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Ohio Wedding Laws

Written and updated for precision by the Ohio marriage law research team at GetOrdained™ on

Who could pass up marrying in a state that looks like a heart? That is what you get in Ohio. This is an incredibly popular state with half of the population of the country living within 500 miles of the capital city, Columbus. Whether you are here because it is “The Heart of it All” or you simply love the Buckeye state, there is really something for everyone. You can marry along the shores of Lake Erie, in Amish country, on a rural lot or even on the Ohio River. No matter where you hold your wedding, you will have to follow the state laws regarding your ceremony. Not understanding the law or making an error along the way could result in your marriage not being legally binding. To ensure your wedding is valid, we put together a guide to help you navigate the legal aspects of the process.

How to Become a Wedding Officiant in Ohio

Min. Age of Minister:
Age 18
Not Required
Document(s) Required:
Letter of Good Standing and Ordination Credential
Online Ordination Recognized:
Relevant Office of Registration:
Secretary of State
Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
Before Ceremony
Minister I.D. # Issued:

Universal Life Church ministers have legal recognition under Ohio law to perform marriages. However, the minister must register with the state by providing a letter of good standing and/or a copy of his or her credentials to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will issue a license to the minister that allows him or her to perform weddings.

Ohio allows religious actors from all faiths to perform weddings in the state as long as they have the proper licensing. The state also allows non-religious weddings. Judges and mayors may perform weddings. Also, the superintendent of the state school for the deaf can perform ceremonies.

The state does not restrict weddings based on gender, religion or other characteristics except age; to marry, you must be at least 18 years old.

Getting Married in Ohio

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
Minister Required to be Present:
Number of Witnesses Required:
Min. Age of Witnesses:
Couple's Consent Required:
Pronouncement Required:

Your wedding ceremony can take any form you wish as long as it includes both of you consenting verbally to the marriage and a pronouncement of you as a married couple. You do not need to have witnesses, but you both must be present. The minister also must be physically present. Marriage by proxy or marriages with the officiant not physically present are not valid in the state.

How to Get an Ohio Marriage License

Who Picks Up License:
The Couple
Where License is Valid:
Any County in Ohio
Marriage License Pick-Up:
In Person Only
Cost of License:
Varies, approx. $40-$80
Accepted I.D. Types:
Photo ID
Proof of Divorce Required (If Applicable):
Blood Test Required:

To marry in Ohio, you must have a marriage license that you secure from the proper clerk of court office. The license contains various pieces of information about you and your partner. It will include your address; parents' names, including mother’s maiden name; your names; and the name of whoever will perform your ceremony.

You will secure your marriage license at the probate court in your county. One of you must live in the county to get the license. If you are from out-of-state, you must get the document from the county in which you will marry.

Other information you will have to provide when securing the license includes previous marriages, divorces and children. You must swear the information you provide is true and giving a false statement is a criminal act subject to a fine. You also must provide documents to prove your identities, such as a driver’s license, passport or birth certificate.

Once you complete the document, the clerk will issue your license. If you provided Social Security numbers, they will not show on the record or the license.

Applying For a Marriage License in Ohio

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Mandatory Waiting Period:
License Valid For:
60 Days
License Must Be Submitted:
Within 30 Days of Ceremony

Ohio has no waiting period between getting your marriage license and having your ceremony. You can do it on the same day. However, you should note that Ohio marriage licenses are only valid for 60 days after issuance. You will see this date printed on the license.

The wedding officiant has the responsibility to ensure the completed license returns to the issuing court within 30 days of the ceremony. This will ensure the court can record it on time.

Ohio Marriage Requirements

Min. Age of Couple:
Age 18 or Age 17 with Judicial Consent
Not Required
Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
Second Cousins
Marriage Equality:

Ohio law used to limit marriage to one man and one woman, but with federal law changes, the state now allows same-sex marriages. However, it does limit marriage to those who are not currently in another marriage and not more closely related than second cousins. Couples must also be at least 18 years old for a marriage to be legal.

Minors may marry in the state if they are at least 17 and have juvenile court approval. If only one spouse is 17, then the couple may also seek consent to marry as long as the other person is not over the age of 21.

Finalizing the Union

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

The minister must ensure the marriage license returns to the clerk of court. He or she must also complete the license information, which includes providing his or her name, congregation ("Universal Life Church Ministries"), title ("minister") and address (which should be their own). The court must receive the license within 30 days of the ceremony.

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