Universal Life Church

Nebraska Wedding Laws

Marriage laws in any state can be difficult to figure out on your own, and Nebraska is no exception. If you're planning to get married or officiate a wedding in the state, you need to know what is and isn't required in order to make sure the marriage is fully legal. Luckily, you don't have to spend too much time looking up the answers to all your questions on your own. This concise overview offers everything you need to make sure a Nebraska wedding goes as smoothly as possible.

Getting Married in Nebraska

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

Nebraska law requires a solemn declaration by each party of their intention to take their future spouse as a legal husband or wife. This declaration should be issued in front of the officiant, whether magistrate or minister, and at least two witnesses who are physically present, after which the officiant may declare the couple as legally married.

State law prevents the imposition of any other requirements on the ceremony. As a result, the couple getting married may adapt the remainder of the ceremony in accordance with their preferences. As long as the vows and declaration are included, the other portions of the ceremony can be as lengthy or concise as they choose or omitted entirely.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    Neb. Rev. Stat. § 42-109.

    Ceremony; requirements.

    In the solemnization of marriage no particular form shall be required, except that the parties shall solemnly declare in the presence of the magistrate or minister and the attending witnesses, that they take each other as husband and wife; and in any case there shall be at least two witnesses, besides the minister or magistrate present at the ceremony.

    Neb. Rev. Stat. § 42-115.

    Marriage according to custom of religious society; certificate; transmission to county clerk.

    It shall be lawful for every religious society to join together in marriage such persons as are of the society, according to the rites and customs of the society to which they belong. The clerk or keeper of the minutes, proceedings, or other book of the religious society in which such marriage shall be had, or if there be no such clerk or keeper of the minutes, then the moderator or person presiding in such society, shall make out and transmit to the county clerk of the county a certificate of the marriage, and the same shall be recorded in the same manner as is provided in sections 42-108 to 42-112.

Nebraska Marriage Requirements

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

The state of Nebraska requires each member of a couple to be at least 19 years old in order to legally wed. Residents who are 17 or 18 years old may marry if they receive permission from a parent or legal guardian. Upon marriage, Nebraskans of this age are considered legal adults and may enter into contracts and participate in any other activity not allowed for minors. Nebraska does not allow anyone under the age of 17 to get married, even with permission from a guardian.

Additionally, Nebraska has several other restrictions on marriage. Anyone who is found to be mentally incompetent, still legally married to another living spouse, or has a venereal disease is prohibited from getting legally married. Since the passage of federal marriage equality legislation, Nebraska has no restrictions on same-sex marriage.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    Neb. Rev. Stat. § 42-102.

    Minimum age; affliction with venereal disease, disqualification.

    At the time of the marriage the male must be of the age of seventeen years or upward, and the female of the age of seventeen years or upward. No person who is afflicted with a venereal disease shall marry in this state.

    Neb. Rev. Stat. § 42-103.

    Marriages; when void.

    Marriages are void (1) when either party has a husband or wife living at the time of the marriage, (2) when either party, at the time of marriage, is mentally incompetent to enter into the marriage relation, and (3) when the parties are related to each other as parent and child, grandparent and grandchild, brother and sister of half as well as whole blood, first cousins when of whole blood, uncle and niece, and aunt and nephew. This subdivision extends to children and relatives born out of wedlock as well as those born in wedlock.

    Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-2101.

    Persons under nineteen years of age declared minors; marriage, effect; person eighteen years of age or older; rights and responsibility.

    (1) All persons under nineteen years of age are declared to be minors, but in case any person marries under the age of nineteen years, his or her minority ends.

    (2) Upon becoming the age of majority, a person is considered an adult and acquires all rights and responsibilities granted or imposed by statute or common law, except that a person:

    (a) Eighteen years of age or older and who is not a ward of the state may:

    (i) Enter into a binding contract or lease of whatever kind or nature and shall be legally responsible for such contract or lease, including legal responsibility to third parties;

    (ii) Execute, sign, authorize, or otherwise authenticate (A) an effective financing statement, (B) a promissory note or other instrument evidencing an obligation to repay, or (C) a mortgage, trust deed, security agreement, financing statement, or other security instrument to grant a lien or security interest in real or personal property or fixtures, and shall be legally responsible for such document, including legal responsibility to third parties; and

    (iii) Acquire or convey title to real property and shall have legal responsibility for such acquisition or conveyance, including legal responsibility to third parties; and

    (b) Eighteen years of age or older may consent to mental health services for himself or herself without the consent of his or her parent or guardian.

How to Become a Wedding Officiant in Nebraska

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:
After the Ceremony
Minister I.D. # Issued:
No

Weddings in Nebraska can be either civil or religious ceremonies. Civil ceremonies should be conducted by a current or retired judge or clerk magistrate. The only requirement for officiants of religious ceremonies is that they are over 18 and can provide valid certification to the county clerk's office following the ceremony. Nebraska deems Universal Life Church ministers who have been ordained online to be "religious actors" and legally permitted to perform a religious wedding ceremony. There are no further restrictions on the minister's age, gender, religious beliefs, or state or country of residence.

The Universal Life Church's Classic Wedding Package provides all the documentation required to prove the credentials of a ULC minister in Nebraska, should a county clerk request it.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    Neb. Rev. Stat. § 42-108.

