How to Become an Ordained Minister in Puerto Rico

It's so easy to become a marriage officiant through the Universal Life Church, it's almost too good to be true. Take a few moments to complete the Instant Online Ordination form. It will grant you immediate ordination and access to your account. The ULC enjoys recognition all across the USA, and that includes territories such as Puerto Rico! So click below to start the process.

How to Officiate a Wedding in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico handles this process a little differently compared to most states in that there is a centralized registration in the capital for all ministers and their officiants having a wedding ceremony on the island. The three of you will need to contact both the Departamento de Hacienda and the Demographic Registrar offices. Introduce yourselves as a minister and ask what church documents they want to see from you to perform a wedding there. Anything they require would be available for you to buy in Church Supplies section of the website. Listed below is the contact information for those two offices:

Departamento de Hacienda
10 Paseo Covadonga
San Juan PR 00901 (Phone: 787.721.2020)

Demographic Registrar
500 Ochoa Bld Tanca St
Old San Juan PR 00902 (Phone: 787.767.9120)

Officiant Requirements in Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rico state flower, the  Maga

The Puerto Rico state flower, the Maga

Once you've checked in with both offices, you'll want to sign in to your account on the website and order the documents that the local marriage authority asks of you. Based on some feedback we've received from our ministers in Puerto Rico, you should pick up at least an Ordination Certificate and a Letter of Good Standing.

Not only will these church documents be required, but you'll also need to bring some personal items with you to complete the registration. You'll need to double check on exactly what is needed, but it would be along the lines of the following: government-issued I.D., a 2x2 passport-style photo of yourself, and an IRS stamp. You should also be aware that when you turn all of this in at San Juan, the couple will likely need to be with you. Plan accordingly, as they couple has their own registration requirements and you don't have very long to complete this before the ceremony.

How to Get a Puerto Rico Marriage License

In Puerto Rico a license is valid for 30 days. There is a mandatory 6-day waiting period between the time it is picked up, and when the ceremony can be legally performed. Finally, the signed marriage license must be returned to the issuing office within 3 days of the ceremony.

How to Perform a Wedding

Now that you and the couple have taken care of all the requirements to register, you are ready to perform the ceremony! If you're not quite sure how to do this, you should check out the resources linked below. Many ULC ministers have utilized these tips to become professional officiants!

Finalizing the Marriage

After you perform the ceremony, you will sign the marriage license along with the couple and their two witnesses. Your title is 'minister', the ceremony type is 'religious', and the denomination is 'non-denominational'. You will not be required to provide a license number. You may also wish to give the couple a commemorative gift, like a marriage certificate to mark their special day. Last thing: make sure the signed license gets resubmitted to the marriage office before the deadline!

Puerto Rico Marriage Laws

Marriage laws in Puerto Rico are primarily directed by Chapter 31 of Title 31 of the territoy code. This section defines persons authorized to perform a marriage in this U.S. territory, which includes ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church, among other individuals. We've reproduced the relevant portion below:

Title 31 Subtitle 1 Part 3 Chapter 31:

ยง 243. Authorization and celebration of marriage - Who may celebrate. All regularly licensed or ordained priests or other ministers of the Gospel, Jewish rabbis, and the judges of the Supreme Court, judges of the Appeals Court, judges of the Court of the First Instance, the judges of the United States District Court for Puerto Rico, may celebrate the marriage rites between all persons legally authorized to marry.