Universal Life Church

Oklahoma Wedding Laws

To legally marry in Oklahoma, you need to make sure you understand the marriage laws in the state. Laws apply to couples and to the officiant who will perform the wedding ceremony, so both parties need to be aware of any restrictions or rules regarding the process. We at the Universal Life Church have put together this short guide to ensure that your wedding in the Sooner State goes smoothly and avoids any legal hurdles. Discover information from how to get a marriage license to what the ceremony must include.

How to Become a Wedding Officiant in Oklahoma

Min. Age of Minister:
Age 18
Residency:
Not Required
Document(s) Required:
Varies by County
Online Ordination Recognized:
Yes
Relevant Office of Registration:
County Clerk
Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
Before the Ceremony
Minister I.D. # Issued:
No

The state of Oklahoma recognizes Universal Life Church ministers as religious actors, even if a marriage they solmenize is completely secular in nature. There is no distinguishing or prejudice for the type of religious belief, gender or location of personal residence. However, ministers must be at least 18 years old.

The minister will have to provide a copy of his or her credentials to the clerk in the country where the wedding will take place or in which the minister lives to show he or she has the authority to marry the couple. This must occur prior to the wedding ceremony, and there is no fee for this filing. However, each county may require different documentation.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    §43-7. Solemnization of marriages.

    A. All marriages must be contracted by a formal ceremony performed or solemnized in the presence of at least two adult, competent persons as witnesses, by a judge or retired judge of any court in this state, or an ordained or authorized preacher or minister of the Gospel, priest or other ecclesiastical dignitary of any denomination who has been duly ordained or authorized by the church to which he or she belongs to preach the Gospel, or a rabbi and who is at least eighteen (18) years of age.

    B. 1. The judge shall place his or her order of appointment on file with the office of the court clerk of the county in which he or she resides.

    1. The preacher, minister, priest, rabbi, or ecclesiastical dignitary who is a resident of this state shall have filed, in the office of the court clerk of the county in which he or she resides, a copy of the credentials or authority from his or her church or synagogue authorizing him or her to solemnize marriages.

    2. The preacher, minister, priest, rabbi, or ecclesiastical dignitary who is not a resident of this state, but has complied with the laws of the state of which he or she is a resident, shall have filed once, in the office of the court clerk of the county in which he or she intends to perform or solemnize a marriage, a copy of the credentials or authority from his or her church or synagogue authorizing him or her to solemnize marriages.

    3. The filing by resident or nonresident preachers, ministers, priests, rabbis, ecclesiastical dignitaries or judges shall be effective in and for all counties of this state; provided, no fee shall be charged for such recording.

    C. No person herein authorized to perform or solemnize a marriage ceremony shall do so unless the license issued therefor be first delivered into his or her possession nor unless he or she has good reason to believe the persons presenting themselves before him or her for marriage are the identical persons named in the license, and for whose marriage the same was issued, and that there is no legal objection or impediment to such marriage.

    D. Marriages between persons belonging to the society called Friends, or Quakers, the spiritual assembly of the Baha'is, or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which have no ordained minister, may be solemnized by the persons and in the manner prescribed by and practiced in any such society, church, or assembly.

    R.L. 1910, § 3889. Amended by Laws 1951, p. 113, § 1; Laws 1961, p. 285, § 1; Laws 1971, c. 298, § 1, emerg. eff. June 24, 1971; Laws 1986, c. 24, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 1986; Laws 1989, c. 333, § 3, eff. Nov. 1, 1989; Laws 1998, c. 214, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 1998; Laws 1999, c. 305, § 1, emerg. eff. June 4, 1999.

Getting Married in Oklahoma

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
No
Minister Required to be Present:
Yes

Oklahoma law doesn't specify how a couple must conduct the wedding ceremony. It does have a few non-negotiable elements that a couple must include in the ceremony for it to be legally binding.

In every ceremony, the couple must consent to the marriage. Each person must give an affirmative acknowledgment that he or she is marrying the other person and agrees to that marriage. Typically, this is when the couple exchanges "I dos." In addition, the minister must pronounce them married.