    Marriage ceremony; who may perform; return; contents.

    Every judge, retired judge, clerk magistrate, or retired clerk magistrate, and every preacher of the gospel authorized by the usages of the church to which he or she belongs to solemnize marriages, may perform the marriage ceremony in this state. Every such person performing the marriage ceremony shall make a return of his or her proceedings in the premises, showing the names and residences of at least two witnesses who were present at such marriage. The return shall be made to the county clerk who issued the license within fifteen days after such marriage has been performed. The county clerk shall record the return or cause it to be recorded in the same book where the marriage license is recorded.

Applying For a Marriage License in Nebraska

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Religious
Mandatory Waiting Period:
None
License Valid For:
1 Year
License Must Be Submitted:
Within 15 Days of Ceremony

A marriage license in Nebraska is valid for one year following its date of issuance. Additionally, there is no required waiting period following the issuance of the license before the ceremony may be held.

The ceremony must be conducted by an authorized person. Following the ceremony, the completed marriage certificate must be returned within 15 days to the county clerk's office where it was issued.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    Neb. Rev. Stat. § 42-108.

    Marriage ceremony; who may perform; return; contents.

    Every judge, retired judge, clerk magistrate, or retired clerk magistrate, and every preacher of the gospel authorized by the usages of the church to which he or she belongs to solemnize marriages, may perform the marriage ceremony in this state. Every such person performing the marriage ceremony shall make a return of his or her proceedings in the premises, showing the names and residences of at least two witnesses who were present at such marriage. The return shall be made to the county clerk who issued the license within fifteen days after such marriage has been performed. The county clerk shall record the return or cause it to be recorded in the same book where the marriage license is recorded.

    Neb. Rev. Stat. § 42-104.

    Solemnization; license; application; requirements.

    Prior to the solemnization of any marriage in this state, a license for that purpose shall be obtained from a county clerk in the State of Nebraska. Applications for a marriage license made with the county court prior to January 1, 1987, shall be processed and licenses shall be issued by the county court according to the law and procedures in effect on the date each application was made. No marriage hereafter contracted shall be recognized as valid unless such license has been previously obtained and used within one year from the date of issuance and unless such marriage is solemnized by a person authorized by law to solemnize marriages. Each party shall present satisfactory documentary proof of and shall swear or affirm to the application giving: (1) Full name of each applicant and residence; and (2) the place, date, and year of birth of each.

How to Get a Nebraska Marriage License

Min. Age of Witnesses:
None
Couple's Consent Required:
Yes
Pronouncement Required:
Yes

Applying for a marriage license in Nebraska costs $25. If the applicants would like additional certified copies of the marriage record, they can request them from the county clerk's office for $9 each.

Nebraska does not require couples to apply for a marriage license in person. Instead, the application may be completed at home and mailed to any county clerk's office in the state. The form should be filled out completely, including name, address, place of birth, and birthday, and the applicants should provide a driver's license, passport, or birth certificate to verify their identities. Even if either member of the couple has been divorced, the application does not require them to provide proof that the divorce was completed.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    Neb. Rev. Stat. § 42-104 Solemnization; license; application; requirements.

    Prior to the solemnization of any marriage in this state, a license for that purpose shall be obtained from a county clerk in the State of Nebraska. Applications for a marriage license made with the county court prior to January 1, 1987, shall be processed and licenses shall be issued by the county court according to the law and procedures in effect on the date each application was made. No marriage hereafter contracted shall be recognized as valid unless such license has been previously obtained and used within one year from the date of issuance and unless such marriage is solemnized by a person authorized by law to solemnize marriages. Each party shall present satisfactory documentary proof of and shall swear or affirm to the application giving: (1) Full name of each applicant and residence; and (2) the place, date, and year of birth of each.

    Neb. Rev. Stat. § 33-110.County clerks; fees for certificate and seal; when charged; marriage licenses and records; fees.

    County clerks shall receive no fee for the performance of the following services: For issuing certificates of election; for performing the duties of clerk of the county board; for taking acknowledgments of claims against the county; for attesting or certifying any document authorized by the county board or required by the departments of the state; or for recording Army or Navy discharges or furnishing certified copies thereof to be used in connection with any claim for compensation or disability. A charge of twenty-five cents shall be made for any other certificate and seal unless otherwise provided. The fees collected shall be credited to the county general fund.

    County clerks shall receive a fee of twenty-five dollars for the entire proceedings of issuing a marriage license, administering the related oaths or affirmations, and recording a marriage certificate. An additional fee of nine dollars shall be made for each certified copy of a marriage record on file in the office of the county clerk. Both such fees shall be deposited in the county general fund.

Finalizing the Union

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

Following the wedding ceremony, the magistrate or minister will be required to complete the marriage certificate. The certificate must be filled out correctly and should include the witnesses' names and addresses. It may also ask for the officiant's name, address, title, and civil or religious ordaining organization. For ULC ministers, this should be listed as the Universal Life Church.

The officiant is responsible for completing, signing, and sealing the documents, then returning them to the office of the county clerk that issued them within 15 days. The county clerk will review and catalog the marriage certificate along with the license, making the wedding official.