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State of New Jersey

Department of State

Certified Civil Celebrants

In January 2014, legislation was signed adding “civil celebrant[s] who [are] certified by the Secretary of State to solemnize marriages or civil unions” to the list of individuals that are statutorily empowered to solemnize marriages or civil unions. 

Pursuant to that statute, beginning May 1, 2014, the Department of State will begin accepting applications from prospective civil celebrants.

FAQs for New Civil Celebrant Certification Law

Are Clergy of any Religion Required to be Certified by the State Under the New Civil Celebrant Certification Law?
No. The Law specifically states that every member of the clergy of every religion is authorized to continue to solemnize marriages or civil unions without having to be a certified civil celebrant under the new law.

What About Judges, Mayors, County Clerks and Others who have Traditionally Solemnized Marriages or Civil Unions?
They are also permitted to continue to carry out their traditional role in solemnizing marriages or civil unions without having to be a certified civil celebrant. A complete list of those officials who do not have to become certified civil celebrants is set forth at N.J.S.A. 37:1-13.a.

How Does a Person Become a Certified Civil Celebrant?
A civil celebrant may be certified to solemnize marriages or civil unions if they submit the required application. The application is available above on this page.

Among the requirements set forth in the application is an applicant must be at least 18 years of age and has graduated from a secondary school of New Jersey or another state; and has completed a civil celebrant course meeting the requirements set forth in the application.

How Much Does it Cost to Apply to Become a Certified Civil Celebrant?
The application and processing fee to be become a certified civil celebrant is $55.

When Does the New Law Take Effect?
May 1, 2014.

 

For additional questions, please call 609-292-4302.