Universal Life Church

Nevada Wedding Laws

Couples often run to Nevada to marry, especially in Las Vegas. This popular destination can allow for a wild wedding in famous places, such as the Little White Chapel. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about marrying in this state. If you rush to marry before understanding the actual marriage laws, you might face some disappointment.

Nevada Marriage Requirements

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

While it may seem like anything goes in Nevada, the state does set some boundaries for who can marry. In most situations, the couple both must be at least 18 years old. Minors who are 17 years old may marry if they are a resident of the state and have authorization from the court. It must be in the best interests of the minor with proof that waiting one year is not acceptable.

Nevada does allow all adults to marry as long as they marry only one other person and are not already in a legal marriage. Gender does not matter as same-sex marriage is legal. The state does place a restriction on blood relatives marrying, forbidding marriages between those who are second cousins or closer.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    NRS 122.020  Persons capable of marriage.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2 and NRS 122.025, two persons, regardless of gender, who are at least 18 years of age, not nearer of kin than second cousins or cousins of the half blood, and not having a spouse living, may be joined in marriage.
    

    NRS 122.025  Marriage of minor who is 17 years of age: Consent of parent or guardian; authorization by court.

      1.  A minor who is 17 years of age may marry only if the minor has the consent of:
    
      (a) Either parent; or
    
      (b) The minor’s legal guardian,
    

    Ê and the minor also obtains authorization from a district court as provided in this section.

      2.  In extraordinary circumstances, a district court may authorize the marriage of a minor who is 17 years of age if the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, after an evidentiary hearing in which both parties to the prospective marriage provide sworn testimony, that:
    
      (a) Both parties to the prospective marriage are residents of this State;
    
      (b) The marriage will serve the best interests of the minor; and
    
      (c) The minor has the consent required by paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection 1.
    

    Ê Pregnancy alone does not establish that the best interests of the minor will be served by marriage, nor may pregnancy be required by a court as a condition necessary for its authorization for the marriage of the minor.

      3.  In determining the best interests of the minor for the purposes of subsection 2, the court shall consider, without limitation:
    
      (a) The difference in age between the parties to the prospective marriage;
    
      (b) The need for the marriage to occur before the minor reaches 18 years of age; and
    
      (c) The emotional and intellectual maturity of the minor.
    

How to Get a Nevada Marriage License

County clerks manage the disbursement of marriage licenses in Nevada. A couple must secure a license in person at the clerk's office. The couple must provide valid identification, such as a driver's license, passport or military ID. A birth certificate or certificate of citizenship is also acceptable. The clerk does not have to require the ID if the person appears to be at least 25 years old.

The cost for the license is $77, and the state donates about a third of that money to the Account for Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence, which is in Nevada's General Fund.

The state does not require blood tests. It also will not require a person to show proof of divorce or death of a former spouse.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    NRS 122.040  Marriage license: Requirements; issuance by county clerk; waiver of certain requirements; name after marriage; public records; expiration.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided in NRS 122.0615, before persons may be joined in marriage, a license must be obtained for that purpose from the county clerk of any county in the State. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the license must be issued at the county seat of that county. The board of county commissioners:
    
      (a) In a county whose population is 700,000 or more may, at the request of the county clerk, designate not more than five branch offices of the county clerk at which marriage licenses may be issued, if the designated branch offices are located outside of the county seat.
    
      (b) In a county whose population is less than 700,000 may, at the request of the county clerk, designate one branch office of the county clerk at which marriage licenses may be issued, if the designated branch office is established in a county office building which is located outside of the county seat.
    
      2.  Except as otherwise provided in this section, before issuing a marriage license, the county clerk shall require each applicant to provide proof of the applicant’s name and age. The county clerk may accept as proof of the applicant’s name and age an original or certified copy of any of the following:
    
      (a) A driver’s license, instruction permit or identification card issued by this State or another state, the District of Columbia or any territory of the United States.
    
      (b) A passport.
    
      (c) A birth certificate and:
    
             (1) Any secondary document that contains the name and a photograph of the applicant; or
    
             (2) Any document for which identification must be verified as a condition to receipt of the document.
    

    Ê If the birth certificate is written in a language other than English, the county clerk may request that the birth certificate be translated into English and notarized.

      (d) A military identification card or military dependent identification card issued by any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States.
    
