Universal Life Church

Oregon Wedding Laws

Welcome to the Oregon marriage laws guide. If you are on this page, it is likely you have either been asked to officiate a wedding or you are getting married yourself; either way - congratulations! Performing a wedding is an incredible honor that comes with a certain level of responsibility - for this reason we've created this handy guide for couples and ministers alike. To certify that the wedding day goes well, we encourage you to read and adhere to the instructions below. We will explain how to become a wedding minister, how to marry someone, and what you need to do to ensure the ceremony is legal in Oregon.

Here are the basic steps one must follow to officiate a wedding:

  1. How Do I Become Ordained to Marry in Oregon

    Becoming a marriage officiant with the Universal Life Church is a simpler process than you might expect. Our online ordination process is simple and straightforward, and can be completed in a matter of minutes. Legally licensed ministers of the ULC perform thousands of marriages each year. Once you've received your minister license in hand, officiating a wedding is right around the corner! Click the button below to get started.

  2. How Do You Perform a Wedding in Oregon

    Your first step is to contact the office that is issuing the marriage license, which is typically the county clerk. Once in contact with this office you need to ask what is required for a minister to legally perform a marriage in this jurisdiction. You may be asked to present several different items to confirm your are an ordained minister. Each county can have their own requirements, so it's always a good idea to contact the office before you perform any wedding, even when there are two within the same state. 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:

  3. What Do You Need to Officiate a Wedding in Oregon

    Once you've spoken with the office issuing the license and determined what you need then you are ready to log in to your account and visit the store catalog to purchase the documents. Most ministers in Oregon choose to order the Classic Wedding Set.

    Ministers are generally not required to register in Oregon. That being said, it's not uncommon for a county clerk to ask for you to prove your ordination in some fashion before giving you the go ahead to perform weddings. Having your credentials in hand also gives the couple peace of mind to know that their wedding minister has all the official documents if they are needed for some unforeseen reason. Make sure to place your order well in advance of the wedding so you are prepared for anything that might be required of you.

  4. How to Get a Oregon Marriage License

    The county clerk is the office that issues marriage licenses in the state of Oregon. Even though the couple will be picking up the marriage license you should still familiarize yourself with the laws governing marriage licenses in the state. Let's assume the couple will be getting their license from Washington County. As the minister, you should research if there are any specific laws governing marriages in Washington County that the couple might not have heard about.

    In Oregon, marriage licenses are valid for 60 days. Note that there is a mandatory 3-day waiting period - this means that the couple must wait a minimum of 3 days after receiving the license before a wedding ceremony can legally be performed. Once the ceremony has been completed, the signed marriage license must be returned within 10 days.

    Oregon's Top Wedding Venue
    The Garden

  5. How Do You Officiate a Wedding?

    After you've ordered your documents and presented them to the clerk (if necessary), then you are ready to perform the wedding! We have several online tools available for any guidance you might need to prepare for the ceremony. These carefully-tailored resources provide helpful pointers and info on all sides of performing a wedding ceremony. Constructed 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!

  6. Finalizing the Marriage

    Now there's just one final step - but it's an important one! After performing the wedding, you must sign the marriage license (along with the couple and their 2 witnesses). Your official title will be "Minister"; for ceremony type, put "Religious", and for denomination, write "Non-Denominational". No license number is required.

    Oregon requires that the address and phone number of ULC be listed on the marriage license. Make sure to include this information before turning in the license.

    ULC Ministries 2730 1st Ave S Seattle, WA 98134 206-285-1086

    Lastly, remember that the signed license must be turned in to the marriage office before the deadline passes!

Oregon Marriage Laws

Oregon marriage laws are governed by Chapter 106 of Title 11 of the code of Oregon. This section explains who is legally authorized to officiate weddings in the State of Oregon. Among those with authorization are ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church. The relevant section is displayed below:

106.120 Who may solemnize marriage; fee; personal payment; records. (1) As used in this section, "judicial officer" means:

(a) A judicial officer of this state as that term is defined in ORS 1.210 and includes but is not limited to a judge of a municipal court and a justice of the peace.

(b) An active judge of a federal court.

(c) An active United States magistrate judge.

(2) Marriages may be solemnized by:

(a) A judicial officer;

(b) A county clerk;

(c) Religious congregations or organizations as indicated in ORS 106.150 (2); or

(d) A clergyperson of any religious congregation or organization who is authorized by the congregation or organization to solemnize marriages.

(3) A person authorized to solemnize marriages under subsection (2) of this section may solemnize a marriage anywhere in this state.

(4)(a) When a marriage is solemnized by a tax, appellate or circuit judge of this state, the clerk of the court or the county clerk shall collect a fee of $100 and deposit the fee in the Judicial Department Operating Account established in ORS 1.009.

(b) When a marriage is solemnized by a county clerk, the county clerk shall collect a fee of $100, as provided in ORS 205.320.

(c) The fee described in this subsection may be collected only if:

(A) The marriage is solemnized during normal working hours, excluding holidays;

(B) The marriage is solemnized in court facilities or a county clerk's office; or

(C) More than a minimal amount of staff time or other court or county clerk's office resources are used in connection with the solemnization.

(d) The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court or the county clerk may establish a written procedure for waiver of the fee required under this subsection in exigent circumstances, including but not limited to indigency of the parties to the marriage.

