Officiant Survey – JP Appointment Process

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In 2022, the Justice of the Peace Association released a survey to support its research on the qualifications of civil officiants and the way they are appointed. One hundred seventy-eight people answered our survey.

Minimum Qualifications

Only five percent of survey respondents thought that marriage officiants should not have any minimum qualifications to perform a marriage ceremony. All others thought officiants should meet certain qualifications.

  • 86% think officiants should take an oath of office.
  • 79% want a criminal background check or other means to verify the officiant is of good character.
  • 63% believe training is needed before becoming an officiant.
  • 46% suggest personal references.
  • 29% said officiants should submit their resume.

Marriage officiants believe there should be minimum qualifications to officiate a marriageTraining for Officiants

As referenced in the chart above, only 63% of survey respondents indicated that they thought training should be a requirement to perform marriages. Despite this, once presented with possible training topics, 95% were able to identify training topics that they endorsed.

  • 85% of officiants think training on the legal procedures for performing marriages should be required.
  • 73% think how to perform a ceremony should be required.
  • 56% want trafficking training.
  • 54% want cultural diversity training.
  • 47% want child marriage training
  • 42% want COVID-19 safety protocols
  • 28% want public speaking training for officiants.

Marriage officiants believe they should complete training before being authorized to perform marriages

Respondents’ Authorization

Ninety percent of the survey respondents were civil marriage officiants. They were either a JP from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire or Vermont. Or, they were a notary public from Maine or Florida. Civil officiants want to see requirements to perform marriages

Respondents by State

Additional survey findings are forthcoming, along with JPus’ white paper about the JP appointment process in Connecticut.

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