Ordination or Ministerial Registration Certificate

Minnesota Statute 517.04 & 517.05 requires that persons who are ordained to perform marriage ceremonies, both Minnesota residents and non-residents, must register their certificate of ordination or license of ministry before performing a marriage ceremony in Minnesota. Once the certificate is registered, marriages may be performed anywhere in the state. There is no expiration date on this registration.

The 2009 legislative session made changes to the marriage statutes effective August 1st, 2009.  If your ordination credentials are already filed please disregard 517.04.  If your credentials have not been filed, the new legislation will require you to be 21.  Please pay close attention to 517.07 in regard to the “Educator’s Statement.”  We don’t want to deny couples their license discount because the Educator’s statement doesn’t meet the new requirements.   Below are excerpts from the statutes that pertain to someone authorized to solemnize marriages. The underlined bolded words are added and the strikethrough bolded words are deleted.  You can view these Minnesota statutes in their entirety at http://www.leg.state.mn.us/. Or you can review HF695/SF548 of the 2009 Legislative Session at the same website.

517.04   Persons authorized to perform marriages.
Marriages may be solemnized throughout the state by an individual who has attained the age of 21 years and is a judge of a court of record, a retired judge of a court of record, a court administrator, a retired court administrator with the approval of the chief judge of the judicial district, a former court commissioner who is employed by the court system or is acting pursuant to an order of the chief judge of the commissioner’s judicial district, the residential school administrators of the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf and the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind, a licensed or ordained minister of any religious denomination, or by any mode recognized in section 517.18.

517.05 Credentials of Minister.
Ministers of any religious denomination, before they are authorized to solemnize a marriage, shall file a copy of their credentials of license or ordination or, if their religious denomination does not issue credentials, authority from the minister’s spiritual assembly,with the local registrar of a county in this state, who shall record the same and give a certificate of filing thereof.  The place where the credentials are recorded shall be endorsed upon and recorded with each certificate of marriage granted by a minister.

To register your Certificate of Ordination or License of Ministry in Beltrami County, you will need the following forms:

 Please provide your address and phone number if registering by mail or fax.  Once received we will send a Confirmation Certificate.

Mail registrations to:
Beltrami County License Center
701 Minnesota Ave NW Ste 100
Bemidji, MN 56601-3177

Register in person at:
Beltrami County Administration Building
License Center, 1st Floor