Wedding Ceremony Requirements
- Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
- Minister Required to be Present:
The state of Minnesota requires no particular form, rules or customs for any wedding ceremony to be deemed legal and binding. That being said, both parties must consent to taking the other as husband, wife or spouse, a declaration that must be made before an authorized minister and two witnesses over the age of 16. Only then will the marriage be officially solemnized in the eyes of the state.
Minn. Stat. § 517.09 SOLEMNIZATION.
Subdivision 1.General. No particular form is required to solemnize a civil marriage, except: the parties shall declare in the presence of a person authorized to solemnize civil marriages and two attending witnesses that each takes the other as husband, wife, or spouse; or the civil marriage shall be solemnized in a manner provided by section 517.18.
Minn. Stat. § 517.10 CERTIFICATE; WITNESSES.
The person solemnizing a civil marriage shall prepare and sign a certificate. The certificate shall contain the full names of the parties before and after the civil marriage, the birth dates of the parties, and county and state of residences of the parties and the date and place of the civil marriage. The certificate shall also contain the signatures of at least two of the witnesses present at the civil marriage who shall be at least 16 years of age. The person solemnizing the civil marriage shall immediately make a record of such civil marriage, and file such certificate with the local registrar of the county in which the license was issued within five days after the ceremony. The local registrar shall record such certificate in the county civil marriage records.
Requirements for the Couple
- Min. Age of Couple:
- Age 18 or Age 16 with Guardian Consent
- Not Required
- Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
- Second Cousins
- Marriage Equality:
Only consenting couples 18 years or older are allowed to get married in Minnesota. Minors aged 16 and 17 will require the consent of a parent or legal guardian.
Minnesota does not require that any person wishing to marry actually be a resident of either the state or country, and federally enforced marriage equality laws enacted in 2013 means LGBTQ couples across the country are legally allowed to wed in the state. Minnesota does not tolerate weddings between relatives closer than second cousins.
Requirements for the Minister
- Min. Age of Minister:
- Age 18
- Not Required
- Document(s) Required:
- Ordination Credential
- Online Ordination Recognized:
- Relevant Office of Registration:
- Vital Statistics Office
- Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
- Before the Ceremony
- Minister I.D. # Issued:
Any recognized minister or member of a religious organization looking to perform a wedding in Minnesota will be required to file their ordination credentials with the Vital Statistics Office before the ceremony takes place.
Remember that all ministers ordained online by the Universal Life Church must be at least 18 years old, thus rendering them religious actors capable of solemnizing marriages in the state of Minnesota, regardless of their own state or country of residence, their declared gender or personal belief systems. ULC ministers in Minnesota often elect to order the Classic Wedding Package, which includes official documentation from the church, should it be required.
Minn. Stat. § 517.05 CREDENTIALS OF MINISTER.
Ministers of any religious denomination, before they are authorized to solemnize a civil 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 civil marriage granted by a minister.
Marriage License Facts
- ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
- Mandatory Waiting Period:
- One Day
- License Valid For:
- 6 Months
- License Must Be Submitted:
- Within 5 Days of Ceremony
Once the local registrar issues the license, the couple must wait at least 24 hours before any wedding ceremony can take place, provided neither have a felony conviction for a crime committed on or after August 1, 2000. Either party who admits to having a felony conviction over that same time period and who is requesting a name change will be forced to wait 30 days before any wedding ceremony can be performed.
Marriage licenses issued in Minnesota are valid for six months. Any marriage that goes unsolemnized due to illness or other circumstances may be surrendered to the local registrar for cancellation. A new license shall then be issued without any added fee.
Any local registrar who knowingly issues or signs a civil marriage license in any manner contrary to these rules shall pay to the parties aggrieved a fine of up to $1,000.
Minn. Stat. § 517.08 APPLICATION FOR LICENSE.
Subdivision 1. [Renumbered subds 1a and 1b]
Subd. 1b.Term of license; fee; premarital education. (a) The local registrar shall examine upon oath the parties applying for a license relative to the legality of the contemplated civil marriage. If one party is unable to appear in person, the party appearing may complete the absent applicant's information. The local registrar shall provide a copy of the civil marriage application to the party who is unable to appear, who must verify the accuracy of the appearing party's information in a notarized statement. The civil marriage license must not be released until the verification statement has been received by the local registrar. If the local registrar is satisfied that there is no legal impediment to it, including the restriction contained in section 259.13, the local registrar shall issue the license, containing the full names of the parties before and after the civil marriage, and county and state of residence, with the county seal attached, and make a record of the date of issuance. The license shall be valid for a period of six months.
Marriage License Requirements
Minnesota law requires that all couples looking to get married present themselves, in person, before a local registrar in the county of their choosing. If one member cannot be present, the other can fill in the application for them, although the local registrar will have to receive their notarized approval before issuing the license.
