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How to Become an Ordained Minister in Washington

If you haven't yet become ordained with the Universal Life Church, that is the first step. Anyone willing can become a legal minister of the ULC, one of the world's largest religious organizations. Online ordination is fast, easy, and completely free. Once you have your minister license, you'll be eligible to officiate a wedding. To become a minister, start by clicking the button below!

Become Ordained!

How to Officiate a Wedding in Washington

Contact the office of the County Auditor in the county where the wedding will take place. Introduce yourself as a minister and ask them what documents they will need from you. They may ask to see a number of things, and be aware that these requirements vary from county to county. Any materials or documents you might need are available in the Church Supplies section of our website.

Select your county to view contact information for each office:

The Washington state flower, the Coast Rhododendron

The Washington state flower, the Coast Rhododendron

What Do You Need to Perform a Wedding in Washington

Once you've determined what you need, simply log in to your account and order the materials from our online catalog. One of our more popular items in Washington is the Classic Wedding Kit. Although ministers are generally not required to register in the state of Washington, it's possible the County Auditor will ask you to present proof of your ordination. It is also common for the couple to want to see your credentials. As requested by the county, please try to place your order well in advance of the wedding to avoid complications.

How to Get a Washington Marriage License

Licenses are issued by the County Auditor's office, and will be picked up by the couple. As a minister, it's your responsibility to understand how marriage licenses work in Washington and its individual counties. For example, if the couple plans to get a Clark County marriage license, you should double-check if there are any rules specific to Clark County.

In the state of Washington, the license is valid for 60 days. There is a mandatory 3-day waiting period between the day of application, and when the ceremony can be legally performed. Lastly, the signed marriage license must be returned to the issuing office within 30 days of the ceremony. In Washington state ministers are also required to complete a marriage certificate, which will be returned with the license.

How to Perform a Wedding

Congratulations, you're ready to officiate the wedding! If you need any assistance in this important task, we encourage you to utilize the tools below. Together these exclusive resources include everything you'll need to craft the perfect wedding ceremony for any couple. Created with our ministers in mind, they offer tips and helpful information for all aspects of performing a ceremony. Fun fact: many ULC ministers have become professional officiants using these tools as a guide!

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!

Washington Marriage Laws

Marriage laws in Washington are primarily directed by Chapter 26.04 of Title 26 of the state code. This section defines persons authorized to perform a marriage in the State of Washington, which includes ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church, among other individuals. We've reproduced the relevant portion below:

The following named officers and persons, active or retired, are hereby authorized to solemnize marriages, to wit: Justices of the supreme court, judges of the court of appeals, judges of the superior courts, supreme court commissioners, court of appeals commissioners, superior court commissioners, any regularly licensed or ordained minister or any priest, imam, rabbi, or similar official of any religious organization, and judges of courts of limited jurisdiction as defined in RCW 3.02.010.

[2012 c 3 § 4 (Referendum Measure No. 74, approved November 6, 2012); 2007 c 29 § 1; 1987 c 291 § 1; 1984 c 258 § 95; 1983 c 186 § 1; 1971 c 81 § 69; 1913 c 35 § 1; 1890 p 98 § 1; 1883 p 43 § 1; Code 1881 § 2382; 1866 p 82 § 4; 1854 p 404 § 4; RRS § 8441.]

To view the in-depth wedding laws for Washington state:

Washington Marriage Laws