Pennsylvania Outline

Pennsylvania Marriage Laws

Congratulations! If you've found yourself at this page it is likely that you are either planning to be married or have been asked to perform a wedding ceremony in Pennsylvania. Ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church have successfully performed thousands of legal marriages in Pennsylvania. The information provided below will walk you through the steps one must follow to become a minister and perform a valid wedding ceremony in the state of Pennsylvania.

Quick Facts
  • ULC Ordination Accepted: Yes*
  • Minister Registration Required: Sometimes
  • Minister's Residency: Irrelevant
  • Minister's Minimum Age: 18
  •  
  • Marriage License Waiting Period: 3 Days
  • Marriage License Valid For: 60 Days
  • Marriage License Return Within: 10 Days

1 How to Become an Ordained Minister in Pennsylvania

If you haven't already, you should get ordained online with the Universal Life Church. Ordination is free and can be completed in just a matter of minutes. Thousands of legally valid marriages are performed by ULC ministers around the world every year. Begin the process by clicking the big blue button below!

2 How to Officiate a Marriage in Pennsylvania

Next, you should contact the office of your local marriage authority (typically your county clerk). Let them know that you are a minister of the Universal Life Church in Seattle, and ask what they will require of you to officiate a legal marriage.

Select your county to quickly generate the contact information for your local marriage authority.



Select a county

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Pennsylvania's Top Wedding Spot

Just outside Philly, the circa-1850 Glen Foerd mansion

3 License to Marry in Pennsylvania

After you've contacted your marriage authority, you should visit our online store to purchase whatever documentation will be required. We typically advise ministers in Pennsylvania to get an Ordination Package and to add on a Letter of Good Standing. While minister registration is not required in the state of Pennsylvania, it has been frequently reported to us by ULC ministers in the area that county clerks will ask for proof of your ordination before accepting any marriage you perform as having been legally solemnized. Additionally, please attempt to leave at least 3 weeks between the date of the wedding ceremony and your order, to ensure that you receive all of your materials in advance.

*It has come to our attention that some county clerks in Pennsylvania have made it a habit to distribute slips of paper calling the ordinations of the Universal Life Church into question when one mentions that they were ordained online. You should know that: 1. government employees like county clerks are prohibited from offering legal advice in this fashion, and 2. Despite these alleged threats, our ministers have successfully performed several marriages in Pennsylvania without issue. Furthermore, a judge in Bucks county in 2008 (after the Universal Life Church collaborated with the ACLU in a lawsuit against the state) found that ordinations from the Universal Life Church were legal and the marriages performed by its ministers valid. This ruling has held strongly, at least, in Bucks County. We are currently working to get stronger affirmations of the validity of ULC ordination on a statewide level. We would encourage you to reach out to us if you encounter any difficulties.

4 How to Perform a Wedding in Pennsylvania

Now that you've done all of the above, you are ready to perform the wedding! Be sure that the couple has picked up their Pennsylvania marriage license from the appropriate office. This license will expire 60 days after it is issued, and there is a mandatory 3-day waiting period between when the couple picks up the marriage license in Pennsylvania and when the ceremony may legally be conducted. The signed license must be returned to the issuing office within 10 days of the ceremony. At the Universal Life Church we receive several calls from wedding officiants in Pennsylvania, after they've received their license to marry by getting ordained online, asking for guidance on how to perform a wedding ceremony. Once the legal matters have been taken care of, officiating a wedding (while a sometimes-daunting task) can be a great deal of fun. We would suggest that new Pennsylvania wedding ministers concerned about the ceremony peruse one of our helpful wedding guides. The minister training section of our website should offer a helpful refresher for more experienced ministers.


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Pennsylvania Marriage Code

Marriage in Pennsylvania is governed by Section 1503 of the Pennsylvania General Statutes. Ministers ordained online by the Universal Life Church have successfully performed thousands of weddings in the state. Below, you will find that we have reproduced the relevant excerpts of this code.
§ 1503. Persons qualified to solemnize marriages.

(a) General rule.--The following are authorized to solemnize marriages between persons that produce a marriage license issued under this part:

(1) A justice, judge or magisterial district judge of this Commonwealth.

(2) A former or retired justice, judge or magisterial district judge of this Commonwealth who is serving as a senior judge or senior magisterial district judge as provided or prescribed by law; or not serving as a senior judge or senior magisterial district judge but meets the following criteria:

(i) has served as a magisterial district judge, judge or justice, whether or not continuously or on the same court, by election or appointment for an aggregate period equaling a full term of office;

(ii) has not been defeated for reelection or retention;

(iii) has not been convicted of, pleaded nolo contendere to or agreed to an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition or other probation without verdict program relative to any misdemeanor or felony offense under the laws of this Commonwealth or an equivalent offense under the laws of the United States or one of its territories or possessions, another state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or a foreign nation;

(iv) has not resigned a judicial commission to avoid having charges filed or to avoid prosecution by Federal, State or local law enforcement agencies or by the Judicial Conduct Board;

(v) has not been removed from office by the Court of Judicial Discipline; and

(vi) is a resident of this Commonwealth.

