Whether you are planning a Las Vegas wedding or getting married somewhere else in Nevada, you need to get a marriage license. To be sure that your big day goes as planned, it's best to get this legal aspect done at least 30 days before your wedding date. Unlike other states, Nevada actually gives you a full year to get married after getting the license.
Since it is such a popular destination wedding location, there are a number of things you need to know about getting married in Nevada and Las Vegas. It's best to check with the county to get the latest information you need.
Most importantly, you'll need to ensure that the person performing the ceremony has legal permission to do so. There are many scammers out there that want to take advantage of happy couples. Choosing the wrong person could put the validity of your marriage in question.
Residency and ID Requirement
You do not have to be a resident of Nevada to get married in the state. In order to get a license, both people must appear at a county clerk's office, though.
You will need valid identification that proves your full name and birth date. Acceptable forms include a valid driver's license, state-issued ID, passport, resident alien card, or military ID. You need to know your social security number, too.
In some counties, if you have a certified or original birth certificate, you can present another document, such as a Social Security card or bank-issued debit card, along with it. If it's a foreign birth certificate, it must be translated into English and notarized.
Non-U.S. citizens are advised to check with their local authorities to ensure they have proper identification prior to applying for a marriage license. There may be other requirements in that country that you'll need to follow for it to be recognized there.
If you were previously married, your divorce must be final. You need to know the date (month, year) of your divorce and the location (city and state) where you were divorced. A copy of the divorce decree is not required.
Covenant Marriage Option
Nevada does not offer a covenant marriage option.
Waiting Period in Nevada
There is no waiting period to get married in Nevada. You can get married as soon as you have the license.
Fees in Nevada
Depending on the county, you can expect to pay about $60 to $77 for the marriage license. While some may only accept cash, others will accept debit or credit cards. Personal checks are generally not accepted.
No blood tests are required.
Proxy marriages are not allowed in Nevada, so both parties must be present at the ceremony.
Common Law Marriages
Nevada has not allowed common-law marriages since March 29, 1943.
Same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships are legal in Nevada. The state first passed laws in 2014 regarding this issue. Further, in June of 2015, a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court said that it is unconstitutional to ban gay marriage anywhere in the country.
Renewing Your Vows
You do not need to go get a license in order to renew your vows. In fact, the county clerk's office is prohibited from issuing a new marriage license to couples who are currently married.
You may renew your wedding vows at a church or wedding chapel. They may require you to bring a copy of your marriage certificate for proof of marriage before performing the renewal ceremony.
It is illegal to marry any relative closer than a second cousin or cousin of half-blood.
Las Vegas Weddings
If you are considering a Las Vegas wedding, you can apply at any of the six County Clerk locations within the city for your license. The Marriage License Bureau on Clark Avenue handles the most applications and is open seven days a week and holidays from 8 a.m. to midnight.
Because so many people get married in Las Vegas, it's wise to plan ahead. Make sure you have all the documents you need, as well as the fee, and consider starting your application online. The Clark County Clerk (where Las Vegas is located) has a simple marriage license form available that they recommend everyone use.
The Clark County website is also very informative and should answer most of your questions about getting married in the city. You will also find notices about solicitors and unsanctioned officiants there.
If you are 16 or 17 years old, you must have one parent or legal guardian present. Additionally, you will need an original or certified copy your birth certificate as well as proof of guardianship. The clerks will not accept photocopies.
A notarized written permission is also acceptable if your parents cannot be present. It must be written in English and needs to state the name, birth date, the age of the minor child, along with the relationship of the person giving consent. The notary must note that the parent or guardian personally appeared before them.
If you are under 16, marriage can be authorized only by court order when the request has been filed by either parent or legal guardian.
In Nevada, anyone who is performing a wedding ceremony needs an official Certificate of Permission to do so. It needs to be issued by a county clerk in Nevada. Especially in Las Vegas, it's advised that couples ask to see this prior to the ceremony. You can check credentials at the Nevada Secretary of State website.
Ministers and other religious officials who will be traveling to Nevada to perform a wedding ceremony need to obtain permission as well.
Requirements for U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens are the same. The license is valid for one year from the date it is issued. It may be used anywhere within the State of Nevada and your officiant has just 10 days to file it with the county after the ceremony.
Some couples like to get married on a plane, helicopter, or boat in Nevada. While this is acceptable, the Clark County Clerk advises you to do a simple restatement of your vows "once back on Nevada soil" to ensure it's legal.
Copy of Certificate of Marriage
In Nevada, marriage certificates are stored at the county level. You will not automatically receive a certified copy.
To receive a copy of your marriage certificate, you must contact the County Recorder in the county where you obtained your marriage license. Some, including Clark County, offer an online ordering system. They also advise couples that the county will not contact you trying to sell you a copy. That is another scam.
While the Office of Vital Records in most states can perform the same function, that is not the case in Nevada. That office handles birth and death records, not marriage. Go through the county clerk and avoid websites that claim to have access to Nevada's vital records.
The fees are the biggest clue. For instance, Clark County charges just $15 for a copy while some sham websites and solicitors will ask for $80 or more.
The information contained here is for informational purposes only. It's meant to help you start understanding the marriage laws in Nevada, which vary by county and can change often. Verify all information with the county clerk or seek the advice of an attorney with any questions before planning your wedding or travel.