How to Perform Marriages in the State of Ohio

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Getting married is one of the most important events in a person's life. It is also a legal contract and requires the person performing the ceremony to be certified by the government in order for the union to be legal. Many people assume that any minister is able to marry a couple. However, in Ohio, there are very specific steps a minister must take in order to be able to legally marry a couple.

Contact the Secretary of the State of Ohio. This office will be able to supply you with the forms necessary to become certified to perform marriages. They will also provide you with a copy of the statutes that apply to this certification.

Fill out the necessary paperwork. This application must be filled out carefully to ensure that all information is accurate. This includes making sure that your name matches exactly what is on your minister's credentials. The name of your congregation must also match between the two documents. Give the correct address and phone number to ensure the paperwork is processed in a timely manner.

Obtain copies of the appropriate documentation. You only need to bring along one piece of evidence that you work for the congregation or denomination, but there are several things to choose from. Your license as a minister can serve as adequate documentation as long as the original signatures are present. A certificate of ordination with original signatures is also acceptable. If neither of these is available, a letter from the denomination you are associated with is acceptable as long as it is signed by a church leader. This church leader must sign using his or her name and title.

Pay the fee. The fee to be able to perform marriages in the state of Ohio is $10. This amount must accompany your application in order for you application to be considered.

Mail in your application along with your documentation and payment. This should be mailed to:

Secretary of State Elections Division 180 E Broad St 15th Floor Columbus, OH 43215


About the Author

Kimberly Turtenwald began writing professionally in 2000. She has written content for various websites, including Lights 2 You, Online Consultation, Corpus Personal Injury and more. Turtenwald studied editing and publishing at Wisconsin Lutheran College.

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  • Married couple feelings image by Oleg Kulakov from