(3) An active or senior judge or full-time magistrate of the District Courts of the United States for the Eastern, Middle or Western District of Pennsylvania.

(3.1) An active, retired or senior bankruptcy judge of the United States Bankruptcy Courts for the Eastern, Middle or Western District of Pennsylvania who is a resident of this Commonwealth.

(4) An active, retired or senior judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit who is a resident of this Commonwealth.

(5) A mayor of any city or borough of this Commonwealth.

(5.1) A former mayor of a city or borough of this Commonwealth who:

(i) has not been defeated for reelection;

(ii) has not been convicted of, pleaded nolo contendere to or agreed to an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition or other probation without verdict program relative to a misdemeanor or felony offense under the laws of this Commonwealth or an equivalent offense under the laws of the United States or any one of its possessions, another state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or a foreign nation;

(iii) has not resigned the position of mayor to avoid having charges filed or to avoid prosecution by Federal, State or local law enforcement agencies;

(iv) has served as a mayor, whether continuously or not, by election for an aggregate of a full term in office; and

(v) is a resident of this Commonwealth.

(6) A minister, priest or rabbi of any regularly established church or congregation.

(b) Religious organizations.--Every religious society, religious institution or religious organization in this Commonwealth may join persons together in marriage when at least one of the persons is a member of the society, institution or organization, according to the rules and customs of the society, institution or organization.

(c) Marriage license needed to officiate.--No person or religious organization qualified to perform marriages shall officiate at a marriage ceremony without the parties having obtained a marriage license issued under this part.

(June 22, 2000, P.L.443, No.59, eff. imd.; Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days; Dec. 1, 2004, P.L.1777, No.232, eff. 60 days; July 14, 2009, P.L.81, No.18, eff. imd.)

2004 Amendment. See sections 28 and 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability and construction of law.

View the Pennsylvania Statutes on the official state site
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Adams County

117 Baltimore Street, Room 103​
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Phone: (717) 337-9806
Fax: (717) 334-9333
Adams County website »

Allegheny County

437 Grant St # 1700
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Allegheny County website »

Armstrong County

500 E Market Street, Suite 102
Kittanning, Pennsylvania

Phone: (724) 548-3220
Fax: (724) 548-3236
Armstrong County website »

Beaver County

810 Third Street
Beaver, Pennsylvania

Phone: (724) 770-4550
Fax: (724) 728-9810
Beaver County website »

Bedford County

200 South Juliana Street
Bedford, Pennsylvania

Bedford County website »

Berks County

633 Court Street
Reading, Pennsylvania

Berks County website »

Blair County

423 ALLEGHENY STREET
HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pennsylvania

Blair County website »

Bradford County

301 Main Street
Towanda, Pennsylvania

Phone: (570) 265-1702
Fax: (570) 265-1721
Bradford County website »

Bucks County

55 East Court Street, 3rd Floor
Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Phone: (215) 348-6265
Fax: (215) 348-6156
Bucks County website »

Butler County

PO Box 1208
Butler, Pennsylvania

Butler County website »

Cambria County

200 South Center Street
Ebensburg, Pennsylvania

Cambria County website »

Cameron County

78 Main St. 3rd Floor
Bradford, Pennsylvania

Phone: (814) 362-4400
Fax: (814) 362-4405
Cameron County website »

Carbon County

44 Susquehanna St.
Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania

Carbon County website »

Centre County

414 Holmes St., Suite #2
Bellefonte, Pennsylvania

Phone: (814) 355-6724
Fax: (814) 355-8685
Centre County website »

Chester County

201 W Market Street, Suite 2200
West Chester, Pennsylvania

Phone: (610) 344-6335
Fax: (610) 344-6218
Chester County website »

Clarion County

421 Main Street
Clarion, Pennsylvania

Clarion County website »

Clearfield County

1 North Second Street Suite #103
Clearfield, Pennsylvania

Clearfield County website »

Clinton County

230 E Water Street
Lock Haven, Pennsylvania

Clinton County website »

Columbia County

35 W Main Street
Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania

Columbia County website »

Crawford County

903 Diamond Park
Meadville, Pennsylvania

Phone: (814) 333-7442
Fax: (814) 333-7349
Crawford County website »

Cumberland County

1 Courthouse Square, Rm. 102
Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Phone: (717) 240-6345
Fax: (717) 240-6571
Cumberland County website »

Dauphin County

101 Market Street
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Dauphin County website »

Delaware County

201 W. Front Street
Media, Pennsylvania

Phone: (610) 891-4260
Fax: (610) 891-8759
Delaware County website »

Elk County

P.O. Box 448
Ridgway, Pennsylvania

Elk County website »

Erie County

140 W 6th Street
Erie, Pennsylvania

Erie County website »

Fayette County

61 E Main St # 1A
Uniontown, Pennsylvania

Fayette County website »