      (e) A Certificate of Citizenship, Certificate of Naturalization, Permanent Resident Card or Temporary Resident Card issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services of the Department of Homeland Security.
    
      (f) Any other document that provides the applicant’s name and age. If the applicant clearly appears over the age of 25 years, no documentation of proof of age is required.
    

    NRS 122.060  Fees.

      1.  The county clerk is entitled to receive as his or her fee for issuing a marriage license the sum of $21.
    
      2.  The county clerk shall also at the time of issuing the marriage license:
    
      (a) Collect the sum of $10 and:
    
             (1) If the board of county commissioners has adopted an ordinance pursuant to NRS 246.100, deposit the sum into the county general fund pursuant to NRS 246.180 for filing the originally signed certificate of marriage described in NRS 122.120.
    
             (2) If the board of county commissioners has not adopted an ordinance pursuant to NRS 246.100, pay it over to the county recorder as his or her fee for recording the originally signed certificate of marriage described in NRS 122.120.
    
      (b) Collect the additional fee described in subsection 2 of NRS 246.180, if the board of county commissioners has adopted an ordinance authorizing the collection of such fee, and deposit the fee pursuant to NRS 246.190.
    
      (c) Collect the additional fee imposed pursuant to NRS 246.075, if the board of county commissioners has adopted an ordinance imposing the fee.
    
      3.  The county clerk shall also at the time of issuing the marriage license collect the additional sum of $4 for the State of Nevada. The fees collected for the State must be paid over to the county treasurer by the county clerk on or before the fifth day of each month for the preceding calendar month, and must be placed to the credit of the State General Fund. The county treasurer shall remit quarterly all such fees deposited by the county clerk to the State Controller for credit to the State General Fund.
    
      4.  The county clerk shall also at the time of issuing the marriage license collect the additional sum of $25 for the Account for Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in the State General Fund. The fees collected for this purpose must be paid over to the county treasurer by the county clerk on or before the fifth day of each month for the preceding calendar month, and must be placed to the credit of that Account. The county treasurer shall, on or before the 15th day of each month, remit those fees deposited by the county clerk to the State Controller for credit to that Account.
    
      5.  Any fee charged and collected pursuant to this section is separate and distinct from any administrative fee charged and collected by a county clerk’s office, including, without limitation, a fee for certifying a copy of a marriage license.
    

Applying For a Marriage License in Nevada

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

Ministers ordained by the Universal Life Church have the right to perform ceremonies in Nevada as a religious actor. The state does not restrict officiants based on religion or gender. The minister will need to fill out his or her portion of the marriage license.

The license must go back to the clerk within 10 days of the ceremony. Licenses are valid, however, for up to one year after issuance and are valid anywhere in the state.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    NRS 122.062  Licensed, ordained or appointed ministers, other church or religious officials authorized to solemnize a marriage, notaries public, marriage officiants and chaplains of Armed Forces to obtain certificates from county clerk; temporary replacements; solemnization by minister or other authorized person who resides in another state or who is retired.

      1.  Any licensed, ordained or appointed minister or other church or religious official authorized to solemnize a marriage in good standing within his or her church or religious organization, or either of them, incorporated, organized or established in this State, a notary public appointed by the Secretary of State pursuant to chapter 240 of NRS and in good standing with the Secretary of State, or a marriage officiant may join together in marriage persons who present a marriage license obtained from any county clerk of the State, if the minister, other church or religious official authorized to solemnize a marriage, notary public or marriage officiant first obtains or renews a certificate of permission to perform marriages as provided in NRS 122.062 to 122.073, inclusive. The fact that a minister or other church or religious official authorized to solemnize a marriage is retired does not disqualify him or her from obtaining a certificate of permission to perform marriages if, before retirement, the minister or other church or religious official authorized to solemnize a marriage had active charge of a church or religious organization for a period of at least 3 years.
    
      2.  A temporary replacement for a licensed, ordained or appointed minister or other church or religious official authorized to solemnize a marriage certified pursuant to NRS 122.062 to 122.073, inclusive, may solemnize marriages pursuant to subsection 1 for a period not to exceed 90 days, if the requirements of this subsection are satisfied. The minister or other church or religious official authorized to solemnize a marriage whom he or she temporarily replaces shall provide him or her with a written authorization which states the period during which it is effective, and the temporary replacement shall obtain from the county clerk in the county in which he or she is a temporary replacement a written authorization to solemnize marriage and submit to the county clerk an application fee of $25.
    
