Legal Requirements for Las Vegas Weddings
Vegas is well-known for its ability to carry out a wedding without a hitch (except for those getting hitched, of course). If you’re 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 the Sin City is known for its loose interpretation of the rules, you still need to follow some basic guidelines when it’s time to walk down the aisle.
Las Vegas Wedding Requirements: Legal Ties
- Get the Marriage License
You must both appear in-person to the Clark County Marriage License Bureau. Bring a valid form of government-issued ID for both parties. If you don’t have a driver’s license or passport, you can present another form of photo ID along with your birth certificate or social security card. Both parties must be over the age of 18 and consent to the marriage to qualify.
If you’re 16 or 17, you can still get married with a parent’s consent. You’ll need a birth certificate for the two 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 long lines, this is a big time-saver.
- Pay Any Applicable Fees
Be prepared to pay for the marriage license at the Bureau: it costs $77 in Clark County. You can pay by cash, check, money order, or credit card, but prepare to pay a 2% convenience charge if you’re using a card.
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’s no required blood tests or waiting period. Once you have your marriage license in hand, you’re ready to go. Your license is valid for one year from the issue date, so plan your ceremony accordingly.
If you’re 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 US citizen. In order for the marriage to be valid in your home country, your government will mostly likely request a certified copy of your marriage certificate ($15) as well as Apostille from the Secretary of State’s Office ($20). The SOS can send these to your government directly.
Plan Your Ceremony
Once you have your marriage license in hand, you’re free to get married whenever, wherever you want—within reason. You must hold your ceremony within the state of Nevada and within 365 days. The rest is up to you. Have a traditional ceremony or get married by a celebrity impersonator. Vegas is known for its array of creative and expedient wedding experiences, so choose a ceremony that fits your personal style.
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 here.
If you paid to be married but your officiant wasn’t a registered officiant, you may have legal grounds to recover damages. Contact our office for a free case evaluation and to see if you qualify.