How to Register and Perform a Wedding By State
If you are either planning to be married or have been asked to perform a wedding ceremony in Maine, you've come to the right page. Ordained ministers with Open Ministry have successfully performed thousands of legal marriages in Maine and around the world!
The information provided below is designed to walk you through the most common steps to become a minister and perform a wedding ceremony in Maine.
Step 1 - How to Become Ordained
How to become an Ordained Minister in Maine
Ordination is completely free and can be completed in less than a few hours. Thousands of ministers have registered to perform marriages in Maine and other states each year!
If you haven't already, you should get ordained online with Open Ministry.
Get started today by clicking on the link below!
Step 2 - Contact The County Clerk
How to Register to Officiate a Marriage in Maine
Next, you should contact the office of your local marriage authority (typically your county clerk) in Maine. Let them know that you are a minister of Open Ministry in California, and ask what they will require of you to officiate a legal marriage in Maine.
When speaking with the county clerk; it can be helpful to use the following phrases.
- What agency or department issues marriage licenses in your county and how may I contact them?
- I am an ordained minister with a church in California and I would like to register as a wedding Officiant in your county to perform and solemnize weddings.
- I have my Letter of Good Standing and/or Ordination Credential as proof of my ministry and ordination.
- What additional documentation is required for me to register as a wedding Officiant in your county?
Step 3 - Getting Licensed to Perform the Marriage
License to perform a wedding in Maine
After you've contacted your marriage authority, you should visit our bookstore to purchase your official credentials and any required documentation (See Maine State Statutes for More Specific Requirements )
When registering in Maine you may be asked to display proof of your ordination to the county clerk's before they will accept the marriage license as having been legally solemnized. We typically advise ministers of Maine to get a Complete Minister Package for Maine which includes your Letter of Good Standing.
Having your ordination credentials will also provide peace-of-mind to any couple that you intend to marry. Additionally, we recommend that you have at least 4 weeks between the date of the wedding ceremony and your order, to ensure that you receive all of your materials in time to register.
It is important to note that some county clerks in Maine may require wedding officiants to attach a statement avowing some of the elements in the marriage license upon submission, including the following:
- The time and location at which the wedding took place
- The names and places of residence of all official witnesses
- The religious organization in which the officiant is ordained
- The printed name and address of the officiant
Please note that, when filling out a marriage license, that Maine State may request you use the title "Minister" or "Reverend". The County Clerks may also require you enter your denomination, you can use "Non-Denominational". Failing to state a denomination may result in rejection and could require a duplicate marriage license.
1. Persons authorized to solemnize marriages. The following may solemnize marriages in this State:
A. If a resident of this State:
(1) A justice or judge;
(2) A lawyer admitted to the Maine Bar; or
(4) A notary public under Title 4, chapter 19; [2011, c. 111, Â§2 (AMD).]
B. Whether a resident or nonresident of this State and whether or not a citizen of the United States:
(1) An ordained minister of the gospel;
(2) A cleric engaged in the service of the religious body to which the cleric belongs; or
(3) A person licensed to preach by an association of ministers, religious seminary or ecclesiastical body; and [2011, c. 111, Â§3 (AMD).]
C. A nonresident of the State who has a temporary registration certificate issued by the Office of Data, Research and Vital Statistics pursuant to subsection 1-A. [2011, c. 111,Â§4 (NEW).]
[ 2011, c. 111, Â§Â§2-4 (AMD) .]
1-A. Temporary registration certificate. The Office of Data, Research and Vital Statistics may issue a temporary registration certificate to solemnize a marriage ceremony to an individual who is a resident of another state and who is authorized under the laws of that state to solemnize marriages.
A. An individual seeking a temporary registration certificate under this subsection must submit to the Office of Data, Research and Vital Statistics:
(1) A copy of a valid commission or other indicia of authority to perform marriage ceremonies in the individual's state of residence as proof of existence of the authority;
(2) A copy of the other state's statute that grants the individual authority to solemnize marriages in that state;
(3) The names and residences of the 2 parties whose marriage the individual proposes to solemnize and the expected date of the marriage ceremony; and
(4) A $100 registration fee. [2011, c. 111, Â§5 (NEW).]
B. Upon finding that the individual has satisfied the requirements of paragraph A, the Office of Data, Research and Vital Statistics shall issue to the individual a temporary registration certificate authorizing the individual to solemnize the marriage of the parties whose names were provided pursuant to paragraph A, subparagraph (3). The Office of Data, Research and Vital Statistics may decline to issue a temporary registration certificate if complaints filed against the individual for actions in this State have been substantiated or for other good cause, even if the state in which the individual is authorized to solemnize marriages has not taken disciplinary action. [2011, c. 111, Â§5 (NEW).]
C. A temporary registration certificate does not authorize the individual to solemnize any marriage other than the marriage of the parties provided pursuant to paragraph A, subparagraph (3). [2011, c. 111, Â§5 (NEW).]
D. A temporary registration certificate under this subsection expires upon the individual's signing the marriage license or 90 days after issuance, whichever occurs first. [2011, c. 111, Â§5 (NEW).]
E. The Office of Data, Research and Vital Statistics shall keep a permanent record of all temporary registration certificates issued under this subsection. The records must contain the name and residence of each individual to whom a temporary registration certificate is issued. [2011, c. 111, Â§5 (NEW).]
[ 2011, c. 111, Â§5 (NEW) .]
2. Enforcement. The State Registrar of Vital Statistics shall enforce this section as far as it comes within the state registrar's power and shall notify the district attorney of the county in which the penalty should be enforced of the facts that have come to the state registrar's knowledge. Upon receipt of this notice, the district attorney shall prosecute the person who violated this section.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, Â§2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, Â§2 (AFF) .]
3. Religious exemption. This chapter does not require any member of the clergy to perform or any church, religious denomination or other religious institution to host any marriage in violation of the religious beliefs of that member of the clergy, church, religious denomination or other religious institution. The refusal to perform or host a marriage under this subsection cannot be the basis for a lawsuit or liability and does not affect the tax-exempt status of the church, religious denomination or other religious institution.
[ IB 2011, c. 1, Â§4 (NEW) .]
Title 19-A: Domestic Relations - Part 2: Married Persons - Chapter 23: Marriage - Subchapter 1: General Provisions
SECTION HISTORY 1995, c. 694, Â§B2 (NEW). 1995, c. 694, Â§E2 (AFF). 2001, c. 574, Â§6 (AMD). IB 2011, c. 1, Â§4 (AMD). 2011, c. 111, Â§Â§2-5 (AMD).