New Mexico Wedding Laws
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:
How Do I Become Ordained to Marry 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:
What Do You Need to Officiate a Wedding in New Mexico
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!
Finalizing the Marriage
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:
40-1-2. Marriages solemnized; ordained clergy or civil magistrates may solemnize.
A. The civil contract of marriage is entered into when solemnized as provided in Chapter 40, Article 1 NMSA 1978. As used in Chapter 40, Article 1 NMSA 1978, "solemnize" means to join in marriage before witnesses by means of a ceremony.
B. A person who is an ordained member of the clergy or who is an authorized representative of a federally recognized Indian nation, tribe or pueblo may solemnize the contract of marriage without regard to sect or rites and customs the person may practice.
C. Active or retired judges, justices and magistrates of any of the courts established by the constitution of New Mexico, United States constitution, laws of the state or laws of the United States are civil magistrates having authority to solemnize contracts of marriage . Civil magistrates solemnizing contracts of marriage shall charge no fee therefor.