Requirements for the Minister
- Min. Age of Minister:
- Age 18
- Not Required
- Document(s) Required:
- Varies by County
- Online Ordination Recognized:
- Relevant Office of Registration:
- Vital Records Office
- Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
- After Ceremony
- Minister I.D. # Issued:
Ministers who are officiating weddings in Alaska must be at least 18 years of age, which is also the age requirement to be ordained online with the Universal Life Church. The residency, religious affiliation, race, and gender do not affect the minister’s ability to officiate.
The first thing a minister who is planning to officiate in Alaska should do is contact the office issuing marriage licenses. Make an inquiry with that office if they will need anything from the minister before performing a wedding. They may want to see some form of paperwork or documentation, so we always recommend that at minimum the officiant have a copy of the ministry license on hand. Most ULC ministers performing weddings in Alaska elect to order the Classic Wedding Package for this purpose.
AS 25.05.261 Who may solemnize.
(a) Marriages may be solemnized
(1) by a minister, priest, or rabbi of any church or congregation in the state, or by a commissioned officer of the Salvation Army, or by the principal officer or elder of recognized churches or congregations that traditionally do not have regular ministers, priests, or rabbis, anywhere within the state; (2) by a marriage commissioner or judicial officer of the state anywhere within the jurisdiction of the commissioner or officer; (3) before or in any religious organization or congregation according to the established ritual or form commonly practiced in the organization or congregation; or (4) by an individual holding an elective public office in the state.
(b) This section may not be construed to waive the requirements for obtaining a marriage license.
(c) Nothing in this section creates or implies a duty or obligation on a person authorized to solemnize a marriage under (a)(1), (3), or (4) of this section to solemnize any marriage.
Wedding Ceremony Requirements
- Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
- Minister Required to be Present:
The minister, couple, and two witnesses must be present for the ceremony in Alaska. They are required to be physically present and to sign the marriage license after the ceremony takes place. Alaska does not allow marriages by proxy.
As far as the wording of the ceremony, that can be entirely customized to the preferences of the couple. The legally required portion is the “I do’s”, also known as the consent to marry. This will make sure the wedding is legally binding and meets the requirements of the law in Alaska.
AS 25.05.301 Form of solemnization.
In the solemnization of marriage no particular form is required except that the parties shall assent or declare in the presence of each other and the person solemnizing the marriage and in the presence of at least two competent witnesses that they take each other to be husband and wife. A competent witness for this purpose is a person of sound mind capable of understanding the seriousness of the ceremony. At the time of the ceremony, the person solemnizing the marriage shall complete the certification on the original marriage certificate. The person solemnizing the marriage and the two attending witnesses shall sign the original marriage certificate and the necessary copies.
Marriage License Requirements
- Min. Age of Witnesses:
- Not Applicable
- Couple's Consent Required:
- Pronouncement Required:
The members of the couple may go in person to submit the application and pick up the marriage license, or they can mail in the application. They have the option of adding in extra money with the mail in option to have the document expedited back to them.
The couple will be asked to show a standard government issued I.D. and pay the $60 fee to obtain the marriage license in Alaska. If either of the couple has had a divorce finalized within 60 days they will also be asked to provide an official copy of the divorce decree.
States no longer require blood tests from the couple in order to obtain the marriage license.
AS 25.05.121 Marriage License.
The marriage license issued by a licensing officer in this state authorizes the marriage ceremony to be performed anywhere in the state. The license shall be directed "to any person authorized by the laws of this state to solemnize marriage," and shall authorize that person to solemnize marriage between the parties identified by the license within three months of the date of the license. If either party is not of legal age for marriage, that party's age and the fact of the consent of the parents or guardian of the underaged party shall be stated. If either party has previously been married, the number of previous marriages shall be stated. The registrar may require other matter necessary to identify the parties to be included in the license. The issuance of a license does not remove or dispense with any legal disability, impediment, or prohibition rendering marriage between the parties illegal, and a statement to that effect shall be included in the license.
AS 25.05.091 Application for license; disclosure for child support purposes.
(a) One of the contracting parties to a prospective marriage shall, at least three days before the time of issuance, file with the licensing officer written, verbal, or telegraphic application for a license. Before issuance of the license, each contracting party shall make a statement under oath that the contemplated marriage meets the requirements of law, giving the names, relationship if any, residence, occupation, and age of each party; naming guardians of any party under the legal age for marriage; and describing any prior marriage of either party, and the manner of dissolution of it. This statement may be made and executed before a notary public or postmaster who shall certify it to the licensing officer.
Marriage License Facts
- ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
- Mandatory Waiting Period:
- 3 Days
- License Valid For:
- 90 Days
- License Must Be Submitted:
- Within 7 Days of Ceremony
Make sure that the marriage license is for a religious ceremony. Weddings officiated by a ULC minister are always classified as religious, regardless of the beliefs of the couple or in inclusion of religious elements and references in the ceremony. Because the Universal Life Church ordination is what gives the minister the legal authority to perform the ceremony, they are considered “religious” ceremonies.
