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State Statutes for West Virginia

Credentials for Registration in West Virginia

West Virginia

If you are or have been asked to perform a wedding in West Virgina. The county clerk will require you to have the Letter of Good Standing for West Virgina.

48-2-401 Persons authorized to perform marriages

A religious representative who has complied with the provisions of section 2-402, a family court judge, a circuit judge or a justice of the supreme court of appeals, is authorized to celebrate the rites of marriage in any county of this state. Celebration or solemnization of a marriage means the performance of the formal act or ceremony by which a man and woman contract marriage and assume the status of husband and wife.

For purposes of this chapter, the term "religious representative" means a minister, priest or rabbi and includes, without being limited to, a leader or representative of a generally recognized spiritual assembly, church or religious organization which does not formally designate or recognize persons as ministers, priests or rabbis.

Chapter 48: Domestic Relations - Article 2: Marriages - Part 4: Marriage Ceremony
48-2-402 Qualifications of religious representative for celebrating marriages; registry of persons authorized to perform marriage ceremonies; special revenue fund

(a) Beginning the first day of September, two thousand one, the Secretary of State shall, upon payment of the registration fee established by the Secretary of State pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, make an order authorizing a person who is a religious representative to celebrate the rites of marriage in all the counties of the state, upon proof that the person:

(1) Is eighteen years of age or older;

(2) Is duly authorized to perform marriages by his or her church, synagogue, spiritual assembly or religious organization; and

(3) Is in regular communion with the church, synagogue, spiritual assembly or religious organization of which he or she is a member.

(b) The Secretary of State shall establish a central registry of persons authorized to celebrate marriages in this state. Every person authorized under the provisions of subsection (a) of this section to celebrate marriages shall be listed in this registry. Every county clerk shall, prior to the first day of October, two thousand one, transmit to the Secretary of State the name of every person authorized to celebrate marriages by order issued in his or her county since one thousand nine hundred sixty and the Secretary of State shall include these names in the registry. The completed registry and periodic updates shall be transmitted to every county clerk.

(c)(1) Upon written request from the registrant, the Secretary of State shall designate the registrant as inactive on the registry.

(2) Upon written notice from the governing body of the registrant's authorizing body that the registrant has died or that the registrant's authority to perform marriages has been revoked, the Secretary of State shall attempt to notify the registrant of the change in the registrant's status by United States mail addressed to the registrant's last known address. If the registrant fails to provide the Secretary of State with proof of good standing with his or her authorizing body within thirty days, the registrant shall be designated on the registry as inactive.

(d) A fee not to exceed twenty-five dollars may be charged by the Secretary of State for each registration or reactivation of an individual designated as inactive on the registry received on or after the first day of September, two thousand one, and all money received shall be deposited in a special revenue revolving fund designated the Marriage Celebrants Registration Fee Administration Fund in the State Treasury to be administered by the Secretary of State. Expenses incurred by the secretary in the implementation and operation of the registry program shall be paid from the fund.

(e) No marriage performed by a person authorized by law to celebrate marriages may be invalidated solely because the person was not listed in the registry provided for in this section.

(f) The Secretary of State shall promulgate rules to implement the provisions of this section.

Chapter 48: Domestic Relations - Article 2: Marriages - Part 4: Marriage Ceremony
48-2-405 Record of marriage to be kept by person officiating

A record of each marriage performed, with the names of the parties, their respective places of residence prior to marriage, and the date of marriage, shall be kept by the officiating religious representative in the permanent record of the church, synagogue, spiritual assembly or religious organization which he or she serves.

Chapter 48: Domestic Relations - Article 2: Marriages - Part 4: Marriage Ceremony