Universal Life Church

Utah Wedding Laws

Utah stands out as as a unique US state in many ways, and its marriage laws are no exception. We’ve combed through the codes and ordinances and gathered everything couples and officiants need to know. From where to apply for a marriage license to who must attend the ceremony, our convenient guide covers every legal requirement a wedding must meet to be legitimate under Utah law.

Utah Marriage Requirements

Min. Age of Couple:
Age 18 or Age 16 with Guardian Consent
Residency:
Not Required
Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
Second Cousins
Marriage Equality:
Yes

Utah’s marriage laws allow couples of any race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation to marry, including same-sex couples, so long as both partners are consenting adults who are at least 18 years old. First cousins may get married if both partners are at least 65 years old or at least 55 years old if either partner has been declared medically unable to reproduce.

16- or 17-year-old persons may get married in Utah, but the process is somewhat arduous. As in most states, minors must have a parent or guardian’s written consent, and the consenting parent or guardian must appear in person when the couple applies for a marriage license.

In Utah, however, before a marriage license can be issued to a minor, the couple must petition a juvenile court to approve the marriage. The juvenile court may impose additional requirements, such as requiring the couple to complete premarital counseling or requiring each member of the couple to continue attending school. A minor may not get married in Utah if the age difference between partners is greater than seven years.

Couples who get married in Utah are not required to be Utah residents.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    Utah Code § 30-1-1. Incestuous marriages void.

    (1) The following marriages are incestuous and void from the beginning, whether the relationship is legitimate or illegitimate:

    (a) marriages between parents and children;

    (b) marriages between ancestors and descendants of every degree;

    (c) marriages between siblings of the half as well as the whole blood;

    (d) marriages between:

    (i) uncles and nieces or nephews; or

    (ii) aunts and nieces or nephews;

    (e) marriages between first cousins, except as provided in Subsection (2); or

    (f) marriages between any individuals related to each other within and not including the fifth degree of consanguinity computed according to the rules of the civil law, except as provided in Subsection (2).

    (2) First cousins may marry under the following circumstances:

    (a) both parties are 65 years of age or older; or

    (b) if both parties are 55 years of age or older, upon a finding by the district court, located in the district in which either party resides, that either party is unable to reproduce.

    Utah Code § 30-1-2. Marriages prohibited and void.

    (1) The following marriages are prohibited and declared void:

    (a) when there is a spouse living, from whom the individual marrying has not been divorced;

    (b) except as provided in Subsection (2), when an applicant is under 18 years old; and

    (c) between a divorced individual and any individual other than the one from whom the divorce was secured until the divorce decree becomes absolute, and, if an appeal is taken, until after the affirmance of the decree.

    (2) A marriage of an individual under 18 years old is not void if the individual:

    (a) is 16 or 17 years old and obtains consent from a parent or guardian and juvenile court authorization in accordance with Section 30-1-9; or

    (b) lawfully marries before May 14, 2019.

How to Get a Utah Marriage License

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

A couple must apply for a marriage license together, in person, at the county clerk’s office of any Utah county. In most counties, valid photo identification is the only documentation necessary. In lieu of additional documents, each partner must give a sworn statement, under penalty of perjury, attesting that there is no legal reason that the couple should not be wed. Some counties may require additional documentation, especially if either partner has divorced in the previous 30 days.

The fee for a marriage license varies by county, though it is generally between $35 and $85.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    Utah Code § 30-1-7. Marriage licenses -- Use within state -- Expiration.

    (1) No marriage may be solemnized in this state without a license issued by the county clerk of any county of this state.

    (2) A license issued within this state by a county clerk may only be used within this state.

    (3) A license that is not used within 30 days of the date of issuance is void.

    Utah Code § 30-1-10. Affidavit before the clerk -- Penalty.

    (1) A clerk may not issue a license until an affidavit is made before the clerk, which shall be filed and preserved by the clerk, by a party applying for the license, showing that there is no lawful reason in the way of the marriage.

    (2) A party who makes an affidavit described in Subsection (1) or a subscribing witness to the affidavit who falsely swears in the affidavit is guilty of perjury.

Applying For a Marriage License in Utah

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Religious
Mandatory Waiting Period:
None
License Valid For:
32 Days
License Must Be Submitted:
Within 30 Days of Ceremony

There are no waiting periods in Utah, and a couple can get married on the same day the marriage license is issued. The marriage license is valid for 30 days from the date it was issued. This means that the couple must have a wedding ceremony, and the officiant must complete and return the marriage license to the issuing office within that 30-day period.

Marriage licenses in Utah may be solemnized by either a religious or civil ceremony. All ceremonies officiated by ULC ministers are considered religious ceremonies, although there is no requirement that the ceremony contains any religious elements or references whatsoever. This is because the minister’s authority to perform a binding wedding ceremony is derived from his or her ordination by Universal Life Church Ministries, which is designated a religious actor under Utah law.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    Utah Code § 30-1-7. Marriage licenses -- Use within state -- Expiration.

