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Minnesota Wedding Laws

Minnesota is known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and there are at least that many formed centuries ago by the recession of a gigantic glacier. The 10,000-plus lakes make for a wide variety of beautiful settings for an outdoor wedding, but that is only part of what makes Minnesota a good place to get married. The people are known for their kindness, hospitality, and often progressive thinking. However, there are sometimes complicated requirements you must meet before you can get legally married in Minnesota. Here are the most important steps you need to take to be sure your marriage is valid.

How to Become a Wedding Officiant in Minnesota

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

Both the Universal Life Church and the State of Minnesota require that anyone wishing to become ordained to solemnize a wedding ceremony be at least 18 years old. Minnesota law regards a minister ordained online by ULC to be a religious actor regardless of his or her personal belief systems. Neither the declared gender nor the residence of the minister has any bearing on his or her eligibility to perform the ceremony.

Prior to the ceremony, the law in Minnesota requires that the officiant files his or her ordination credentials with the Vital Statistics Office. ULC ministers can order the Classic Wedding Package, which contains all the necessary documentation.

Getting Married in Minnesota

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
No
Minister Required to be Present:
Yes
Number of Witnesses Required:
2
Min. Age of Witnesses:
16
Couple's Consent Required:
Yes
Pronouncement Required:
Yes

A marriage in Minnesota becomes legally binding when you and your significant other make a declaration before two witnesses of at least 16 years of age and an authorized minister consenting to take one another as spouses. Otherwise, there are no rules or customs that the ceremony has to follow or form that it has to take to be official.

How to Get a Minnesota Marriage License

Who Picks Up License:
The Couple
Where License is Valid:
Any County in Minnesota
Marriage License Pick-Up:
In Person Only
Cost of License:
$115.00
Accepted I.D. Types:
Photo ID
Proof of Divorce Required (If Applicable):
No
Blood Test Required:
No

Minnesota does not require premarital education by a church in order to get married. However, if you can provide evidence, in the form of a sworn statement from your instructor that bears a church seal or is notarized, that you and your spouse-to-be have completed at least 12 hours of such a course, you can pay a discounted fee of $40 rather than the $115 that is usually required.

Much of the information required for the marriage license application is pretty standard. You must provide your names, ages, Social Security numbers, sexes, and home addresses. If either you or your spouse-to-be has a history of felony conviction, you must disclose it in your application. This does not preclude you from getting married, but it can affect the time frame in which the wedding can take place.

If you and your spouse are related, you must disclose this in the application and explain how closely. If either of you is a minor, that individual must provide the names and addresses of parents or guardians on the application. If either you or your spouse has been married previously, you must include either the date and place of the previous spouse's death or information to verify the dissolution of the previous marriage through divorce. If applicable, you must include your previous married name.

While it is possible for one party to fill out the application on the other one's behalf at the local county registrar, it is better if you can both present, in person, to apply. Otherwise, the registrar cannot issue the license until having received notarized approval from the absent party.

Applying For a Marriage License in Minnesota

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Religious
Mandatory Waiting Period:
One Day
License Valid For:
6 Months
License Must Be Submitted:
Within 5 Days of Ceremony

Your Minnesota marriage license expires after six months. However, if something prevents you from having the wedding during that time, such as a serious illness, you can get a new one at no additional cost if you surrender the first one to be canceled by the local registrar.

It is important to disclose any history of felony conviction when you are applying for your marriage license because it can affect how long you have to wait before your wedding can take place. A party with a felony conviction on or after August 1, 2000, who is also requesting a name change, has to wait at least 30 days after receiving the license before the wedding can take place. This is to allow time for the checks necessitated by the proposed name change. If neither you nor your spouse-to-be has a history of felony conviction, the waiting period is only 24 hours.

Minnesota 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

Minnesota first recognized the right of LGBT+ couples to marry in 2013. With the Supreme Court decision affirming marriage equality two years later, the state laws are now federally enforced. There is no requirement for either you or your intended spouse to be a resident of Minnesota or of the United States.

To be eligible for marriage in Minnesota, you and your spouse-to-be cannot be more closely related than second cousins. Generally, you must also be at least 18 years old. Nevertheless, with the consent of a legal guardian, minors 16 and 17 years old can also be allowed to get married in Minnesota.

Finalizing the Union

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

The officiant has the responsibility of filing the completed marriage certificate within five days after the ceremony to the same local registrar who issued the marriage license originally. In addition to the date and place of the wedding and information about the parties, including their names, birthdates, and addresses, the certificate must include the signatures of both witnesses and the officiant's name, home address, and title. If requested, the officiant should also include the name of the ordaining body, in this case, Universal Life Church Ministries.