How to get Ordained in North Dakota to Officiate
Written and reviewed by the wedding law liaison team at the Universal Life Church.
Welcome to the North Dakota marriage laws guide! Officiating a wedding is a great honor, but presiding also comes with a lot of responsibility - which is why we've crafted this page to provide guidance to couples and ministers alike. In order to ensure that everything goes smoothly on the big day, we encourage you to follow the guide below. It will explain how to become a wedding minister, how to marry someone, and how to ensure the ceremony is legal in North Dakota.
Here are the basic steps one must follow to officiate a wedding:
Getting Ordained in North Dakota
Becoming a marriage officiant with the Universal Life Church is easier than you might think. Our online ordination process is straightforward, fast, and completely free. Legally licensed ministers of the ULC perform countless marriages in North Dakota each year. Once you have your minister license in hand, officiating a wedding is right around the bend! Click the button below to get started.
How Do You Perform a Wedding in North Dakota
For starters, you'll need to contact the county clerk's office in the county where the wedding will take place. Identify yourself as a minister and inquire about what documents the officials will need to see from you. You may be asked to show a number of items to verify your ordination status. Be aware, however, that these requirements often vary from county to county (which is why it's best to contact 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:
North Dakota Wedding Officiant Requirements
Once you've spoken with county marriage officials, simply visit our website, sign in to your account, and order whatever materials you need via our online catalog. Based on feedback from our ministers in North Dakota, we recommend picking up a Classic Wedding Set and an Official Letter of Good Standing.
In general, ministers are not required to register in North Dakota. However, it's not uncommon for the county clerk to ask for proof of your ordination before giving the "go-ahead" to perform marriage ceremonies. Plus, it gives the couple peace of mind to know that their wedding minister has all the official documents, like your ordination certificate, ready to display if requested. As directed by county officials, please order your materials well in advance of the ceremony so you don't end up in a bad situation at the last minute.
How to Get a North Dakota Marriage License
In North Dakota, marriage licenses are issued by the county clerk's office. Although it is the couple's job to pick up the license, the minister should maintain a solid understanding of the rules governing marriage licenses in North Dakota and its individual counties. Let's say the couple is planning to get a Kidder County marriage license, for example. As the minister, you should double-check if there are any specific rules for getting married in Kidder County that the couple might not be aware of.
In North Dakota, marriage licenses are valid for 60 days. Once the ceremony has been completed, the signed marriage license must be returned within 5 days.
North Dakota's Top Wedding Venue
How Do You Officiate a Wedding?
Once all the paperwork is in order, you're ready to perform the wedding! If you need any guidance in this area, don't hesitate to utilize the resources found below. These carefully-crafted tools offer helpful tips and information on all aspects of performing a wedding ceremony. Created with our wedding officiants in mind, they contain everything you'll need to plan the perfect ceremony.
Many ULC ministers have used these same resources for guidance when becoming professional officiants!
Signing the Marriage License in North Dakota
Now there's just one last step - but it's a crucial one. After performing the wedding, you must sign the marriage license (along with the couple and their witnesses). Your official title will be "Minister"; for ceremony type, put "Religious", and for denomination, write "Non-Denominational".
For the address of ministry, put personal ministry or home address. Do not put the address of ULC. No license number is required. Lastly, remember that the signed marriage license must be turned in to the issuing office before the deadline passes!
North Dakota Marriage Laws
North Dakota marriage laws are governed by Section 3 of Chapter 14 of the state code. This section explains who is legally authorized to officiate weddings in the State of North Dakota. Among those with authorization are ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church. We've displayed the relevant section for you below:
14-03-10. Marriage may not be solemnized without license. A person may not solemnize any marriage until the parties to the marriage produce a license regularly issued not more than sixty days before the date of the marriage by: 1. A recorder serving the county in which either of the contracting parties resides or is temporarily domiciled, unless the board of county commissioners designates a different official; 2. A recorder serving the county in which a parent of either of the parties resides or is temporarily domiciled, unless the board of county commissioners designates a different official; or 3. A recorder serving the county in which the marriage is to be solemnized, unless the board of county commissioners designates a different official. For the purpose of obtaining a marriage license, a member of the armed forces of the United States stationed within the state of North Dakota is deemed to reside in the county in which that person is stationed.
View the North Dakota Statutes on the official government state website.