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How to Become a Registered Officiant for Weddings in New Orleans

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In New Orleans, an officiant must be a state judge, priest or clergyman to legally perform marriage ceremonies in the state, according to Louisiana Civil Code. Qualified officiants must register with the Department of Health and Hospitals prior to performing ceremonies. However, judges and justices of the peace are not required to register as marriage officiants. Performing wedding ceremonies in the city of New Orleans without following the proper registration procedures is considered a crime.

Become a minister or priest if you are not a judge or justice of the peace. If you are unable to attend seminary or a Bible college, you can receive ordination via an online ordained minister program. Online ordination programs such as the Universal Life Church or the Ministerial Seminary of America allows you to print your own ordination documents as soon as you complete the online program.

Obtain proof of authorization from your church or ministry to perform marriage ceremonies. According to Louisiana Civil Code, An officiant who is not a judge or justice of the peace must be authorized to perform wedding ceremonies by his religion.

Print a New Orleans officiant registration form from the Department of Health and Hospitals website. Unlike other cities in Louisiana, the Department of Health and Hospitals regulates wedding officiants, not the clerk of court. In addition to accessing the form online, prospective officiants can obtain a copy of the form in person at their local department.

Complete the marriage officiant registration form detailing your name, the name and location of your church or ministry, and your personal address. Sign the form in the presence of a notary public and submit the form to the New Orleans vital records office at the address listed on the form. Attach your proof of authorization form to your application.

Wait a few weeks to receive your license and proof of registration from the New Orleans vital records office. The vital records office must verify the information included on your form prior to granting your license.

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