Looking to get married in Las Vegas? It can be tricky to figure out exactly what you need in order to get a Las Vegas marriage license. At Lakeside Weddings & Events, we know all about the process of applying for a marriage license in Las Vegas. We’d love to help you figure everything out and make the process more straightforward! This article will break down the ins and outs of getting a marriage license for your Las Vegas wedding.
Basics of Applying for a Las Vegas Marriage License
You’re getting married in Las Vegas and planning the wedding of your dreams, but where do you even begin with the legal documents? The first step is applying for a marriage license. The only office that can legally issue a marriage license in Las Vegas is the Clark County Marriage Bureau. Beware of any other locations that claim they can offer legally binding marriage services. Without a marriage license, a marriage ceremony is not legally valid, so you want to make sure your bases are covered. Here are some steps to help you apply for your marriage license.
1. Make Sure You’re Eligible for a Las Vegas Wedding
Before you apply for a marriage license, you need to make sure that you’re legally allowed to be married in the state of Nevada. If you are under 18, you are not legally allowed to marry. There is an exception for 17-year-olds who have parental permission, but otherwise, you’re not of legal age to marry. You are also not allowed to marry anyone that is in your family with a relation closer than second cousins.
2. Complete Your Marriage License Registration
You need to register for a marriage license, which essentially means filling out paperwork with your information. You can do this in person, or you can complete a preregistration application online through the Clark County Clerk Office’s website. Either way, both you and your fiancé need to be physically present when actually picking up your marriage license.
3. Have the Proper Documentation and Payment Ready
You’ll both need a valid form of identification such as a driver’s license, passport, or military ID to complete registration. If you don’t have any of these, there’s a list of acceptable forms of ID on the Clark County website. Make sure that the name listed on your identification is accurate. This is exactly how your name will appear on your marriage license. You’ll also need to have a form of payment, as the cost to obtain a marriage license in Las Vegas is $77.
4. Have Your Personal Information Handy
The paperwork will ask you for a variety of personal information that you should be able to answer. This includes your social security number, the number of previous marriages you’ve had, and how many divorces you’ve had. When you’re filling out your application, make sure that all of the information has correct spelling and is accurate. If you accidentally make a mistake with the information on your marriage license, you’ll need to have it corrected. This can be a hassle if the license has already been processed. Corrections made after the ceremony sometimes require a fee payment, so you want to avoid mistakes if you can.
Important Things to Know About a Las Vegas Marriage License
Most brides and grooms to be know nothing about the basics of a marriage license. With this in mind, here are a few important details that you will want to be aware of before you apply for your Las Vegas marriage license:
- Valid Up To One Year: Once you’re issued a marriage license in Las Vegas, your marriage license is valid for up to a year! If you want to get your license in advance of your wedding, be sure to have the ceremony within a year of receiving it. This is one reason why it’s important to start your Las Vegas wedding venue search months or even a year in advance.
- Marriage License is Not a Binding Contract: A lot of people have the misconception that obtaining a marriage license means you’re officially a married couple. Unfortunately, this is not the case, so make sure you’re aware that your newly-issued Las Vegas marriage license is not a binding contract of marriage. A marriage license is a legal document stating that you and your fiancé are allowed to marry each other. You still need to have an official wedding ceremony in order to be legally married.
- Must Be Filed Within 10 Days: Per Las Vegas law, the officiant (the person who performs your wedding ceremony) has 10 days to file a marriage certificate. A marriage certificate is an official document stating you’re a married couple and is different from your marriage license. Though your officiant will be responsible for doing this, it’s always good to check that they are aware and that they have plans to file the certificate shortly after your wedding. The marriage certificate is legal proof of marriage and will be sent to you in the mail once it has been processed.
Marriage License Commonly Asked Questions
Figuring out how to obtain a Las Vegas marriage license can be a bit confusing. With this in mind, take a look at a few common questions that might clear up a few details for you:
1. Do I need a marriage license to get married in Las Vegas?
Yes. When marrying in Las Vegas, you must obtain a marriage license in order for your wedding to be legal. Although different states have different laws about when you need to get this license, in Las Vegas you must have a marriage license before you are married. If you don’t have a marriage license before your ceremony, it will not be legally binding and the marriage will not be valid.
2. How long does it typically take to get a Las Vegas marriage license?
Depending on how busy the Clark County Marriage Bureau is, getting a Las Vegas marriage license can be a very short process. Once you and your fiancé have registered for the license and it has been processed, you can go pick it up together. The biggest factor that will affect waiting time is the number of people that are in line at the marriage bureau. If there are a lot of people waiting to apply for a marriage license, there will be a long wait. However, if you preregister online before going in to pick up your marriage license, you can save yourself a lot of wait time.
3. Will I be able to marry the same day I get my marriage license?
Yes! Your marriage license is legally binding the second it’s in your hands. Once you’ve registered and completed the application process, just head to the Marriage Bureau with your future spouse to pick up the license. As long as you’re married by someone who’s legally certified to officiate wedding ceremonies, you can be married that day. This comes in handy for those romantic couples who decide last minute run off to a Las Vegas wedding chapel to get married that same day. Your wedding is not legally binding without both a valid marriage license and an ordained wedding officiant.
More Helpful Ideas for Planning a Las Vegas Wedding:
We know how detailed planning a wedding can be, and that you may need all the help you can get! For this reason, we are providing a few helpful resources to get the ball ready when you start planning your Las Vegas Wedding!
- Here’s a bullet list of everything you need to know for your Las Vegas marriage license.
- Check out our photo gallery to get inspiration for your big day!
- Click here for reception details and options available at Lakeside Weddings & Events.
- Weighing your options for Las Vegas wedding packages? We can help.
- Here are a few tips on how to plan a large Las Vegas wedding – read more.
- Take a peek at our specials list to find exclusive rates and bundles.
- Here’s some inspiration to help you create the Las Vegas wedding of your dreams.
- Need some ideas for the perfect updo for your Vegas ceremony? View this helpful post!
Let Lakeside Weddings & Events Be Part of the Magic!
At Lakeside Weddings & Events, we’re passionate about helping couples create the weddings of their dreams, and we love being a part of making the process smoother. Getting a marriage license in Las Vegas doesn’t have to be complicated, and we hope that this article helps you feel more prepared to start the process.
We’d love to be a part of your big day! Contact us for more information on how we can make your dream wedding into a reality. Or, stop by to see our full-service Las Vegas wedding venue located in the beautiful Desert Shores area of Summerlin.