How to Become an Ordained Minister in New Mexico

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 New Mexico

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 New Mexico state flower, the Yucca Flower

What Do You Need to Perform a Wedding in New Mexico

Once you've determined what you need, simply log in to your account and order the materials from our online catalog. Our ministers usually find the documents that they need in the Classic Wedding Kit. Although ministers are usually not required to register in the state of New Mexico, it's possible that either the couple or the county clerk will ask you to present proof of your ordination. As requested by the county clerks, please try to place your order well in advance of the wedding to avoid complications.

How to Get a New Mexico 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 New Mexico and its individual counties. For example, if the couple plans to get a Lea County marriage license, you should double-check if there are any rules specific to Lea County.

In the state of New Mexico, the license does not expire. 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 90 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!

New Mexico Marriage Laws

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

40-1-2. Marriages solemnized; ordained clergy or civil magistrates may solemnize.

A. The civil contract of marriage is entered into when solemnized as provided in Chapter 40, Article 1 NMSA 1978. As used in Chapter 40, Article 1 NMSA 1978, "solemnize" means to join in marriage before witnesses by means of a ceremony.

B. A person who is an ordained member of the clergy or who is an authorized representative of a federally recognized Indian nation, tribe or pueblo may solemnize the contract of marriage without regard to sect or rites and customs the person may practice.

C. Active or retired judges, justices and magistrates of any of the courts established by the constitution of New Mexico, United States constitution, laws of the state or laws of the United States are civil magistrates having authority to solemnize contracts of marriage . Civil magistrates solemnizing contracts of marriage shall charge no fee therefor.