How to Become an Ordained Minister in Montana

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 Montana

Contact the County Clerk's office in the county where the ceremony will take place. Introduce yourself as a minister officiating a wedding, 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. Rest assured that 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 Montana state flower, the Bitterroot

What Do You Need to Perform a Wedding in Montana

Once you've determined what you need, simply log in to your account and order the materials from our online catalog. Based on the feedback we've received from our ministers in Montana, we recommend ordering a Classic Wedding Kit. Although ministers are generally not required to register in the state of Montana, it's possible the county clerk will ask you to present proof of your ordination before they will allow you to officiate ceremonies. Keep in mind that the couple may also like to see your ordination credentials. Please try to place your order well in advance of the wedding to avoid complications.

How to Get a Montana Marriage License

Licenses are issued by the County Clerk's office, and will be picked up by the couple. As a minister, it's your responsibility to understand how marriage licenses work in Montana and its individual counties. For example, if the couple plans to get a Yellowstone County marriage license for example, you should double-check if there are any rules specific to Yellowstone County. In the state of Montana, the license is valid for six months. There is no mandatory 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 30 days of the ceremony.

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 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!

Montana Marriage Laws

Marriage laws in Montana are primarily directed by Chapter 1 of Title 40 of the state code. This section defines persons authorized to perform a marriage in the State of Montana, which includes ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church, among other individuals. We've reproduced the relevant portion below:

40-1-301. Solemnization and registration.

(1) A marriage may be solemnized by a judge of a court of record, by a public official whose powers include solemnization of marriages, by a mayor, city judge, or justice of the peace, by a tribal judge, or in accordance with any mode of solemnization recognized by any religious denomination, Indian nation or tribe, or native group. Either the person solemnizing the marriage or, if no individual acting alone solemnized the marriage, a party to the marriage shall complete the marriage certificate form and forward it to the clerk of the district court.

(2) If a party to a marriage is unable to be present at the solemnization, the party may authorize in writing a third person to act as proxy. If the person solemnizing the marriage is satisfied that the absent party is unable to be present and has consented to the marriage, the person may solemnize the marriage by proxy. If the person solemnizing the marriage is not satisfied, the parties may petition the district court for an order permitting the marriage to be solemnized by proxy.

(3) The solemnization of the marriage is not invalidated by the fact that the person solemnizing the marriage was not legally qualified to solemnize it if either party to the marriage believed that person to be qualified.

(4) One party to a proxy marriage must be a member of the armed forces of the United States on federal active duty or a resident of Montana at the time of application for a license and certificate pursuant to 40-1-202. One party or a legal representative shall appear before the clerk of court and pay the marriage license fee. For the purposes of this subsection, residency must be determined in accordance with 1-1-215.