Oregon Marriage Laws

Oregon, land of deep lakes, stunning gorges, and beautiful beaches, sees its fair share of wedding ceremonies each year. And yet the Beaver State is not without potential pitfalls when it comes to adherence to its marriage laws, presenting would-be couples and ministers with certain legal and administrative twists and turns.

So while you're planning that Oregon dream, wedding please take some time to read through these important specificities compiled by the Universal Life Church. Referenced alongside the corresponding legal code, it will go a long way in making sure your wedding is both fully legitimate and hassle-free.

Requirements for the Minister

Min. Age of Minister:
Age 18
Residency:
Not Required
Document(s) Required:
Varies by County
Online Ordination Recognized:
Yes
Relevant Office of Registration:
County Clerk
Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
After the Ceremony
Minister I.D. # Issued:
No

The state of Oregon allows any judicial officer, county clerk, clergyperson or secular celebrant to solemnize a marriage, provided they are at least 18 years old. This includes ministers ordained online by the Universal Life Church and deemed authorized religious “actors’, without prejudice to their residence, gender or personal religious beliefs. Cover your bases by placing an order for the Classic Wedding Package, which has all necessary documentation, including your legal proof of ordination.

Wedding Ceremony Requirements

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
No
Minister Required to be Present:
Yes

The state of Oregon shows no desire to delve into the minutiae of wedding planning, leaving it to couples to determine the form and substance of any ceremony according to established rituals; provided, of course, that it takes place in the physical presence of the couple, the minister and at least two witnesses. That being said, both members of the couple must at some point declare that they take each other to be spouses in a marriage, and have that consent pronounced by the minister.

Marriage License Requirements

Min. Age of Witnesses:
None
Couple's Consent Required:
Yes
Pronouncement Required:
Yes

Couples must present themselves before a county clerk, in person, with signed application forms provided by the State Registrar of the Center for Health Statistics, filled out to include both party’s social security numbers, ages, places of birth, sexes, occupations, residences and previous marital status, as well as the names they will carry after marriage.

Every marriage license granted in Oregon will state that neither individual entering in the marriage will become the property of the other, allowing each to live in a union free from violence and abuse. Applicants are legally forbidden from intentionally making false claims in any section of the application.

There is a $60 fee for applying, $25 of which shall be credited directly from the clerk to the state’s Domestic Violence Fund.

Marriage License Facts

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Religious
Mandatory Waiting Period:
3 Days
License Valid For:
60 Days
License Must Be Submitted:
Within 5 Days of Ceremony

Once satisfied with the veracity of the submitted applications, the county clerk will issue a marriage license, which will go into effect following a mandated three-day waiting period. Couples who can prove sufficient cause to a county or circuit court judge may have that waiting period waived.

All licenses issued in Oregon are valid for 60 days, in any county in the state. They must be returned to the same county clerk, along with completed marriage certificates and original applications, by the minister who solemnizes the marriage.

Requirements for the Couple

Min. Age of Couple:
Age 18 or Age 17 with Guardian Consent
Residency:
Not Required
Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
Second Cousins
Marriage Equality:
Yes

No couple under the age of 18 shall be allowed to marry in the state of Oregon, unless both are at least 17 and have filed an affidavit affirming the consent of a parent or legal guardian who are themselves 18 and older. The county clerk is free to demand proof in order to verify an applicant’s age, and even go as far as requiring an affidavit from a relevant third party to satisfy any reasonable doubt they may hold.

Oregon forbids the union of kin closer than second cousins – whether through blood, half blood or adoption – except for first cousins through adoption. No party with a living spouse may apply for a marriage license.

Same sex marriages are legally recognized in the State of Oregon.

Final Steps

Officiant's Title on Marriage License:
Minister
Church/Ordaining Body:
Universal Life Church Ministries
Address of Church:
2720 1st Ave S Seattle, WA 98134

The couple might be happily married, but the minister’s job is not done yet.

The state of Oregon requires that the minister return the original application, marriage license and record of marriage to the same county clerk of issuance, making sure to list their title and the name of the relevant church (Universal Life Church Ministries) along with the organization's address. ULC ministers will list the following address:

2720 1st Ave S

Seattle, WA 98134