    (1) No marriage may be solemnized in this state without a license issued by the county clerk of any county of this state.

    (2) A license issued within this state by a county clerk may only be used within this state.

    (3) A license that is not used within 30 days of the date of issuance is void.

    Utah Code § 30-1-11. Return of license after ceremony -- Failure -- Penalty.

    (1) The individual solemnizing the marriage shall within 30 days after solemnizing the marriage return the license to the clerk of the county that issues the license, with a certificate of the marriage over the individual's signature, giving the date and place of celebration and the names of two or more witnesses present at the marriage.

    (2) An individual described in Subsection (1) who fails to return the license is guilty of an infraction.

How to Become a Wedding Officiant in Utah

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 Ceremony
Minister I.D. # Issued:
No

A minister must be at least 18 years old to conduct a legally valid wedding ceremony in the state of Utah. The state does not place any restrictions on a minister’s beliefs, gender, or residence.

The minister should check with the clerk’s office in the county which issued the couple’s marriage license to find out whether he or she should submit additional documents with the completed marriage license. Some counties require ministers to provide copies of ordination documents included within the Classic Wedding Package. We recommend that ministers have these documents on hand when officiating a wedding or other ceremony.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    Utah Code § 30-1-6. Who may solemnize marriages -- Certificate.

    (1) Except for a county clerk, or a county clerk's designee, as provided below, the following individuals may solemnize a marriage at that individual's discretion:

    (a) an individual 18 years old or older who is authorized by a religious denomination to solemnize a marriage;

    (b) Native American spiritual advisors;

    (c) the governor;

    (d) the lieutenant governor;

    (e) mayors of municipalities or county executives;

    (f) a justice, judge, or commissioner of a court of record;

    (g) a judge of a court not of record of the state;

    (h) judges or magistrates of the United States;

    (i) the county clerk of any county in the state or the county clerk's designee as authorized by Section 17-20-4;

    (j) the president of the Senate;

    (k) the speaker of the House of Representatives; or

    (l) a judge or magistrate who holds office in Utah when retired, under rules set by the Supreme Court.

    (2) An individual authorized under Subsection (1) who solemnizes a marriage shall give to the couple married a certificate of marriage that shows the:

    (a) name of the county from which the license is issued; and

    (b) date of the license's issuance.

    (3) As used in this section:

    (a) "Judge or magistrate of the United States" means:

    (i) a justice of the United States Supreme Court;

    (ii) a judge of a court of appeals;

    (iii) a judge of a district court;

    (iv) a judge of any court created by an act of Congress the judges of which are entitled to hold office during good behavior;

    (v) a judge of a bankruptcy court;

    (vi) a judge of a tax court; or

    (vii) a United States magistrate.

    (b)

    (i) "Native American spiritual advisor" means a person who:

    (A) leads, instructs, or facilitates a Native American religious ceremony or service or provides religious counseling; and

    (B) is recognized as a spiritual advisor by a federally recognized Native American tribe.

    (ii) "Native American spiritual advisor" includes a sweat lodge leader, medicine person, traditional religious practitioner, or holy man or woman.

    (4) Except as provided in Section 17-20-4, and notwithstanding any other provision in law, no individual authorized under Subsection (1) to solemnize a marriage may delegate or deputize another individual to perform the function of solemnizing a marriage.

Getting Married in Utah

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

Utah is a state of diverse cultures and beliefs, and there are no formal wording requirements for wedding ceremonies. Couples may customize their wedding ceremony in any way they wish. To be legally valid, the ceremony need only meet three requirements:

Each partner must give some sort of consent to the marriage, such as “I do.”

The minister must pronounce the couple legally married out loud in the presence of at least two witnesses who are at least 18 years old; for example, “I pronounce you….”

The minister, at least two adult witnesses, and the couple must be physically present for the entire wedding. Note: These witnesses must be competent to sign the marriage license after the ceremony.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    30-1-11. Return of license after ceremony -- Failure -- Penalty.

    (1) The individual solemnizing the marriage shall within 30 days after solemnizing the marriage return the license to the clerk of the county that issues the license, with a certificate of the marriage over the individual's signature, giving the date and place of celebration and the names of two or more witnesses present at the marriage.

Finalizing the Union

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

After the ceremony, the minister, witnesses, and newlyweds must all sign the marriage license. The minister must complete the final section of the marriage license, which is sometimes referred to as the marriage certificate. He or she should write “minister” if asked for a title. For the ordaining body, the minister should write “Universal Life Church Ministries.” For the church address, the minister should use his or her home address instead of ULC’s address so that the state can reach him or her if needed.

The minister must return the fully executed marriage license to the issuing office within 30 days from the date of issue; failure to do so is considered an infraction.