How to Become an Ordained Minister in South 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 South Dakota

Contact the Register of Deed'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 South Dakota state flower, the Pasque Flower

What Do You Need to Perform a Wedding in South Dakota

Once you've determined what you need, simply log in to your account and order the materials from our online catalog. It's possible that you will be asked to present proof of ordination, and you don't want to be caught off-guard. Because ministers are sometimes required to register in the state of South Carolina, we advise ordering a Ordination Kit and a Letter of Good Standing. Also keep in mind that the couple may like to see your credentials. Please try to place your order well in advance of the wedding to avoid complications.

How to Get a South Dakota Marriage License

Licenses are issued by the Register of Deed's office, and will be picked up by the couple. As a minister, it's your responsibility to understand how marriage licenses work in South Dakota and its individual counties. For example, if the couple plans to get a Yankton County marriage license, you should double-check if there are any rules specific to Yankton County.

In the state of South Dakota, the license is valid for 20 days. There is no waiting period between the time it is picked up, and when the ceremony can be legally performed. Lastly, the signed marriage license must be returned to the issuing office by the expiration date.

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. 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, and witnesses are not required. 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!

South Dakota Marriage Laws

Marriage laws in South Dakota are primarily directed by Chapter 1 of Title 25 of the state code. This section defines persons authorized to perform a marriage in the State of South Dakota, which includes ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church, among other individuals. We've reproduced the relevant portion below:

25-1-30. Persons authorized to solemnize marriages. Marriage may be solemnized by a justice of the Supreme Court, a judge of the circuit court, a magistrate, a mayor, either within or without the corporate limits of the municipality from which the mayor was elected, or any person authorized by a church to solemnize marriages.