The written application provided must include both individuals’ full names and sex, home addresses, ages and social security numbers. Persons previously married must also include their married name, as well as the date, place and court in which the marriage was dissolved, or the spouse deceased. Minors will need to include the names and addresses of parents or guardians, and all applicants must divulge if and how they are related, and whether or not either has been convicted of a felony in either Minnesota or another state, in which case taking on any name other than the one they were convicted with without the proper checks shall be considered a gross misdemeanor.
Couples will then need to pay the $115 fee for the marriage license, except if they can prove they’ve completed at least 12 hours of premarital education by submitting a sworn statement that is either notarized or marked with a church seal from the person who provided such courses, in which case the fee drops to $40!
Minn. Stat. § 517.08 APPLICATION FOR LICENSE.
Subdivision 1. [Renumbered subds 1a and 1b]
Subd. 1a.Form. Application for a civil marriage license shall be made by both of the parties upon a form provided for the purpose and shall contain the following information:
(1) the full names of the parties and the sex of each party;
(2) their post office addresses and county and state of residence;
(3) their full ages;
(4) if either party has previously been married, the party's married name, and the date, place and court in which the civil marriage was dissolved or annulled or the date and place of death of the former spouse;
(5) if either party is a minor, the name and address of the minor's parents or guardian;
(6) whether the parties are related to each other, and, if so, their relationship;
(7) the address of the parties after the civil marriage is entered into to which the local registrar shall send a certified copy of the civil marriage certificate;
(8) the full names the parties will have after the civil marriage is entered into and the parties' Social Security numbers. The Social Security numbers must be collected for the application but must not appear on the civil marriage license. If a party listed on a civil marriage application does not have a Social Security number, the party must certify on the application, or a supplement to the application, that the party does not have a Social Security number;
(9) if one or both of the parties to the civil marriage license has a felony conviction under Minnesota law or the law of another state or federal jurisdiction, the parties shall provide to the county proof of service upon the prosecuting authority and, if applicable, the attorney general, as required by section 259.13; and
(10) notice that a party who has a felony conviction under Minnesota law or the law of another state or federal jurisdiction may not use a different name after a civil marriage except as authorized by section 259.13, and that doing so is a gross misdemeanor.
Subd. 1b.Term of license; fee; premarital education. (a) The local registrar shall examine upon oath the parties applying for a license relative to the legality of the contemplated civil marriage. If one party is unable to appear in person, the party appearing may complete the absent applicant's information. The local registrar shall provide a copy of the civil marriage application to the party who is unable to appear, who must verify the accuracy of the appearing party's information in a notarized statement. The civil marriage license must not be released until the verification statement has been received by the local registrar. If the local registrar is satisfied that there is no legal impediment to it, including the restriction contained in section 259.13, the local registrar shall issue the license, containing the full names of the parties before and after the civil marriage, and county and state of residence, with the county seal attached, and make a record of the date of issuance. The license shall be valid for a period of six months. Except as provided in paragraph (b), the local registrar shall collect from the applicant a fee of $115 for administering the oath, issuing, recording, and filing all papers required, and preparing and transmitting to the state registrar of vital records the reports of civil marriage required by this section. If the license should not be used within the period of six months due to illness or other extenuating circumstances, it may be surrendered to the local registrar for cancellation, and in that case a new license shall issue upon request of the parties of the original license without fee. A local registrar who knowingly issues or signs a civil marriage license in any manner other than as provided in this section shall pay to the parties aggrieved an amount not to exceed $1,000.
(b) The civil marriage license fee for parties who have completed at least 12 hours of premarital education is $40. In order to qualify for the reduced license fee, the parties must submit at the time of applying for the civil marriage license a statement that is signed, dated, and notarized or marked with a church seal from the person who provided the premarital education on their letterhead confirming that it was received. The premarital education must be provided by a licensed or ordained minister or the minister's designee, a person authorized to solemnize civil marriages under section 517.18, or a person authorized to practice marriage and family therapy under section 148B.33. The education must include the use of a premarital inventory and the teaching of communication and conflict management skills.
- Officiant's Title on Marriage License:
- Church/Ordaining Body:
- Universal Life Church Ministries
- Address of Church:
- Minister's Home Address
It is the job of the person solemnizing the marriage to also prepare and sign the marriage certificate. It must contain the full names of the parties before and after the wedding, their birthdates and addresses, as well as the date and place of the wedding. The signatures of the two witnesses must also be included, as well as the officiant’s own name, title, ordaining body (if applicable) and home address.
The officiant must then file that certificate with the same local registrar that issued the original marriage license, no later than five days after the ceremony.