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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I obtain a duplicate license if I lose my minister license?
    • No. If you lose your minister license, you must complete a new application, submit a copy of your credentials and pay a $10.00 filing fee. A new license will be issued.
  • If my name changes must I obtain a new minister license?
    • No, please provide a letter/statement requesting that your name be changed in our system.  The document must state your old name and your new name.  A new license will be issued, but no fee is required.
  • If I leave my religious society/congregation and become affiliated as an ordained minister with a new religious society or congregation, must I obtain a new license?
    • Yes.  You must complete a new application, submit a copy of your credentials and pay a $10.00 filing fee.  A new license will be issued. 
  • Are any documents required to maintain an active license with the Secretary of State?
    • No.  The license issued by the Secretary of State will remain active unless a document is presented to state the minister is no longer an ordained minister licensed to solemnize marriages.  This license is not valid if the minister’s name changes or if the minister becomes affiliated with a new religious society or congregation. 
  • What type of document can be submitted as the required credentials?
    • The applicant must submit a copy of the minister’s credentials issued from the religious society or congregation. Credentials may come in the form of an official certificate or letter on proper letterhead from the religious society or congregation. The credentials must state the applicant is regularly ordained or a licensed minister of the religious society or congregation. A certificate marked as an “unofficial” copy may not be submitted with the minister license application.
  • Does your office accept credentials and/or applications from out of state?
    • Yes.  Please include current credentials from the state that issued the documents.
  • How do I start my own church?
    • For information on forming a business or nonprofit organization, please contact our Business Services division at (877) SOS-OHIO.
  • How do I update my address with your office?        
    • To change your address, please send in a letter with the old address and the new address with your signature noting the type of request. 
  • What should I do if I just performed a wedding, but I was not aware that I needed a license in the state of Ohio?
    • Contact the Probate Court where the Marriage License is filed for more information.

Please note: This office does not assign an audit number to the minister license.  While this was done in the past, the practice has been discontinued.  If a marriage license requests similar information, the Probate Court can perform a search of our records on this website.

If you have any other questions, please contact the Ohio Secretary of State at (614) 466-8770.