(5) In addition to any fee collected under subsection (4) of this section, a judicial officer of this state and a county clerk may charge and accept an agreed upon personal payment not to exceed $100 plus actual costs for the solemnization of a marriage if that solemnization is performed:

(a) At a place other than the courthouse where the judicial officer or county clerk serves; or

(b) Outside of the judicial officer's or county clerk's normal working hours.

(6) The charging and accepting of a personal payment by a judicial officer of this state or a county clerk under subsection (5) of this section does not constitute a violation of any of the provisions of ORS chapter 244.

(7) The amount of actual costs charged by a judicial officer of this state or a county clerk under subsection (5) of this section may not exceed:

(a) Actual expenses for food and lodging as verified by receipts.

(b) If travel is made by personal vehicle, the actual number of round-trip miles from the judicial officer's or county clerk's home or office, whichever is greater, compensated at the rate of reimbursement then provided by the State of Oregon to its employees or, if travel is made by a commercial carrier, reimbursement shall be made of the actual costs thereof, verified by receipts.

(8) A judicial officer of this state or a county clerk shall maintain records of the amount of personal payments received for performing marriages, of actual costs and the supporting documentation related thereto for a period of four years.

(9) The parties to a marriage solemnized by a tax, appellate or circuit judge of this state shall show to the judge proof of payment of the fee required under subsection (4)(a) of this section before solemnization. Except as provided in subsection (4)(d) of this section, the judge may not solemnize a marriage without proof of payment of the fee. [Amended by 1971 c.621 §22; 1975 c.607 §22; 1977 c.518 §2; 1979 c.724 §3; 1979 c.833 §24; 1981 c.176 §1; 1991 c.282 §1; 1991 c.458 §1; 1997 c.424 §1; 1999 c.776 §1; 2001 c.501 §1; 2003 c.565 §1; 2003 c.737 §111; 2011 c.595 §89; 2013 c.685 §§42,42a]

Note: The amendments to 106.120 by section 42a, chapter 685, Oregon Laws 2013, become operative July 1, 2014, and apply to marriages solemnized on or after July 1, 2014. See section 43a, chapter 685, Oregon Laws 2013. The text that is operative until July 1, 2014, including amendments by section 42, chapter 685, Oregon Laws 2013, is set forth for the user's convenience. 106.120. (1) As used in this section, "judicial officer" means:

(a) A judicial officer of this state as that term is defined in ORS 1.210 and includes but is not limited to a judge of a municipal court and a justice of the peace.

(b) An active judge of a federal court.

(c) An active United States magistrate judge.

(2) Marriages may be solemnized by:

(a) A judicial officer;

(b) A county clerk;

(c) Religious congregations or organizations as indicated in ORS 106.150 (2); or

(d) A clergyperson of any religious congregation or organization who is authorized by the congregation or organization to solemnize marriages.

(3) A person authorized to solemnize marriages under subsection (2) of this section may solemnize a marriage anywhere in this state.

(4)(a) When a marriage is solemnized by a tax, appellate or circuit judge of this state, the clerk of the court or the county clerk shall collect a fee of $105 and deposit the fee in the Judicial Department Operating Account established in ORS 1.009.

(b) When a marriage is solemnized by a county clerk, the county clerk shall collect a fee of $105, as provided in ORS 205.320.

(c) The fee described in this subsection may be collected only if:

(A) The marriage is solemnized during normal working hours, excluding holidays;

(B) The marriage is solemnized in court facilities or a county clerk's office; or

(C) More than a minimal amount of staff time or other court or county clerk's office resources are used in connection with the solemnization.

(d) The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court or the county clerk may establish a written procedure for waiver of the fee required under this subsection in exigent circumstances, including but not limited to indigency of the parties to the marriage.

(5) In addition to any fee collected under subsection (4) of this section, a judicial officer of this state and a county clerk may charge and accept an agreed upon personal payment not to exceed $100 plus actual costs for the solemnization of a marriage if that solemnization is performed:

(a) At a place other than the courthouse where the judicial officer or county clerk serves; or

(b) Outside of the judicial officer's or county clerk's normal working hours.

(6) The charging and accepting of a personal payment by a judicial officer of this state or a county clerk under subsection (5) of this section does not constitute a violation of any of the provisions of ORS chapter 244.

(7) The amount of actual costs charged by a judicial officer of this state or a county clerk under subsection (5) of this section may not exceed:

(a) Actual expenses for food and lodging as verified by receipts.

(b) If travel is made by personal vehicle, the actual number of round-trip miles from the judicial officer's or county clerk's home or office, whichever is greater, compensated at the rate of reimbursement then provided by the State of Oregon to its employees or, if travel is made by a commercial carrier, reimbursement shall be made of the actual costs thereof, verified by receipts.

(8) A judicial officer of this state or a county clerk shall maintain records of the amount of personal payments received for performing marriages, of actual costs and the supporting documentation related thereto for a period of four years.

(9) The parties to a marriage solemnized by a tax, appellate or circuit judge of this state shall show to the judge proof of payment of the fee required under subsection (4)(a) of this section before solemnization. Except as provided in subsection (4)(d) of this section, the judge may not solemnize a marriage without proof of payment of the fee.

Note: Section 43, chapter 685, Oregon Laws 2013, provides: Sec. 43.:RF8 The amendments to ORS 106.120 by section 42 of this 2013 Act apply to marriages solemnized on or after October 1, 2013. [2013 c.685 §43]