While most US states require Universal Life Church Ministries ministers to present some form of documentation when they file for a marriage license after performing a wedding ceremony, many do not. County clerks in states like Washington and Oregon only make sure that ULC wedding officiants have been ordained and require no additional documentation or credentials.
There is a quick and easy way to determine whether or not you need to purchase ministerial products from the Universal Life Church. Merely follow these two simple steps:
Contact the county clerk(s) of the county or counties where you plan on performing wedding ceremonies and ask if they accept our ordination. Every state in the US except Tennessee, Virginia, and Pennsylvania* recognizes our ordination so it is likely that you will be looking to officiate a wedding ceremony in a place that does. If a county clerk in a state not listed in the three we mention above informs you that their county does not accept the Universal Life Church ordination, please contact the ULC at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will assist you. If the county or counties in question DO accept our ordination, continue to the second step.
*One county in Pennsylvania, Bucks County, does view our ordination as legitimate to, the best of our knowledge. Don't count on this potentially-outdated knowledge, however! Call the county clerk of Bucks County if you want to perform a marriage ceremony there.
Ask the county clerk about what forms of documentation ULC wedding officiants need in order to file for marriage licenses after they perform wedding ceremonies. It is possible that they will say that ministers - like you - do not need any forms of documentation to prove that they are ministers. If this is the case, it is not necessary to visit the "Ministry Products" section of to buy the ordination credentials, letters of good standing, or affidavits of authority you might otherwise need.
If you have questions about what it takes to perform a legally-recognized wedding in a particular state or county that this blog post hasn't discussed, please e-mail us at email@example.com and our customer service staff will be delighted to assist you.