Here are some tips to help you avoid being scammed and to determine which organization you should use to get ordained online.
* Do not take the information provided on websites regarding the legalities of getting ordained online to perform marriages in specific states as law. Do your homework and check out the state statute yourself. You can usually find the state statute by searching the government site of your state.
* If you are looking for a free ordination, be aware that they generally do not include sending you a certificate for your files. Some sites will send you an email confirming your ordination, this is usually just as valid as an actual certificate. While advertised as “free” you will have to pay for a certificate that is sent to you.
* Again, we recommend that you obtain an actual certificate for your files and that you keep it in a safe place. This is important, especially if you perform weddings. If the organization you get ordained through ever closes its doors, your certificate is the only way you will be able to validate that you were ordained and authorized to perform weddings. This is important if a wedding were ever challenged as to if it was legally performed.
* Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it doesn’t matter which site you use. It does matter. You want your ordination to be honored and recognized and your want the authority it grants to you to be legitimate.
* Email them. See if someone emails back. Give them a few days to email you back, but see if they really get back to you. This will be representative of how easy or difficult it will be to get in touch with the organization if you need support at a later date.
* If they do email you back, ask how long they have been in service, how many on- line ordinations they have provided, if they have a physical address, how long they will keep you as an ordained minister on their database, and what other services they provide.
* If you are of a particular denomination, ask them if they share or support your beliefs or if you can get your choice of titles on your minister’s ordination, such as Reverend, Pastor, Minister, etc.
* Find out if there are any hidden costs such as yearly renewal fees to retain your online ordination in their database.
* Ask if they will validate your ordination should someone call or email to confirm. (Remember, someone emailing to confirm your online ordination will have the same experience you have had when you try to contact the organization.)