Forest County

526 Elm Street, #2
Tionesta, Pennsylvania

Phone: (814) 755-3526
Fax: (814) 755-8837
Forest County website »

Franklin County

157 Lincoln Way East
Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

Franklin County website »

Fulton County

201 N 2nd St
Mcconnellsburg, Pennsylvania

Fulton County website »

Greene County

10 East High Street
Waynesburg, Pennsylvania

Greene County website »

Huntingdon County

223 Penn St
Huntingdon, Pennsylvania

Huntingdon County website »

Indiana County

825 Philadelphia St # 1
Indiana, Pennsylvania

Phone: (724) 465-3855
Fax: (724) 465-3968
Indiana County website »

Jefferson County

200 Main Street
Brookville, Pennsylvania

Phone: (814) 849-1610
Fax: (814) 849-1677
Jefferson County website »

Juniata County

1 North Main Street
Mifflintown, Pennsylvania

Phone: (717) 436-7709
Fax: (717) 436-7713
Juniata County website »

Lackawanna County

507 Linden St # 400
Scranton, Pennsylvania

Lackawanna County website »

Lancaster County

50 N. Duke St.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster County website »

Lawrence County

430 Court Street
New Castle, Pennsylvania

Lawrence County website »

Lebanon County

400 South 8th Street #105
Lebanon, Pennsylvania

Phone: (717) 228-4415
Fax: (717) 228-4460
Lebanon County website »

Lehigh County

455 West Hamilton Street, Room 123.5
Allentown, Pennsylvania

Lehigh County website »

Luzerne County

200 N. River Street
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

Phone: (570) 825-1668
Fax: (570) 970-4580
Luzerne County website »

Lycoming County

48 West Third Street, 1st floor
Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Phone: (570) 327-2263
Fax: (570) 327-6790
Lycoming County website »

McKean County

500 W. Main Street
Smethport, Pennsylvania

McKean County website »

Mercer County

112 Mercer County Courthouse
Mercer, Pennsylvania

Phone: (724) 662-3800
Fax: (724) 662-1604
Mercer County website »

Mifflin County

20 N. Wayne St.
Lewistown, Pennsylvania

Phone: (717) 242-1449
Fax: (717) 248-2503
Mifflin County website »

Monroe County

610 Monroe Street, Room 327
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

Monroe County website »

Montgomery County

P.O. Box 311
Norristown, Pennsylvania

Montgomery County website »

Montour County

29 Mill Street
Danville, Pennsylvania

Phone: (570) 271-3010
Fax: (570) 271-3089
Montour County website »

Northampton County

669 Washington Street
Easton, Pennsylvania

Northampton County website »

Northumberland County

201 Market Street, 1st Floor
Sunbury, Pennsylvania

Phone: (570) 988-4143
Fax: (570) 988-4141
Northumberland County website »

Perry County

2 East Main Street, P.O. Box 223
New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania

Phone: (717) 582-2131
Fax: (717) 582-5149
Perry County website »

Philadelphia County

Room 415 City Hall
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia County website »

Pike County

412 Broad Street
Milford, Pennsylvania

Pike County website »

Potter County

1 East Second Street, Room 23
Coudersport, Pennsylvania

Phone: (814) 274-9740
Fax: (814) 274-3361
Potter County website »

Schuylkill County

401 N 2nd Street 1st Floor
Pottsville, Pennsylvania

Phone: (570) 628-1382
Fax: (570) 628-1384
Schuylkill County website »

Snyder County

9 West Market Street, PO Box 217
Middleburg, Pennsylvania

Phone: (570) 837-4208
Fax: (570) 837-4282
Snyder County website »

Somerset County

111 E. Union Street, Suite 145
Somerset, Pennsylvania

Somerset County website »

Sullivan County

245 Muncy Street, P.O. Box 157
Laporte, Pennsylvania

Phone: (570) 946-7351
Fax: (570) 946-7105
Sullivan County website »

Susquehanna County

105 Maple Street, PO Box 218
Montrose, Pennsylvania

Phone: (570) 278-4600
Fax: (570) 278-2963
Susquehanna County website »

Tioga County

118 Main Street
Wellsboro, Pennsylvania

Tioga County website »

Union County

103 S. Second Street
Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

Phone: (570) 524-8751
Fax: (570) 524-8628
Union County website »

Venango County

1174 Elk Street, PO Box 831
Franklin, Pennsylvania

Venango County website »

Warren County

204 4th Avenue
Warren, Pennsylvania

Warren County website »

Washington County

1 South Main Street
Washington, Pennsylvania

Washington County website »

Wayne County

924 Court Street
Honesdale, Pennsylvania

Wayne County website »

Westmoreland County

2 N. Main St., Suite 301
Greensburg, Pennsylvania

Phone: (724) 830-3196
Fax: (724) 850-3976
Westmoreland County website »

Wyoming County

1 Courthouse Square
Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania

Wyoming County website »

York County

45 North George Street
York, Pennsylvania

Phone: (717) 771-9288
Fax: (717) 771-4678
York County website »