Online ordinations are protected by the religious non-establishment clause of the first amendment of the US constitution. This means that online ordinations are legal across all US states, territories, commonwealths, and districts. However each state has its own laws regarding the registration, licensing, and certification of anyone that plans to officiate weddings in that state.
Most places do not require any type of officiant registration, whether the person was ordained online or not. The places that do require officiant registration do so as a bureaucratic measure to keep records of who has officiated. In other words, the officiant registration process is not to qualify your status as an officiant but to keep track of the people that have officiated weddings in that place.
Officiant Registration Is Always Required
The following localities require ALL OFFICIANTS to register with a government office prior to officiating wedding ceremonies. Follow the links for instructions on how to succesfully register as a wedding officiant in these localities.
Arkansas Online Ordination
Hawaii Online Ordination
Louisiana Online Ordination
Massachusetts Online Ordination
Minnesota Online Ordination
Nevada Online Ordination
Ohio Online Ordination
Oklahoma Online Ordination
Puerto Rico Online Ordination
Virginia Online Ordination
Washington DC Online Ordination
West Virginia Online Ordination
Officiant Registration May Be Required
The States of New Hampshire and Vermont require officiants to register with a government office only if the officiant is not a resident of the State. Follow the links for more information on the officiant registration process in these States.
New Hampshire Online Ordination
Vermont Online Ordination
In New York State, officiant registration is ALWAYS REQUIRED in New York City. Outside of NYC, officiant registration is handled at a city and town level. The city and town clerk’s determine whether to require officiant registration or not. Most localities outside of NYC do not require officiant registration, however before officiating any ceremonies, you should contact the city or town clerk.
New York Online Ordination
No Officiant Registration Required
The following localities do not require officiants to register with a government office prior to officiating wedding ceremonies. In these places all you need to do is get ordained online to be able to legally officiate weddings.