Both people must be physically present to marry, as Oklahoma doesn't allow for proxy marriage. There also must be at least two witnesses who are at least 18 years old.

Other than that, the ceremony can include anything else the couple wants or follow any type of religious belief. The marriage can also occur anywhere the couple wants within the state.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    §43-7. Solemnization of marriages.

    A. All marriages must be contracted by a formal ceremony performed or solemnized in the presence of at least two adult, competent persons as witnesses, by a judge or retired judge of any court in this state, or an ordained or authorized preacher or minister of the Gospel, priest or other ecclesiastical dignitary of any denomination who has been duly ordained or authorized by the church to which he or she belongs to preach the Gospel, or a rabbi and who is at least eighteen (18) years of age.

    B. 1. The judge shall place his or her order of appointment on file with the office of the court clerk of the county in which he or she resides.

    1. The preacher, minister, priest, rabbi, or ecclesiastical dignitary who is a resident of this state shall have filed, in the office of the court clerk of the county in which he or she resides, a copy of the credentials or authority from his or her church or synagogue authorizing him or her to solemnize marriages.

    2. The preacher, minister, priest, rabbi, or ecclesiastical dignitary who is not a resident of this state, but has complied with the laws of the state of which he or she is a resident, shall have filed once, in the office of the court clerk of the county in which he or she intends to perform or solemnize a marriage, a copy of the credentials or authority from his or her church or synagogue authorizing him or her to solemnize marriages.

    3. The filing by resident or nonresident preachers, ministers, priests, rabbis, ecclesiastical dignitaries or judges shall be effective in and for all counties of this state; provided, no fee shall be charged for such recording.

    C. No person herein authorized to perform or solemnize a marriage ceremony shall do so unless the license issued therefor be first delivered into his or her possession nor unless he or she has good reason to believe the persons presenting themselves before him or her for marriage are the identical persons named in the license, and for whose marriage the same was issued, and that there is no legal objection or impediment to such marriage.

    D. Marriages between persons belonging to the society called Friends, or Quakers, the spiritual assembly of the Baha'is, or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which have no ordained minister, may be solemnized by the persons and in the manner prescribed by and practiced in any such society, church, or assembly.

    R.L. 1910, § 3889. Amended by Laws 1951, p. 113, § 1; Laws 1961, p. 285, § 1; Laws 1971, c. 298, § 1, emerg. eff. June 24, 1971; Laws 1986, c. 24, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 1986; Laws 1989, c. 333, § 3, eff. Nov. 1, 1989; Laws 1998, c. 214, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 1998; Laws 1999, c. 305, § 1, emerg. eff. June 4, 1999.

    §43-8. Endorsement and return of license.

    A. The person performing or solemnizing the marriage ceremony shall, immediately upon the completion of the ceremony, endorse upon the license authorizing the marriage:

    1. His or her name and official or clerical designation;

    2. The court of which he or she is the judge, or the congregation or body of which he or she is pastor, preacher, minister, priest, rabbi or dignitary; provided, that the authority to perform or solemnize marriages shall be coextensive with the congregation or body of which he or she is pastor, preacher, minister, priest, rabbi or dignitary; provided further, that all marriages solemnized among the society called Friends or Quakers, the spiritual assembly of the Baha’is, or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in the form heretofore practiced and in use in their meetings shall be good and valid. One person chosen by such society, assembly, or church shall be responsible for completing the marriage certificate pursuant to this section in the same manner as a minister or other person authorized to perform marriages;

    3. The town or city and county where the court, congregation, body, society, assembly, or church is located; and

    4. His or her signature along with his or her official or clerical designation.

    B. The witnesses to the ceremony shall endorse the marriage certificate, attesting to their presence at the ceremony, with their names and post office addresses.

    C. The persons who have been married in the ceremony shall endorse the marriage certificate with the names by which they are to be known from the time of the marriage, as evidenced on the marriage license.

