Registration of Ministers Authorized to Perform Marriages
In 2001, the West Virginia Legislature adopted S. B. 59, establishing provisions for the registration of religious representatives to be authorized to perform marriages in any county in West Virginia. These provisions are under West Virginia Code §48-2-402.
Requirements for Registration
Proof of Age
The registrant must be 18 years of age or older, and may show proof using a photocopy of a birth certificate, driver license, passport or military ID.
Proof of Authority
The registrant must be:
- duly authorized to perform marriages by his or her church, synagogue, spiritual assembly or religious organization; and
- in regular communion with that group of which he or she is a member.
The Secretary of State established a registry of all persons authorized to perform marriages. County clerks in the 55 counties forwarded to the Secretary of State the names of persons authorized since 1960 to perform marriages for inclusion in the registry.
Application to be placed on the Statewide Registry of persons authorized to perform marriages in West Virginia to download the form using the Acrobat Reader (see Acrobat Reader Help if you have not used this program before) or e-mail your request for an application form.
- Complete the application form online and print. Be sure the application is properly signed.
- Provide documentation required for proof of age and proof of authority. Proof of authority has be satisfied by providing a photocopy of your license or ordination from your religious organization and having a letter signed by two people stating that you attend church regularly or a letter of good standing from your religious organization.
- Mail or deliver your completed application with a fee of $25 made payable to WV Secretary of State.
State Registry Search
To search the registry, go to Licensee Search and select "Ministers".