Nebraska Marriage Laws

Written and edited for accuracy by the Nebraska marriage law researchers at the Universal Life Church on

Like the famous lighthouses that dot its landlocked and oceanless expanse, the state of Nebraska presents prospective couples with a series of unique contradictions in the management of its own marriage laws. It’s for this reason that we at the Universal Life Church have decided to comb through the legal texts of the Cornhusker State, and published a straightforward step-by-step guide for both couples and ministers eager to ensure the marriage will follow the exact letter of Nebraska law and be legally binding.

Requirements for the Minister

Min. Age of Minister:
Age 18
Not Required
Document(s) Required:
Varies by County
Online Ordination Recognized:
Relevant Office of Registration:
County Clerk
Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
After the Ceremony
Minister I.D. # Issued:

Nebraska recognizes both civil and religious ceremonies, whether performed by judges and clerk magistrates (either serving or retired) or any and all preachers of the gospel, so long as that person is at least 18 years old and presents valid certification to the county clerk following the ceremony.

Please note that ministers ordained online by the Universal Life Church are considered to be ‘religious actors’ and are thus legally recognized as such in Nebraska, without prejudice to their own state or country of residence, gender or personal religious beliefs. ULC ministers in Nebraska often choose to order the Classic Wedding Package, which includes all necessary documentation, should they be asked to present it.

Wedding Ceremony Requirements

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
Minister Required to be Present:

The state of Nebraska’s own marriage laws prevent it from dictating the specific manner in which wedding ceremonies take place, leaving it largely to the minister and the couple to craft the rituals that suit their personal and spiritual needs.

However, the state does require that both parties solemnly declare their intent to take the other as husband or wife before both the magistrate or minister and at least two other witnesses, in the flesh, so that the officiant may formally declare the two married.

Marriage License Requirements

Min. Age of Witnesses:
Couple's Consent Required:
Pronouncement Required:

Couples looking to get married in the state of Nebraska must fill out an application for a marriage license and mail it out to any county clerk in the state. Both individuals must include their full names, current addresses and when and where they were born, verifiable by either a valid driver's license, passport or birth certificate. Proof of prior divorce is not required, nor blood tests to disprove kinship between couples.

The marriage license will cost $25, including an extra $9 for every extra certified copy of the marriage record filed with the county clerk office.

Marriage License Facts

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Mandatory Waiting Period:
License Valid For:
1 Year
License Must Be Submitted:
Within 15 Days of Ceremony

In order for a marriage to be deemed legal and valid in the state of Nebraska, the ceremony must be performed within one year from the date in which the marriage license is issued, and solemnized by a person authorized by law to do so.

There is no mandated waiting period between the issuing of the license and the performance of the ceremony. All wedding officiants have 15 days to complete the marriage certificate and return it to the original issuing county clerk.

Requirements for the Couple

Min. Age of Couple:
Age 19 or Age 17 with Guardian Consent
Not Required
Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
Second Cousins
Marriage Equality:

Nebraska is rather unique, in that it considers anybody under the age of 19 a minor, and therefore unable to legally marry without the consent of a parent or legal guardian. In cases where that consent is eventually granted, those married minors will automatically be considered legal adults in the state, and thus capable of signing leases, financing agreements, mortgages and so on. Something for Nebraska natives to keep in mind.

The state of Nebraska strictly forbids marriage between minors under the age of 17, and any couples in which one member is mentally incompetent, still has a living spouse at the time of the marriage or is afflicted with a venereal disease. Marriages between relatives closer in blood than second cousins will be considered incestuous and void.

Federal marriage equality laws means same sex couples can marry in the state.

Final Steps

Officiant's Title on Marriage License:
Church/Ordaining Body:
Universal Life Church Ministries
Address of Church:
Minister's Home Address

Once all declarations have been made and the wedding ceremony ended, the magistrate or minister must ensure that the completed marriage certificate is properly filled out to include the names and residences of at least two witnesses present, as well as including their own name, title, civil or religious ordaining body (the Universal Life Church, in this case) and their personal home address, if asked.

Once the documents have been signed, sealed and delivered back to the county clerk where they were issued, within fifteen days of the ceremony, they’ll be recorded alongside the original marriage license, and the union deemed legally binding.

Interested in Performing a Nebraska wedding?

Be a NE Wedding Officiant

Are you Considering Becoming a Minister in Nebraska?

See the Steps to NE Ordination

Proceed to your Ordination Application

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