    D. The marriage license, along with the completed marriage certificate shall be transmitted without delay to the judge or the court clerk who issued the license and certificate.

    R.L. 1910, § 3890. Amended by Laws 1971, c. 298, § 2, emerg. eff. June 24, 1971; Laws 1989, c. 333, § 4, eff. Nov. 1, 1989; Laws 2006, c. 311, § 4, emerg. eff. June 8, 2006.

How to Get a Oklahoma Marriage License

Who Picks Up License:
The Couple
Where License is Valid:
Any County in Oklahoma
Marriage License Pick-Up
In Person Only
Cost of License:
$50.00
Accepted I.D. Types:
Photo ID
Proof of Divorce Required (If Applicable):
No
Blood Test Required:
No

Couples must complete an application for a marriage license that includes their addresses, ages and full names. They must apply for the document in person and show a valid photo ID. Couples may obtain a license from the clerk of the district court and must do so in person and together as it requires them to sign the document in front of the clerk.

The license application must also include the name each person will use after the marriage, so if someone will change his or her last name, this information should be provided here. In addition, the couple will have to pay a fee of $50, which they can have the clerk reduce to $5 if they completed a pre-marital counseling program.

Once the couple completes the license application, the clerk will issue the document, which the couple must return to the clerk after the ceremony. This license is valid anywhere within Oklahoma.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    O. S. §43-5. Application – Fees – Issuance of license and certificate.

    A. Persons desiring to be married in this state shall submit an application in writing signed and sworn to in person before the clerk of the district court by both of the parties setting forth:

    1. The place of residence of each party;

    2. The full legal name and the age of each party as they appear upon or are calculable from a certified copy of the birth certificate, the current driver license or identification card, the current passport or visa, or any other certificate, license or document issued by or existing pursuant to the laws of any nation or of any state, or political subdivision thereof, accepted as proof of identity and age;

    3. For each party, the full name by which the party will be known after the marriage, which shall become the full legal name of the party upon the filing of the marriage license and certificate with the court, as required by law; provided, however, a marriage certificate issued prior to June 8, 2006, shall be reissued upon request by the certificate holder to include the information required by this paragraph. Such reissued certificate shall reflect the original marriage date and shall be signed by the court clerk. Signatures of the officiant and original witnesses shall not be required;

    4. That the parties are not disqualified from or incapable of entering into the marriage relation; and

    5. Whether the parties have successfully completed a premarital counseling program.

    B. 1. Upon application pursuant to this section and the payment of fees as provided in Section 31 of Title 28 of the Oklahoma Statutes, if the clerk of the district court is satisfied of the truth and sufficiency of the application and that there is no legal impediment to such marriage, the court clerk shall issue the marriage license authorizing the marriage and a marriage certificate, which shall be incorporated as one document. As required by law, the marriage certificate shall be completed immediately following the marriage, and the marriage license and certificate shall be returned to the court clerk.

    1. Parties to be married and who present a certificate to the clerk of the district court that states the parties have completed the premarital counseling program pursuant to Section 5.1 of this title shall be entitled to pay a reduced fee for a marriage license in an amount provided in Section 31 of Title 28 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

    C. In the event that one or both of the parties are under legal age, the application shall have been on file in the court clerk's office for a period of not less than seventy-two (72) hours prior to issuance of the marriage license.

    D. The marriage license shall be valid in any county within the state.

    E. The provisions hereof are mandatory and not directory except under the circumstances set out in the provisions of Section 3 of this title.

    R.L.1910, § 3887. Amended by Laws 1959, p. 183, § 2, emerg. eff. June 2, 1959; Laws 1965, c. 25, § 1, emerg. eff. Feb. 26, 1965; Laws 1974, c. 96, § 1; Laws 1989, c. 64, § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 1989; Laws 1999, c. 174, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 1999; Laws 2005, c. 33, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 2005; Laws 2006, c. 311, § 2, emerg. eff. June 8, 2006; Laws 2008, c. 313, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 2008; Laws 2013, c. 192, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 2013.

