While many couples assume that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, Vegas weddings are very real and are legally recognized across the country. Las Vegas earned its reputation of quick and easy marriages due to the fact that marriage licenses can be obtained with minimal documentation and are available for same-day use. After obtaining your marriage license, you are free to use it in the chapel of your choice, though the Elvis or Sinatra impersonator is optional.
The Clark County Clerk's office requires legal identification for both parties wishing to marry in Las Vegas. Valid identification can include your driver's license, military ID, passport or any other form of government-issued ID card. You may alternatively use a non-government ID with your photograph in conjunction with a legal birth certificate or social security card.
Legal Consent to Marry
Getting married in Las Vegas requires that both parties be of legal age of 18, however minors aged 16 and 17 may apply for a marriage license provided that both parties have parental consent. Each minor must have a parent or legal guardian present when applying for a marriage license. If the minor has a legal guardian, the guardian must have a court order showing the legal guardianship in addition to a valid form of identification. If the minor brings a parent, the minor must have an official copy of her birth certificate that lists that parent's name. The parent or legal guardian must also bring a notarized affidavit of consent for the marriage that states his or her relationship to the minor and contains the minor's birth date.
Court Order for Minors Under 16
Minors under the age of 16 may get married in Las Vegas, with some stipulations. For a minor under the age of 16 to obtain a marriage certificate, his parents or legal guardians must provide legal proof of guardianship and a valid ID to the Clark County Clerk's office. The minor's guardian must also file an action and present the Clerk's office with a court order from a Nevada state court permitting the marriage.
Divorcees, Widows and Widowers
If your previous marriage ended in divorce or if you suffered the loss of a spouse, you may apply for a marriage license as long as you have a valid ID and are able to show legal consent. You do not need to bring your final decree of divorce or a death certificate with you, but you must provide the month, day and year, as well as the city and state in which your divorce was granted or in which you became widowed.
Anthony Oster is a licensed professional counselor who earned his Master of Science in counseling psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has served as a writer and lead video editor for a small, South Louisiana-based video production company since 2007. Oster is the co-owner of a professional photography business and advises the owner on hardware and software acquisitions for the company.
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