Information on How to Get Ordained and Register as a Minister
How to get ordained and perform a wedding or ceremony in Montana.
Since 2010, Open Ministry has been ordaining and helping people all over the world perform weddings, ceremony and other sacerdotal duties. This page focuses on requirements and information for Montana, if you don't need the States Statues or ordination information for Montana scroll down to the bottom of the page for links to other states.
Let's get started with the information for Montana
If you are planning to get ordained in Montana or you have been asked to perform a wedding ceremony in Montana, or simply need to to find a minister in Montana to perform your wedding ceremony the information on this page will assist you. If you still have questions we invite you to visit our FAQ or contact us for more detailed information. We are here to help and support our ministers and congregation.
Registered Ministers with Open Ministry have successfully performed thousands of marriages in Montana and around the world!
The Ordination and Officiant information is provided below in an easy five step layout which is designed help walk you through the most common steps on registering to become a minister for Montana and how perform a wedding ceremony in Montana.
Step 1 - How to Become Ordained
How to get Ordained in Montana and become a minister to perform weddings and marriage ceremonies in Montana
Ordinations for Montana are completely free and can normally be completed in less than a day. Thousands of people have registered and became licensed ministers in Montana. Once you have completed the ordination process you are able perform marriages through Open Ministry in and for the state of Montana!
Become Ordained for free and start your journey as an authorized minister in Montana 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 Montana
Next, contact the office of your local marriage authority (typically your county clerk in Montana). Let them know that you are a ordained minister with Open Ministry in California, and ask them what information the will require of you, to officiate a marriage in Montana. Most clerks and governing agencies may require that you present them with a physical copy of your ordination record.
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 or state?
Step 3 - Getting Licensed to Perform the Marriage
License to perform a wedding in Montana
After you've contacted your marriage authority, you will want to visit our bookstore to get physical copies official credentials for presentation and your records. (See Montana State Statutes for More Specific Requirements )
When registering in Montana 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 Montana to get a Complete Minister Package for Montana which includes your Letter of Good Standing (the live signed and notarized physical copy of your standing with our ministry).
Having your physical copies credentials provides peace-of-mind to couples and others that you intend to marry. Additionally, we recommend at least 4 weeks between the date of the wedding ceremony and your order, to ensure that you receive all of your materials and are able to register in time. Please note that every state and county can impose different requirements. This may include other nominal fees and additional paperwork that may need to be completed before the ceremony can take place.
It is important to note that some county clerks in Montana may require wedding officiants to attach a statement which asserts 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 Montana 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.
Step 4 - How to Perform the Wedding
How to perform a wedding in Montana
Once you have completed of the above, you are ready to perform the wedding! Be sure that the couple has picked up their Montana state issued marriage license from the appropriate office. Montana marriage licenses valid for a set number of days, and there may be a waiting period between when the couple receives the marriage license in Montana and when the ceremony may be legally performed in Montana. This information should be written on the license and followed to ensure the ceremony is recorded properly.
Please be aware that the signed license must be returned to the issuing office in Montana before the time limit is reached. Check the marriage license for the exact dates. Once the the previous matters have been addressed, officiating a wedding in Montana can be a great and wonderful experience.
If you have any comments or issues as a wedding officiant in Montana, or after you have been ordained, or would like to just asking for guidance on how to perform a wedding ceremony in Montana. We recommend that all new Montana wedding ministers who have issues or concerns about the ceremony read over our helpful guides.
40-1-301 Solemnization and registration
(1) A marriage may be solemnized by a judge of a court of record, by a public official whose powers include solemnization of marriages, by a mayor, city judge, or justice of the peace, by a tribal judge, or in accordance with any mode of solemnization recognized by any religious denomination, Indian nation or tribe, or native group. Either the person solemnizing the marriage or, if no individual acting alone solemnized the marriage, a party to the marriage shall complete the marriage certificate form and forward it to the clerk of the district court.
(2) If a party to a marriage is unable to be present at the solemnization, the party may authorize in writing a third person to act as proxy. If the person solemnizing the marriage is satisfied that the absent party is unable to be present and has consented to the marriage, the person may solemnize the marriage by proxy. If the person solemnizing the marriage is not satisfied, the parties may petition the district court for an order permitting the marriage to be solemnized by proxy.
(3) The solemnization of the marriage is not invalidated by the fact that the person solemnizing the marriage was not legally qualified to solemnize it if either party to the marriage believed that person to be qualified.
(4) One party to a proxy marriage must be a member of the armed forces of the United States on federal active duty or a resident of Montana at the time of application for a license and certificate pursuant to 40-1-202. One party or a legal representative shall appear before the clerk of court and pay the marriage license fee. For the purposes of this subsection, residency must be determined in accordance with 1-1-215.
Title 40: Family Law - Chapter 1: Marriage - Part 3: Solemnization
History: En. 48-309 by Sec. 9, Ch. 536, L. 1975; amd. Sec. 9, Ch. 33, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 48-309(1), (2), (4); amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 247, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 348, L. 1985; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 235, L. 2007.