    Okla. Stat. tit. 28 § 31 Fees of Court Clerks

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the clerk of the district court, or the clerk of any other court of record, shall charge and collect the following fees for services by them respectively rendered and none others, except as otherwise provided by law:

    Application, issuing, entering return and recording marriage license if the applicants submit a certificate that states the applicants have completed the premarital counseling program pursuant to Section 5.1 of Title 43 of the Oklahoma Statutes...........$5.00

    Application, issuing, entering return and recording marriage license if the applicants do not submit a certificate that states the applicants have completed the premarital counseling program pursuant to Section 5.1 of Title 43 of the Oklahoma Statutes........$50.00

Applying For a Marriage License in Oklahoma

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Religious
Mandatory Waiting Period:
None
License Valid For:
Varies by County
License Must Be Submitted:
Varies by County

Once couples have their license, they can marry right away without a waiting period. It is important to note that if either person is a minor, then there is a 72-hour waiting period.

The license will have the issuance date, which is important to note because the couple must ensure the clerk receives it by the expiration date. There is no law about how long a license is valid. Each county decides this, and it ranges from five days to 30 days. The date will be on the document, so the couple and the officiant should note it to avoid issues.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    Okla. Stat. tit. 43 § 6. License – Contents.

    A. The marriage license provided for in this title shall contain:

    1. The date of its issuance;

    2. The name of the court issuing the license, and the name of the city or town and county in which the court is located;

    3. The full legal names of the persons authorized to be married by the license, the full legal names by which the persons will be known after the marriage, their ages, and their places of residence;

    4. Directions to any person authorized by law to perform and solemnize the marriage ceremony;

    5. The date by which the completed marriage certificate, along with the marriage license, shall be returned to the judge or court, which shall not be more than thirty (30) days from the date of its issuance; and

    6. Any other information, declarations, seals and signatures, as required by law.

    B. The marriage certificate provided for in this title shall contain appropriate wording and blanks to be completed and endorsed, as required by Section 8 of this title, by the person solemnizing or performing the marriage ceremony, the witnesses, and the persons who have been married.

    R.L. 1910, § 3888. Amended by Laws 1997, c. 402, § 9, eff. July 1, 1997; Laws 2006, c. 311, § 3, emerg. eff. June 8, 2006

Oklahoma Marriage Requirements

Min. Age of Couple:
Age 18 or Age 16 with Guardian Consent
Residency:
Not Required
Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
Second Cousins
Marriage Equality:
Yes

Marriage between one man and one woman, one woman and one woman, and one man and man are all legal in Oklahoma. However, the state does forbid weddings where one person is already in a marriage with someone else.

It is also illegal in the state to marry anyone already related. Oklahoma is unique in that its laws forbid marriage between any degree of relation, including those not by blood, such as step-family relations. It also includes aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, half-siblings and first cousins. While first cousins cannot marry in Oklahoma, the state will recognize a legal marriage from another state between first cousins.

In most situations, a couple must both be at least 18 years old to marry in this state. There are legal exceptions. A minor who is at least 16 years old may marry if he or she has an affidavit from his or her parent or legal guardian or obtains permission from an in-state or out-of-state court. A legal guardian or parent may also be physically present and provide consent, and a military officer may be able to stand in if the person is unable to be there physically.

For those under 16, marriage may be an option if a court receives permission from the minor's parent or legal guardian and the minor has given birth to a child or is pregnant with a child of the person he or she wishes to marry.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    Okla. Stat. tit. 43 § 2 Marriages between ancestors and descendants of any degree, of a stepfather with a stepdaughter, stepmother with stepson, between uncles and nieces, aunts and nephews, except in cases where such relationship is only by marriage, between brothers and sisters of the half as well as the whole blood, and first cousins are declared to be incestuous, illegal and void, and are expressly prohibited. Provided, that any marriage of first cousins performed in another state authorizing such marriages, which is otherwise legal, is hereby recognized as valid and binding in this state as of the date of such marriage.