There is a mandatory 3 day waiting period between applying and receiving the marriage license. After it is issued, the license is valid for a ceremony that takes place within 90 days.
Once the wedding is solemnized and the signatures of all parties are added to the document, it must be returned to the office that issued it within 7 days.
AS 18.50.270 Marriage registration.
(a) A certificate of marriage for each marriage performed in the state shall be filed with the local registrar of vital statistics of the registration district in which the marriage was performed within seven days of the marriage.
(b) The official who issues the marriage license shall prepare the certificate of marriage on forms prescribed and furnished by the bureau, as specified elsewhere in the statutes and in regulations adopted under this chapter.
(c) A person who performs a marriage shall complete the forms as specified elsewhere in the statutes or in regulations adopted under this chapter, and shall file the original certificate of marriage with the local registrar.
AS 25.05.121 Marriage license.
The marriage license issued by a licensing officer in this state authorizes the marriage ceremony to be performed anywhere in the state. The license shall be directed “to any person authorized by the laws of this state to solemnize marriage,” and shall authorize that person to solemnize marriage between the parties identified by the license within three months of the date of the license. If either party is not of legal age for marriage, that party’s age and the fact of the consent of the parents or guardian of the underaged party shall be stated. If either party has previously been married, the number of previous marriages shall be stated. The registrar may require other matter necessary to identify the parties to be included in the license. The issuance of a license does not remove or dispense with any legal disability, impediment, or prohibition rendering marriage between the parties illegal, and a statement to that effect shall be included in the license. http://www.akleg.gov/basis/statutes.asp#25.05.121
AS 25.05.091 Application for license; disclosure for child support purposes.
(b) In addition to the requirements of (a) of this section, each contracting party to the prospective marriage shall provide to the licensing officer the party’s social security number, if any. Upon request, the licensing officer shall provide a social security number provided under this subsection to the child support services agency created in AS 25.27.010, or the child support enforcement agency of another state, for child support purposes authorized under law.
Requirements for the Couple
- Min. Age of Couple:
- Age 18 or Age 16 with Guardian Consent
- Not Required
- Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
- First Cousins
- Marriage Equality:
In Alaska, adults 18 years of age or older as well as persons 16 years of age and older with parental consent can legally marry. There are additional exceptions for those 14 years of age wanting to marry if permission is granted by the guardian and by a Superior Court Judge. Cases going before the courts are determined on a case by case basis.
Alaska does not have a residency requirement for either member of the couple. This means neither person needs to be a resident of the state, and they can live anywhere inside or outside of the US and get married in Alaska.
All U.S. states including Alaska honor marriage equality so same-sex couples can legally wed there.
Alaska Stat. § 25.05.171 Persons capable of consenting to marriage: Minimum ages, and consent of parents or guardian.
(a) A person who has reached the age of 16 but is under the age of 18 shall be issued a marriage license if the written consent of the parents, the parent having actual care, custody, and control, or a guardian of the underaged person is filed with the licensing officer issuing the marriage license under AS 25.05.111.
(b) A superior court judge may grant permission for a person who has reached the age of 14 but is under the age of 18 to marry and may order the licensing officer to issue the license if the judge finds, following a hearing at which the parents and minor are given the opportunity to appear and be heard, that the marriage is in the best interest of the minor and that either
(1) the parents have given their consent; or (2) the parents are (A) arbitrarily and capriciously withholding consent; (B) absent or otherwise unaccountable; (C) in disagreement among themselves on the question; or (D) unfit to decide the matter.
- Officiant's Title on Marriage License:
- Church/Ordaining Body:
- Universal Life Church Ministries
- Address of Church:
- Minister's Home Address
Upon the completion of the wedding ceremony there are a couple of items that will need to be completed to make sure the wedding is legally recognized.
In the portion of the marriage license that is for the officiant, the minister must fill it out with the relevant information. If it asks for a title, make sure to put “minister”. In the name field, put the full legal name with no titles. And if it asks for the address of the church the minister should list their personal address of their home ministry in the case that the state needs to reach out to them for any questions. If it asks for the ordaining church, then list Universal Life Church.
Make sure both members of the couple and the two witnesses also sign that document, and that it is filled out fully and completely. Errors may lead to having to get a new license issued. Finally it will need to be returned back to the vital records office within 7 days of the ceremony to be legally filed and recorded with the state.
We always recommend that our ministers keep a personal record of any marriages or any other ceremonies that they perform. This is especially true if there is any exchange of money or a contract for services. Most of all, have a wonderful day and enjoy celebrating a day filled with love!