How to get Ordained in New Mexico to Officiate
Written and reviewed by the wedding law liaison team at the Universal Life Church.
Welcome to the ULC marriage laws guide for New Mexico! Officiating a wedding is an incredible honor, but presiding also comes with a host of responsibilities - we've created this page to provide guidance to couples and ministers alike. In order to make sure that everything goes smoothly on the big day, we encourage you to follow the steps provided below. We will explain how to become a wedding minister, how to marry someone, and how to make sure the ceremony is legal in New Mexico.
Here are the basic steps one must follow to officiate a wedding:
Getting Ordained in New Mexico
Becoming a marriage officiant with the Universal Life Church is easier than you might think. Our online ordination process is straightforward, fast, and entirely free. Legally licensed ministers of the ULC perform countless marriages in New Mexico each year. Once you have your minister license in hand, officiating a wedding is just around the corner! Click the button below to get started.
How Do You Perform a Wedding in New Mexico
Now for the legal stuff. First, you'll need to contact the marriage licensing office in the county where the wedding is expected to take place. Identify yourself as a minister and ask what documents the officials will need to see from you. They may request a number of items to verify your ordination status. However, be aware that these requirements often vary from county to county (which is why it's wise to contact local officials beforehand). Any documents or materials you might require are available in the Minister Store here on our site.
Select a county to see contact information for each office:
New Mexico Wedding Officiant Requirements
Once you've spoken with your county's marriage officials, simply visit our website, sign in to your account, and order whatever materials you need via our online store. One of our more popular items in New Mexico is our Classic Wedding Set.
In general, ministers are not required to register in New Mexico. With that being said, it's not entirely uncommon for the county clerk to ask for proof of your ordination status before giving the "green light" to perform marriage ceremonies. In addition, it gives the couple peace of mind to know that their wedding minister has all the proper official documents, like your ordination certificate, on hand. Please order your materials well in advance of the wedding ceremony as requested by county officials.
How to Get a New Mexico Marriage License
In New Mexico, the county clerk issues marriage licenses. While it is the couple's job to pick up the license, you should still have a solid understanding of the rules governing marriage licenses in New Mexico and its individual counties. For example, let's say the couple is planning to get a Bernalillo County marriage license. As the minister, it would be wise to double-check if there are any specific rules for getting married in Bernalillo County that the couple might not have been aware of.
In New Mexico, marriage licenses never expire and there is no waiting period before a ceremony can legally be performed. Once the ceremony has been completed, the signed marriage license must be returned within 90 days.
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How Do You Officiate a Wedding?
Once all the official paperwork is in order, you're ready to begin performing weddings! If you need any guidance in this area, please don't hesitate to use the tools found below. These carefully-tailored resources can provide helpful tips and information on all aspects of performing wedding ceremonies. Constructed particularly with our wedding officiants in mind, they contain everything you'll need to plan the perfect ceremony.
Many ULC ministers have used these very resources for guidance when becoming professional officiants!
Signing the Marriage License in New Mexico
Now there's just one final (but important) step! After performing the wedding, you, the couple, and the couple's witnesses must all sign the marriage license. Your official title will be "Minister"; for ceremony type, put "Religious", and for denomination, write "Non-Denominational".
Under address of ministry, list your personal ministry or home address. Please do not put the address of ULC headquarters. No minister license number is required. Finally, please keep in mind that the signed license must be turned in to the marriage office before the deadline passes!
New Mexico Marriage Laws
Marriage laws in New Mexico are primarily directed by Article 1 of Chapter 40 of the state code. This section defines persons authorized to perform a marriage in the State of New Mexico, which includes ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church, among other individuals. We've reproduced the relevant portion below:
Universal Citation: NM Stat § 40-1-10 (2019) A. Each couple desiring to marry pursuant to the laws of New Mexico shall first obtain a license from a county clerk of this state and following a ceremony conducted in this state file the license for recording in the county issuing the license.
B. To obtain a marriage license, the couple shall personally appear at the office of the county clerk issuing the license and provide sufficient identification to satisfy the county clerk as to each person's identity and qualification to receive a marriage license pursuant to Chapter 40, Article 1 NMSA 1978. On application to a judge of the district court, the court, for good cause, may authorize a person unable to appear personally to obtain a license from the county clerk, and a certified copy of the judicial authorization shall be filed with the county clerk.