Vegas is well-known for its ability to carry out a wedding without a hitch (except for those getting hitched, of course). If you are thinking about eschewing the traditional wedding ceremony for an elopement complete with an Elvis impersonator, here’s what you need to know about Las Vegas wedding requirements.
Getting Married in Las Vegas
While Sin City is known for its loose interpretation of the rules, you still need to follow some legal requirements when it’s time to walk down the aisle. To get married in Las Vegas, you must know and adhere to several marriage laws outlined by the state of Nevada.
Legal Requirements for Marriage Licenses
You must both appear in person at the Clark County Marriage License Bureau. Both parties should bring a valid form of a government-issued ID. If you do not have a driver’s license or passport, you can present another form of photo ID along with your birth certificate or Social Security card.
Acceptable IDs include:
- Driver’s license
- State-issued ID
- Resident alien card
- Military ID
Both parties must be over the age of 18 and consent to the marriage to qualify. If you are 16 or 17, you can still get married with a parent’s consent. You will need birth certificates for the two people getting married, ID for the parents/guardians, an affidavit giving consent to the union, and proof of legal guardianship.
Tip: There’s a pre-application form you can fill out up to 60 days before applying for your marriage license. If you have some time to prepare and want to skip the lines, this is a big time-saver.
Follow These Steps for a Legal Las Vegas Wedding
Getting married in Las Vegas is a dream come true for many people, but it’s important to know the steps involved. The guide below will take you through each step of the process.
Step 1: Make Sure You Are Eligible
The first step is to make sure that you are eligible for a marriage license in Las Vegas. The requirements can be found on the Clark County Marriage Bureau website. In addition, non-resident applicants must provide proof of identity, such as a valid passport or driver’s license from their home state.
You must be no nearer in kinship than second cousins–otherwise, marrying could lead to incest charges (NRS 201.180). Invest in Nevada is punishable by two years to life in Nevada State Prison and fines up to $10,000. You are also not supposed to marry while you still have a living husband or wife. Marrying when you have a living spouse can lead to bigamy charges (NRS 201.160).
As stated above, applicants must both be 18 years old or older. Those under 18 require consent signed by both parents and presented with the appropriate identification.
Step 2: Apply for the Marriage License
Fill out and present the required documents at the Clark County Marriage License Bureau office (201 E. 3rd Street, Las Vegas, NV 89101). The fee for your marriage license can be paid by cash, check, money order, or credit card (with a 2% convenience fee).
Step 3: In-Person Collection of Marriage License
Within 60 days of applying for a marriage license, you must appear in person to pick up the license. We recommend arriving early to allow time for any glitches that might occur during this process. It should only take a few minutes unless there is a line.
Once you receive your license, it is valid for one year from the date of issue (not the date of application). At this point, you are free to go ahead with your wedding plans!
Step 4: Tie the Knot
Once you have obtained your license, head to your chosen venue for the ceremony itself. Las Vegas has lots of wedding chapels, churches, and other options to choose from.
You also need to make sure that your officiant has a valid license to perform marriages in Las Vegas (more details about this topic can be found below). Once you’ve said “I do,” your officiant must complete the marriage certificate form and other paperwork, then file it with Clark County within 10 days of the ceremony.
Step 5: Get a Copy of your Marriage Certificate
Congratulations! You are now officially married. The next step is to get a copy of your marriage certificate. After ordering your copy, it should be available in 10 days or less.
A certified copy of the marriage certificate may be necessary for several reasons, such as filing taxes or changing names.
List of Chapels for Quicker Weddings
#1. Bellagio Wedding Chapels
This is one of the most popular chapels in Las Vegas and it’s easy to see why. The chapel itself is gorgeous with attractive floors and huge windows that let in plenty of natural light. The staff here is helpful and friendly and they offer a wide range of services for couples who want to get married quickly. They also have a variety of packages available so you can customize your ceremony to suit your needs.
#2. The Little Vegas Chapel
If you want an intimate ceremony with just a few people in attendance, this is the place for you. This chapel offers quick weddings as well as traditional ceremonies. You can choose from several different packages, depending on how much time you have available before heading off on your honeymoon!
#3. Graceland Wedding Chapel
Graceland Wedding Chapel offers both traditional ceremonies with Elvis impersonators and more modern-style weddings with other musicians performing at your reception.
#4. Caesars Palace Wedding Chapel
This chapel is an upscale wedding venue that hosts lots of weddings each year. Couples can choose from one of several packages offered by the chapel, including ones that include ceremonies with Elvis impersonators or costumed characters like superheroes or princesses. The chapel also hosts vow renewal ceremonies for couples who want to renew their vows Vegas-style!
#5. Mon Bel Ami Wedding Chapel
This is a romantic chapel with many options for your ceremony, including a beautiful garden for gorgeous photos. The chapel also has an indoor area with stained glass windows, chandeliers, and plush chairs for your guests to sit during the ceremony.
What Are the Applicable Fees When Marrying in Las Vegas?
As mentioned above, be prepared to pay for your marriage license: it costs $102 in Clark County. Again, you can pay by cash, check, money order, or credit card (with a 2% convenience fee).
Clark County is unique in that the Marriage Bureau keeps flexible hours. It’s open from 8 a.m. to midnight, even on holidays. Unlike some other states, there are no required blood tests or waiting periods. Once you have your marriage license in hand, you’re ready to go.
If you are planning a second (or third) marriage in Vegas, your divorce must be finalized before walking down the aisle again.
You can get married in Clark County even if you’re not a U.S. citizen. For the marriage to be valid in your home country, your government will most likely request a certified copy of your marriage certificate ($15) as well as an Apostille from the Secretary of State’s Office ($20). The SOS Office can send these to your government directly.
After the Ceremony
Whoever presides over your ceremony has 10 days to record your marriage with Clark County. Once your marriage license is official, you can order certified copies online. Anyone conducting the ceremony is required by law to possess a Certificate of Authority to Solemnize Marriages (and it must be issued within the state of Nevada). Take steps to ensure your officiant has this qualification before spending money on a wedding package. You may access a database of registered officiants .
How Can an Attorney Help?
Even after marrying legally, there are many legal issues that can arise. You can still be charged with bigamy if your spouse was alive at the time of your second ceremony. If you have been accused of bigamy, an attorney can help you fight the charges.
Also, if you are facing charges of incest after your marriage in Las Vegas, an attorney can help defend your case. Incest is illegal in Las Vegas and those who are found guilty can face severe consequences.
If you paid to be married but discover that your officiant was not properly registered, you may have legal grounds to recover damages.
Contact Us for All Your Legal Needs
The experienced Las Vegas criminal defense, personal injury, and other lawyers at De Castroverde Law Group are here to serve you. If you have any legal concerns, contact our office today for a free case evaluation.