      3.  Any chaplain who is assigned to duty in this State by the Armed Forces of the United States may solemnize marriages if the chaplain obtains a certificate of permission to perform marriages from the county clerk of the county in which his or her duty station is located. The county clerk shall issue such a certificate to a chaplain upon proof of his or her military status as a chaplain and of his or her assignment.
    
      4.  A licensed, ordained or appointed minister, other church or religious official authorized to solemnize a marriage, active or retired, a notary public or person who desires to be a marriage officiant may submit to the county clerk in the county in which a marriage is to be performed an application to perform a specific marriage in the county. The application must:
    
      (a) Include the full names and addresses of the persons to be married;
    
      (b) Include the date and location of the marriage ceremony;
    
      (c) Include the information and documents required pursuant to subsection 1 of NRS 122.064;
    
      (d) If the county clerk has established a training course for an applicant seeking to obtain a certificate of permission to perform marriages or a single marriage in this State, include verification that the applicant has satisfied the requirements of paragraph (d) of subsection 1 of NRS 122.064; and
    
      (e) Be accompanied by an application fee of $25.
    
      5.  A county clerk may grant authorization to perform a specific marriage to a person who submitted an application pursuant to subsection 4 if the county clerk is satisfied that the minister or other church or religious official authorized to solemnize a marriage, whether he or she is active or retired, is in good standing with his or her church or religious organization or, in the case of a notary public, if the notary public is in good standing with the Secretary of State, and, if the county clerk has established a training course for an applicant seeking to obtain a certificate of permission to perform marriages or a single marriage in this State, that the applicant satisfied the requirements of paragraph (d) of subsection 1 of NRS 122.064. The authorization must be in writing and need not be filed with any other public officer. A separate authorization is required for each marriage performed. A person may not obtain more than five authorizations to perform a specific marriage pursuant to this section in any calendar year and must acknowledge that he or she is subject to the jurisdiction of the county clerk with respect to the provisions of this chapter governing the conduct of ministers, other church or religious officials authorized to solemnize a marriage, notaries public or marriage officiants to the same extent as if he or she had obtained a certificate of permission to perform marriages.
    

How to Become a Wedding Officiant in Nevada

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

ULC suggests after ordination, ministers order the Nevada Wedding Package to ensure he or she fulfills all the state's marriage law requirements. In general, the state will recognize all ministers or officials who have a license, ordination or appointment to perform marriage ceremonies. The officiant must be in good standing with his or her church.

Retired ministers may also officiate weddings if they were active for at least three years. State law also permits U.S. army chaplains on assigned duty in the state and ministers serving as a temporary replacement for another minister to perform marriage ceremonies.

The state also allows judges and notaries who are in good standing with the Secretary of State to marry a couple. They will need to obtain a $25 certificate of permission, which must include the date and location of the ceremony, the couple's names and credential information, and must be at least 18 years old.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    NRS 122.062  Licensed, ordained or appointed ministers, other church or religious officials authorized to solemnize a marriage, notaries public, marriage officiants and chaplains of Armed Forces to obtain certificates from county clerk; temporary replacements; solemnization by minister or other authorized person who resides in another state or who is retired.

      1.  Any licensed, ordained or appointed minister or other church or religious official authorized to solemnize a marriage in good standing within his or her church or religious organization, or either of them, incorporated, organized or established in this State, a notary public appointed by the Secretary of State pursuant to chapter 240 of NRS and in good standing with the Secretary of State, or a marriage officiant may join together in marriage persons who present a marriage license obtained from any county clerk of the State, if the minister, other church or religious official authorized to solemnize a marriage, notary public or marriage officiant first obtains or renews a certificate of permission to perform marriages as provided in NRS 122.062 to 122.073, inclusive. The fact that a minister or other church or religious official authorized to solemnize a marriage is retired does not disqualify him or her from obtaining a certificate of permission to perform marriages if, before retirement, the minister or other church or religious official authorized to solemnize a marriage had active charge of a church or religious organization for a period of at least 3 years.
    
