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Most ordination companies and churches that offer ordination include official registration as a part of the ordination processes. These companies will provide you with various documents proving you are an ordained minister of your chosen faith either free, or they may charge you the cost of processing those materials. If you are asked if your ordination is “registered” you can simply show either your letter of good standing or your letter of communion to prove your status. Outside of this, some state and local municipalities may require that you register with them prior to allowing you to perform legal marriages, civil unions or conducting other religious services.
Visit the local county courthouse where you plan on either performing marriages or conducting religious services. You will need to seek either the tax assessor desk or the county clerk desk.
Inform the representative you are an ordained minister and wish to register in that county. The representative will provide you with instructions and forms to fill out. You will need to provide your certificate of ordination and photo ID at a minimum. Some local county offices may require a letter of good standing that is dated in the last 12 months or a letter of communion proving you are an active member of a church. To register an actual church, you may also need to show a church charter document, which you can order from your ordination service or church that provided you with ordination.
Fill out any applicable paperwork and pay any applicable fees. Request copies of the confirmation papers the representative will provide to you. You will need to keep these for your records in case there are any discrepancies later.
Provide only documents with original signatures for verification. There will be fewer questions as to the authenticity of the documents especially if you received your ordination from an online service. If you encounter resistance registering your ordination as some counties prefer to not to register ordinations originating online, be prepared to politely provide a phone number the clerk may use for over-the-phone verification.
If you were ordained online, do not show up at the courthouse with only your email confirmation. Email verification is often not enough to complete the registration process.