    Okla. Stat. tit. 43 § 3 Who may marry.

    A. Any unmarried person who is at least eighteen (18) years of age and not otherwise disqualified is capable of contracting and consenting to marriage with a person of the opposite sex.

    B. 1. Except as otherwise provided by this subsection, no person under the age of eighteen (18) years shall enter into the marriage relation, nor shall any license issue therefor, except:

    a. upon the consent and authority expressly given by the parent or guardian of such underage applicant in the presence of the authority issuing such license,

    b. upon the written consent of the parent or guardian of such underage applicant executed and acknowledged in person before a judge of the district court or the court clerk of any county within the State of Oklahoma,

    c. if the parent or guardian resides outside of the State of Oklahoma, upon the written consent of the parent or guardian executed before a judge or clerk of a court of record. The executed foreign consent shall be duly authenticated in the same manner as proof of documents from foreign jurisdictions,

    d. if the certificate of a duly licensed medical doctor or osteopath, acknowledged in the manner provided by law for the acknowledgment of deeds, and stating that such parent or guardian is unable by reason of health or incapacity to be present in person, is presented to such licensing authority, upon the written consent of the parent or guardian, acknowledged in the same manner as the accompanying medical certificate,

    e. if the parent or guardian is on active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States, upon the written permission of the parent or guardian, acknowledged in the manner provided by law for acknowledgment of deeds by military personnel authorized to administer oaths. Such permission shall be presented to the licensing authority, accompanied by a certificate executed by a commissioned officer in command of the applicant, to the effect that the parent or guardian is on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States, or

    f. upon affidavit of three (3) reputable persons stating that both parents of the minor are deceased, or mentally incompetent, or their whereabouts are unknown to the minor, and that no guardian has theretofore been appointed for the minor. The judge of the district court issuing the license may in his or her discretion consent to the marriage in the same manner as in all cases in which consent may be given by a parent or guardian.

    1. Every person under the age of sixteen (16) years is expressly forbidden and prohibited from entering into the marriage relation except when authorized by the court:

    a. in settlement of a suit for seduction or paternity, or

    b. if the unmarried female is pregnant, or has given birth to an illegitimate child and at least one parent of each minor, or the guardian or custodian of such child, is present before the court and has an opportunity to present evidence in the event such parent, guardian, or custodian objects to the issuance of a marriage license. If they are not present the parent, guardian, or custodian may be given notice of the hearing at the discretion of the court.

    1. A parent or a guardian of any child under the age of eighteen (18) years who is in the custody of the Department of Human Services or the Department of Juvenile Justice shall not be eligible to consent to the marriage of such minor child as required by the provisions of this subsection.

    2. Any certificate or written permission required by this subsection shall be retained by the official issuing the marriage license.

    C. No marriage may be authorized when such marriage would be incestuous under this chapter.

    R.L. 1910, § 3885. Amended by Laws 1947, p. 301, § 1; Laws 1959, p. 183, § 1; Laws 1959, p. 184, § 1; Laws 1963, c. 91, § 1; Laws 1965, c. 383, § 1; Laws 1970, c. 131, § 1, emerg. eff. April 7, 1970; Laws 1975, c. 39, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1975; Laws 1989, c. 64, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 1989; Laws 2004, c. 422, § 4, eff. July 1, 2004.

Finalizing the Union

Officiant's Title on Marriage License:
Minister
Church/Ordaining Body:
Universal Life Church Ministries
Address of Church:
Minister's Home Address

After the ceremony, the legal obligations do not end. There is one final task to handle: Someone must file the marriage license with the court clerk to formally legalize the marriage.

The minister must complete his or her portion of the license, which includes filling out information about his or her address, full name, clerical designation and congregation, which would be the Universal Life Church Ministries. The minister should also make sure the witnesses sign the document, which is equal to them swearing they were present. The witnesses must also provide their addresses and names. Finally, the couple must sign the document with the names they will use going forward.

The license must get back to the clerk prior to the expiration date. It must go to the same clerk who issued it.