How to Become an Ordained Minister in North Dakota

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 North Dakota

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 North Dakota state flower, the Wild Prairie Rose

What Do You Need to Perform a Wedding in North Dakota

Once you've determined what you need, simply log in to your account and order the materials from our online catalog. Although ministerial registration is generally not required in North Dakota, our ministers report that they are frequently asked to show proof of their ordination. Based on this feedback, we recommend ordering both an Ordination Kit and a Letter of Good Standing. Keep in mind that the couple may also like to see your ordination credentials! Please remember to place your order well in advance of the wedding to avoid complications.

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

In the state of North Dakota, the license is valid for 60 days. There is no mandatory waiting period between the time it is picked up, and when the ceremony can be legally performed. Finally, make sure they're aware that the signed marriage license must be returned to the issuing office within 5 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!

North Dakota Marriage Laws

Marriage laws in North Dakota are primarily directed by Section 3 of Chapter 14 of the state code. This section defines persons authorized to perform a marriage in the State of North Dakota, which includes ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church, among other individuals. We've reproduced the relevant portion below:

14-03-09. Who may solemnize marriages. Marriages may be solemnized at any location within the state by:

  1. All judges of courts of record;

  2. Municipal judges;

  3. Recorders, unless the board of county commissioners designates a different official;

  4. Ordained ministers of the gospel, priests, and clergy, authorized by recognized denominations; and

  5. By any individual authorized by the rituals and practices of any religious persuasion.

14-03-10. Marriage may not be solemnized without license.

A person may not solemnize any marriage until the parties to the marriage produce a license regularly issued not more than sixty days before the date of the marriage by:

  1. A recorder serving the county in which either of the contracting parties resides or is temporarily domiciled, unless the board of county commissioners designates a different official;

  2. A recorder serving the county in which a parent of either of the parties resides or is temporarily domiciled, unless the board of county commissioners designates a different official; or

  3. A recorder serving the county in which the marriage is to be solemnized, unless the board of county commissioners designates a different official. For the purpose of obtaining a marriage license, a member of the armed forces of the United States stationed within the state of North Dakota is deemed to reside in the county in which that person is stationed.