Las Vegas brides, amidst all your Las Vegas wedding planning, there’s one element that you absolutely can’t forget. It’s not the venue, not even your wedding dress. Rather, it’s one simple piece of paper that will make your marriage official—the marriage license.
Issued by the county at your request, a marriage license is an official document that shows you and your groom are willfully consenting to marry one another. You’re old enough to understand what you’re doing, and you’re signing up for this commitment. Once you agree to be married, your marriage license will also let your union be recognized legally by the federal government. With this, you and your groom will receive certain rights and enjoy the perks of married life from the government’s perspective. This includes tax breaks, estate-planning partnerships, and benefits for housing, insurance, employment, and more. However, most importantly, the marriage license announces that your marriage is officially legal.
Now that you’re familiar with what a marriage license is and why you need to acquire this document before your Las Vegas wedding, let’s take a look at how to obtain a Las Vegas marriage license.
Marriage License Requirements
Fortunately, Las Vegas hosts one of the easiest marriage license processes in the United States. Clark County requires no blood test, and there is no waiting period between obtaining the marriage license and having your Las Vegas wedding ceremony. All you need is to be at least 18 years old (minors may marry with parental consent), currently unmarried to any living person (know the date of a spouse’s death or divorce decree, if applicable), know your social security number and current address, and have both bride and groom appear together with identification documents (proof of age and name, contains photo) before a Clerk at the Clark County Marriage Bureau.
Location and Hours
You can obtain your marriage license at the Las Vegas Downtown Marriage Bureau. This department is located in the Regional Justice Center at 201 Clark Ave. Las Vegas, Nevada 89155-1603. The office is open from 8:00 a.m. to midnight every day, including holidays.
One marriage license (which is all you need) costs $60.00. You can pay by cash, cashier’s check, money order, credit card, or debit card. Just keep in mind that an additional $5.00 processing fee will be added to any credit/debit card payments. Also, if you drive to the downtown Marriage Bureau, be sure to bring some spare change along to pay for parking meters nearby.
Marriage License Lifespan
After you obtain a marriage license at the Marriage Bureau, you have one year to host a ceremony that’s officiated by a Clark County-approved officiant. Just be sure you don’t lose this piece of paper in between receiving it from the Clerk and presenting it to the officiant on your wedding day.
Making Marriage Official
Your wedding ceremony makes your marriage immediately official for you and your groom. To also finalize the official process by the government’s standards, your officiant will sign your marriage license at the ceremony and submit it back to the county for you. Within several weeks of your marriage license’s submission, you will receive a packet in the mail with information about ordering a marriage certificate. This certified copy can be ordered for your records or for use to change your last name.
While the process of obtaining your marriage license in Las Vegas doesn’t take long, its effects will be enjoyed for years. As an officially married couple after your ceremony, you and your groom can revel in your decision to make this commitment to each other, not just for government benefits, but also for the benefits of having found someone special to partner with for life.
For more details about obtaining your marriage license in Las Vegas, Nevada, please visit our “Marriage License” page on our website.
Author: Allyson Siwajian © 2011
Photo Credit: Orange Soda Photo
Map: Courtesy of Bridal Spectacular