Ohio Marriage Laws


This information is taken directly from the Ohio Revised Code on the Ohio Secretary of State's official online resource. It is important that the person who marries you is licensed to do so by the State of Ohio. Licensed Ministers are required to provide proof of their authority to perform marriages. Be sure to ask to see it.
Officiate MUST also see your Wedding License before the ceremony. If you forget your Marriage License the wedding ceremony cannot be performed.

Solemnization of Marriage

3     3101.01 Persons who may be joined in marriage; minor to obtain consent.
 

Male persons of the age of eighteen years, and female persons of the age of sixteen years, not nearer of kin than second cousins, and not having a husband or wife living, may be joined in marriage. A minor must first obtain the consent of the minor's parents, surviving parent, parent who is designated the residential parent and legal custodian of the child by a court of competent jurisdiction, guardian, or any one of the following who has been awarded permanent custody of the minor by a court exercising juvenile jurisdiction:
 

(A) An adult person;
 

(B) The department of job and family services or any child welfare organization certified by such department;
 

(C) A public children services agency.
 

A minor shall not be required to obtain the consent of a parent who resides in a foreign country, has neglected or abandoned such minor for a period of one year or longer immediately preceding the application for a marriage license, has been adjudged incompetent, is an inmate of a state mental or correctional institution, has been permanently deprived of parental rights and responsibilities for the care of the child and the right to have the child live with the parent and to be the legal custodian of the child by a court exercising juvenile jurisdiction, or has been deprived of parental rights and responsibilities for the care of the child and the right to have the child live with the parent and to be the legal custodian of the child by the appointment of a guardian of the person of the minor by the probate court or by any other court of competent jurisdiction.
 

    3101.06 Denial of license.
 

No marriage license shall be granted when either of the applicants is under the influence of an intoxicating liquor or controlled substance or is infected with syphilis in a form that is communicable or likely to become communicable.

3    3101.8 Who May Solemnize

An ordained or licensed minister of any religious society or congregation within this state, (state) licensed to perform marriages, a judge of a county court anywhere in the state, an authorized judge of a municipal court anywhere in the state. A probate judge in their county, the mayor of a municipal corporation in any county in which such municipal corporation wholly or partially lies, the superintendent of the state school for the deaf, or any religious society, in conformity with the rules and regulations of its church, may join together as husband and wife any persons not prohibited by law.

3101.09 Prohibition

No person, except those legally authorized, shall attempt to solemnize a marriage, and no marriage shall be solemnized without the issuance of a license.

3101.10 License to solemnize Marriages

A minister upon producing to the secretary of state, credentials of his being a regularly ordained or licensed minister of any religious society or congregation, shall be entitled to receive from the secretary of state a license authorizing him to solemnize marriages in this state so long as he continues as a regular minister in such society or congregation. A minister shall produce for inspection his license to solemnize marriages upon demand of any party to a marriage at which he officiates or proposes to officiate or upon demand of any probate judge.

Section 3 (effective June 4, 1976)

All ministers who are licensed or authorized to solemnize marriages in any county on the effective date of this act are deemed licensed with the secretary of state as provided in sections 111.16, 3101.10, 3101.11, and 3101.12 of the Revised Code as amended by this act.

3101.11 Recording with the Secretary of State

The secretary of state shall enter the name of a minister licensed to solemnize marriages upon a record kept in the office of the secretary of state.

3101.12 Record and License as evidence of authority

When the name of a minister licensed to solemnize marriages is entered upon the record by the secretary of state, such record and the license issued under section 3101.10 of the Revised Code shall be evidence that such minister is authorized to solemnize marriages in this state.

3101.13 Record of Marriage

A certificate of every marriage solemnized shall be transmitted by the authorized person solemnizing the marriage, within 30 days after the solemnization, to the probate judge of the county where the marriage license was issued. All such certificates filed with the judge, shall be consecutively numbered and recorded in the order in which they are received.

Miscellaneous Provisions

3101.99 Penalties

   (B) Whoever violates section 3101.09 of the Revised Code shall be fined five hundred dollars and imprisoned not more than six months.

     (C)  Whoever violated section 3101.13 of the Revised Code shall be fined not more than fifty dollars.

Back to Planning Your Ceremony