Being a marriage celebrants is an important role for the community, as you will be responsible for conducting marriages in accordance with the Marriage Act 1961 (the Act). Along with this authority however comes with a legal responsibility which comes with penalties if they are not complied with.

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Requirements to be a Marriage Celebrant

Under 39C of the Act, it details the three requirements needing to be satisfied before you can be registered as a marriage celebrant in Australia. The three requirements are:

  • You must be 18 years or older;
  • Have obtained all certifications and qualifications needed as made necessary by the Registrar; and
  • You are a fit and proper person to be a marriage celebrate.

Once these three requirements have been met you will be able to register with the Registrar of Marriage Celebrants once you have paid the fee.

Qualifications and certifications needed

To become a fully certified marriage celebrant, you will need to attend the correct training and showcase your knowledge surrounding marriage legislation. The relevant training that needs to be completed is a Certificate IV in Celebrancy which can be obtained at many registered training organisations. You will then be tested on your knowledge of marriages and its process and procedures.

Be a fit and proper person

The Act stipulates many determining factors for the Registrar to decide whether you are a fit and proper person once you have completed your training. Some of these factors include:

  • Whether you have committed a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment for one year or longer in Australia;
    Whether you appear committed to the role;
  • Whether there is any conflict of interest that may arise;
  • Whether your position as a marriage celebrate will result in a benefit for business or other interests; and
  • Whether you are well respected in the community.

Fees and Obligations

When deciding whether you want to become an official marriage celebrant, it’s important to know the costs involved and what is expected of you. An application to the Registrar incurs a $600 fee, and if successful, you will be required to pay an annual registration charge of $240 paid each July.

There is two exceptions from having to pay the $600 application fee that can be applicable, in circumstances where:

  • You live in a very remote area; or
  • Have no other marriage celebrants in the area or in the same postcode.

There is a $30 non refundable fee that must be paid in order to seek an exception. As well as this, there are obligations you will be required to satisfy each year, mainly completing five hours of ongoing professional development each year as well as compliance with the marriage celebrant Code of Conduct.

What’s Next?

If you are interested in becoming a marriage celebrant, you may require an Australian Business Number (ABN) if you will be carrying on an enterprise, and especially if you are going to be invoicing customers.

Luckily, LawPath can provide an easy solution to acquiring your ABN through our convenient ABN registration service allowing you to complete your application in under 5 minutes. Once submitted, we will accelerate your application and email you with a new ABN within 24 hours. It is important to check if you are eligible and to determine what business structure is the most suitable for your business before applying.

Unsure what’s next? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800 LAWPATH to learn more about customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from our network of 600+ expert lawyers or to get answers to your legal questions.

Logan Tennyson

Logan is a Paralegal working in our content team, which aims to provide free legal guides to facilitate public access to legal resources. With a passion for commercial and media law, his research explores how the law is adapting to emerging technologies and how this affects consumers and businesses alike.