Nevada Marriage Laws

There might be few things more thrilling than stumbling upon the famous Little White Chapel and deciding to tie the knot after a crazy night out on the Las Vegas Strip. And yet, for all the hype and folklore these shotgun weddings generate, the state of Nevada remains relatively sensible when it comes to managing its marriage laws, presenting prospective couples and ministers with a simple process that doesn’t get anybody bogged down in legal red tape. The following guide will take you through the steps necessary to make sure your marriage in the Silver State is legally binding.

Wedding Ceremony Requirements

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
No
Minister Required to be Present:
Yes

Nevada, perhaps more than any other state in the country, is not one to judge or dictate the unique aesthetic requirements of couples who decide to wed within its borders.

The state only requires that the ceremony include at least one adult witness aside from the minister, and that each member of the couple declare – in the presence of either the judge, notary, or minister – that they formally take each other as spouses, and that the officiant then pronounces them married.

Requirements for the Couple

Min. Age of Couple:
Age 18 or Age 17 with Guardian and Court Approval
Residency:
Not Required
Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
Second Cousins
Marriage Equality:
Yes

The state of Nevada will only legally recognize the marriage of two persons, regardless of gender, who are at least 18 years old, no closer in blood than second cousins and who do not have a living spouse already. In certain special cases, minors aged 17 may be permitted to wed with the consent of their parents or legal guardians as well as the authorization of the district court, following a hearing in which the couple must prove they are residents of the state, that the marriage being sought will be in the minor’s best interest, and effectively cannot be put off for another year.

Requirements for the Minister

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

Nevada will allow all ministers and officials licensed, ordained or appointed to solemnize a marriage and in good standing within their church, as well as any notary or judge in good standing with the Secretary of State, to marry a couple on its soil provided they are at least 18 years old and either obtain or renew a certificate of permission to do so.

Even retired ministers who can prove they were active for a period of at least 3 years, ministers temporarily replacing a fellow colleague, or a US army chaplain assigned to duty in the state may obtain this certificate, provided their application include the full names and addresses of the couple to be married, the date and location of the wedding, any and all relevant ordination credentials and, last but not least, a $25 application fee.

After getting ordained online, ULC ministers are encouraged to order the Nevada Wedding Packages, which is tailored specifically to help ministers fulfill Nevada marriage law requirements.

Marriage License Facts

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Religious
Mandatory Waiting Period:
None
License Valid For:
1 Year
License Must Be Submitted:
Within 10 Days of Ceremony

Marriage licenses granted in Nevada will be valid for both religious and civil ceremonies performed anywhere in the state for a period of 1 year after issuance.

Keep in mind that ministers ordained online by the Universal Life Church, granted the right to solemnize marriages without prejudice to their residence, gender or personal beliefs, are considered religious actors in all states, Nevada included. For a marriage to be officially recognized, the marriage license and certificate must be filled out and returned to the same county clerk where it was issued within 10 days of the ceremony.

Marriage License Requirements

Couples looking to marry in the state of Nevada must present themselves before a county clerk and fill out an application for a marriage license. The clerk will verify both persons’ names and ages with either a driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, military ID card or a Certificate of Citizenship, Naturalization or PR card. The clerk may even waive such burden of proof if the applicant clearly appears to be over 25 years old.

No proof of divorce or blood tests are required in order to prove marriage eligibility. A marriage license will run the couple $77, roughly a third of which shall go toward the Account for Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in the State General Fund.

Final Steps

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

Once the ceremony is done, it’s the minister’s job to ensure the marriage certificate has been completely and fully endorsed by the couple and witnesses, and that their own title, ordaining body (the Universal Life Church) and home address have been included.

The document must then be delivered to the same county clerk office where it was issued within 10 days of the ceremony.