      2.  A temporary replacement for a licensed, ordained or appointed minister or other church or religious official authorized to solemnize a marriage certified pursuant to NRS 122.062 to 122.073, inclusive, may solemnize marriages pursuant to subsection 1 for a period not to exceed 90 days, if the requirements of this subsection are satisfied. The minister or other church or religious official authorized to solemnize a marriage whom he or she temporarily replaces shall provide him or her with a written authorization which states the period during which it is effective, and the temporary replacement shall obtain from the county clerk in the county in which he or she is a temporary replacement a written authorization to solemnize marriage and submit to the county clerk an application fee of $25.
    
      3.  Any chaplain who is assigned to duty in this State by the Armed Forces of the United States may solemnize marriages if the chaplain obtains a certificate of permission to perform marriages from the county clerk of the county in which his or her duty station is located. The county clerk shall issue such a certificate to a chaplain upon proof of his or her military status as a chaplain and of his or her assignment.
    
      4.  A licensed, ordained or appointed minister, other church or religious official authorized to solemnize a marriage, active or retired, a notary public or person who desires to be a marriage officiant may submit to the county clerk in the county in which a marriage is to be performed an application to perform a specific marriage in the county. The application must:
    
      (a) Include the full names and addresses of the persons to be married;
    
      (b) Include the date and location of the marriage ceremony;
    
      (c) Include the information and documents required pursuant to subsection 1 of NRS 122.064;
    
      (d) If the county clerk has established a training course for an applicant seeking to obtain a certificate of permission to perform marriages or a single marriage in this State, include verification that the applicant has satisfied the requirements of paragraph (d) of subsection 1 of NRS 122.064; and
    
      (e) Be accompanied by an application fee of $25.
    
      5.  A county clerk may grant authorization to perform a specific marriage to a person who submitted an application pursuant to subsection 4 if the county clerk is satisfied that the minister or other church or religious official authorized to solemnize a marriage, whether he or she is active or retired, is in good standing with his or her church or religious organization or, in the case of a notary public, if the notary public is in good standing with the Secretary of State, and, if the county clerk has established a training course for an applicant seeking to obtain a certificate of permission to perform marriages or a single marriage in this State, that the applicant satisfied the requirements of paragraph (d) of subsection 1 of NRS 122.064. The authorization must be in writing and need not be filed with any other public officer. A separate authorization is required for each marriage performed. A person may not obtain more than five authorizations to perform a specific marriage pursuant to this section in any calendar year and must acknowledge that he or she is subject to the jurisdiction of the county clerk with respect to the provisions of this chapter governing the conduct of ministers, other church or religious officials authorized to solemnize a marriage, notaries public or marriage officiants to the same extent as if he or she had obtained a certificate of permission to perform marriages.
    
      (Added to NRS by 1967, 1289; A 1969, 37; 1993, 1462; 1997, 2040; 1999, 520, 541; 2009, 724; 2013, 1187; 2017, 757, 1026; 2019, 452)
    

Getting Married in Nevada

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

The rumors that anything goes in a Nevada wedding ceremony are pretty much accurate. The state does not dictate the type of ceremony or the details of it.

However, there are still some requirements for the ceremony to be legal. The main requirement is a federal law that says the ceremony must include the couple's consent to the marriage. The state also requires the officiant to pronounce the couple as married. There also must be at least one witness age 18 or older.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    NRS 122.110  No particular form of solemnization required; witness.

      1.  In the solemnization of marriage, no particular form is required except that the parties shall declare, in the presence of the justice, judge, minister or other church or religious official authorized to solemnize a marriage, notary public or marriage officiant to whom a certificate of permission to perform marriages or a renewal of a certificate has been issued, justice of the peace, commissioner of civil marriages, deputy commissioner of civil marriages or mayor, and the attending witness, that they take each other as spouses.
    
      2.  In every case, there shall be at least one witness present besides the person performing the ceremony.
    
      [6:33:1861; B § 199; BH § 475; C § 486; RL § 2342; NCL § 4054] — (NRS A 1969, 764; 1977, 470; 2009, 731; 2013, 1195; 2017, 759, 1033, 1199)
    

Finalizing the Union

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

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the minister must complete the wedding license, providing information about themselves, including home address, ordaining body and title. The witness, couple and officiant must sign the license. It is the minister's job to ensure this is completed in full.

The finished document must go back to the clerk's office where it was issued within 10 days of the ceremony. The clerk will file it and officially register the marriage as legal.