter of Good Standing
Your Ordination Certificate
The Ordination Certificate is the document issued by your ordaining church that bears your name and date of ordination.
Your Letter of Good Standing
Your Letter of Good Standing is a more esoteric document. It is also sometimes referred to as a “Letter of Consent” or a “Letter of Recommendation”.
The Letter of Good Standing carries more authority than an Ordination Certificate because it is signed, dated, and notarized. As the name implies, it is a letter stating that the minister in question is still in “Good Standing” with the church as of the date it was signed.
Ordination Certificate vs Letter of Good Standing
Here is a useful metaphor to help clarify these two documents. The Ordination Certificate is equivalent to a restaurant’s incorporation document. It is issued once and testifies that the restaurant was established on a certain date.
The Letter of Good Standing is equivalent to the restaurant’s health inspection certificate. This has to be renewed each year, just as most churches retire ministers if they are inactive for a set period of time.
The “Good Standing” means that in addition to the minister being ordained with the church they are currently active. In other words, in “Good Standing”.
How To Obtain Your Ministry Credentials
The church that ordained you will be able to provide you with the required documents.
We hope that you will choose American Marriage Ministries, but if not, obtaining your paperwork will be similar no matter where you go. That is, by ordering your ministry credentials through their website.
You will have to spend some money to do this. Depending on who ordained you, it may not be much, or it may be exorbitant. Based on our extensive Googling, the best deal you will probably find is through American Marriage Ministries.
You can order their Minister Ordination Package for $45 that contains both your Ordination Certificate and Letter of Good Standing as well as your Minister’s Manual, which contains useful wedding training information.
For $95 they offer a “Signature Wedding Officiant Package” that includes a Clergy Stoleand their comprehensive wedding training manual “Asked to Officiate“. That is a good deal if you are interested in the stole and the book.
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 provides your 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. Please be aware 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 Clerk
Once you have all your paperwork in order you simply need to submit them to the County Clerk’s office. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE!
Ideally you would submit your Ministry Credentials in person however we understand that that is not always possible. Talk to the Clerk’s office beforehand to work out the best method of delivery.
Most Clerk’s will accept your documents by mail, so long as they are made aware that they are on their way. Some Clerk’s will also accept fax or email scans of your Ministry Credentials.
However, if they require an original document with live signatures then it will have to be delivered in person or by mail.
Approval To Officiate Weddings From The County Clerk
Once the County Clerk receives everything they asked for it should take no more than a few days for your registration to be complete. By this point you will have spoken to someone at the Clerk’s office so you should have a good idea of what to expect.
You can also visit this page for more information on who can Officiate Weddings in Oklahoma, such as minimum age and residency.
Now You Can Officiate!
Now that you have that all taken care of, you are authorized to officiate weddings in Oklahoma! Your other job is to prepare for the wedding ceremony. That is where you will put in most of the work. Follow the link below for information on how to conduct a wedding ceremony.