Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to practicing Catholic men in union with the Holy See, who are at least 18 years old. A practicing Catholic is one who lives up to the Commandments of God and the precepts of the Church. Application blanks are available from any member of the Knights of Columbus.

Acceptance of the applicant depends upon a vote of the members of the subordinate council in which he is making application.

All priests and religious brothers having duly made application for membership and participated in the ceremonials become honorary life members of the Order and are exempt from payment of dues.

Application for membership must be made through the council in the community nearest the applicant's place of residence. Interested prospects without a permanent domicile, such as men temporarily away from home through duty in the armed forces, must make application through their home-town council.

If favorably voted upon, the applicant becomes a member by initiation in what is known as the Admission Degree. He subsequently is advanced through the Formation Degree to the point in membership where he is entitled to wear the emblem of the Knights of Columbus by initiation in the Knighthood Degree.