Getting Married in Vegas – Legal Stuff
THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE
How to get to the Marriage Bureau?
It really is a hop, skip & a jump away from any centrally located hotel in Vegas. However, you have enough to do whilst getting married in Vegas with your ceremony, your photos, your parties and just enjoying the day. Let us take the stress away by getting you there and back with no hassle. There are 2 options we have on offer:
- We can book a town car, chauffeur driven to collect you from the hotel and take you to the Nevada Clark County, the driver will wait for you whilst you complete the paper work, pay your US$77 and then bring you back to the hotel – BUT………… When you book through Las Vegas Weddings we throw in either a small tour of the LV Strip or a photo stop at the LV Sign. All this can be booked and confirmed for you without you lifting a finger
- We can book the same service as above BUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we can book the one and only, the little man himself MINI ELVIS
Mini Elvis (or any character you want really) can collect you in his own car, serenade you along the way to the Nevada Clark County – he will wait for you whilst you complete the legalities and when you are finished, he will be waiting for you with some champagne to congratulate you. This transport also includes a tour up and down the Las Vegas Strip, maybe a photo stop on the way and then indenturing you back to the hotel with memories that will last you a lifetime.
Insider Tip: Speed things up with the online marriage pre-application process . You’ll receive a reference a number to bring to the Marriage License Bureau along with your ID/documentation. You’ll evenget to skip ahead to the “Express Window.” Your reference number will remain active in the system for 60 days, in case you need some time to think things though.
The Guide for Australians
At Las Vegas Weddings, we know that tradition isn’t for everyone. While most Aussies plan their weddings close to home, many plan their weddings out of the country. And a Las Vegas wedding can make many of the most common wedding snags disappear – including family dramas, invitation obligations and awkward seating arrangements. For others, it’s just a great chance to combine the joy of a gettomg married with an overseas holiday.
But no matter where you’re getting married, it’s important to take care of all the legal details up front so you can focus on what really matters – starting your new life together!
Fortunately, at Las Vegas Weddings, we are experts on navigating the legal requirements for Australians getting married in Las Vegas. It’s a relatively easy and simple process, once you know how. Once you’ve successfully obtained your marriage license, the way is clear for the Vegas wedding of your dreams!
Below is a quick and simple guide for Australians getting married in Las Vegas.
Once you’ve checked it out, feel free to give us a call on (02) 9407 8400 or 1800 747 848 with any further questions, or to start planning your Las Vegas wedding today!
How to Get Married in Australia
The State of Nevada’s Clark County Clerk is responsible for the issuance of all marriage licenses in the County. Clark County is home to Las Vegas, Nevada, the “marriage capital of the world.” In 2011, 89,407 marriage licenses were issued by the Clark County Clerk’s Office, more than any other county. The marriage industry is a very large part of the Las Vegas tourist economy.
Because of this, it is surprisingly easy to get married in Las Vegas! There are just a few simple things you need to know. Just follow this guide, and you’ll be well on your way to wedded bliss.
What to Do Before Leaving Australia
First, it is important to read and understand the below marriage license requirements that apply in Clark County to ensure you and your partner qualify. Once you’ve done so, you can move forward with the application process to obtain your marriage license.
Clark County offers a convenient online pre-application process for obtaining a marriage license, and we highly recommend that you take advantage of this time-saving measure when you visit the Clark Country Marriage website.
Why complete the pre-application process? When you pre-apply, you’ll receive a reference number. This makes obtaining your license much easier once you reach the States, as you simply need to take the appropriate documentation and your reference number to one of the Clark County Clerk’s express lanes. The pre-application is valid for sixty (60) days after it is completed.
Whilst it’s advisable for peak times like Valentines Day, generally speaking you’ll have no waiting lines on most other days.
Also, before leaving Australia, make sure you are taking original identification, as copies will not be accepted. An original Australian passport, driver’s license or original birth certificate will suffice. If you only present your birth certificate, however, you will also be asked for a photo ID.
Marriage License Requirements for Clark County, Nevada
Currently, applicants must be a male and a female to obtain a legally-recognised marriage license in Las Vegas. Commitment ceremonies can be easily performed in Las Vegas, regardless of gender, as no license is required; however, they are not legally recognised.
To obtain a marriage license through the clerk’s office, applicants must also be at least eighteen (18) years of age, and no nearer of kin than second cousins or cousins of half-blood. They must also have no living husband or wife at the time of application.
As stated above, proof of your name and age is required. The name on your marriage license will be listed exactly as it is on your presented identification, so if you have multiple forms of identification and a preference as to how your marriage license lists your name, keep that in mind. No blood tests are currently required, and there is no waiting period. The marriage license is issued the same day that you apply or complete your pre-application in person at the Clark County Clerk’s office.
The fee is USD $77, with a USD $5 surcharge for credit cards. Costs and application requirements may change at short notice;
Check out this site for current costs and additional information as this may change at short notice. For additional information, check out the Clark County Clerk’s office website.
What to Do When You Arrive in Las Vegas
Go to the Clark County Marriage Services office to obtain a marriage license or to finish the application process for the marriage license that you have already pre-applied for.
The office is located at:
Clark County Clerk
Marriage Services Division
201 East Clark Avenue
Las Vegas, Nevada 89155-1603
Telephone (702) 671-0600
Hours of Operation: 8:00 am to midnight (daily)
If you have not pre-applied, you will need to fill out the appropriate forms and produce correct identification. If you have pre-applied, you can enter the express lane and provide your pre-application reference number to speed up the process and obtain your marriage license more quickly.
Once your marriage license has been obtained, the marriage is registered in the State of Nevada. Australian citizens marrying overseas need not have their marriages registered in Australia. The U.S. marriage certificate is recognised as evidence in Australia of the occurrence and validity of the marriage. Indeed, your marriage will be acknowledged as a legal and binding union, as long as the circumstances would have allowed for a legal marriage in Australia.
After obtaining your marriage license, all you need to do is take it to your chosen venue with a licensed officiant, and get married!
For complete instructions on obtaining a Nevada Marriage license, go to the Clark County website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do you need a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage?
A: No. A ‘Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage’ is issued at the request of some overseas countries; however, it is not a requirement of Australian or US law.
Q: Will my marriage in Las Vegas be recognised and valid in Australia?
A. Yes. As long as the marriage was recognised as valid under the law of the country in which it was entered into (the United States) at the time when it was entered into, and would have been recognised as being legal under Australian law if the marriage had taken place in Australia.
Q: Do I need to register my Las Vegas marriage in Australia when I return home?
A: There is no requirement to register a marriage in Australia. The marriage certificate that was issues overseas will be recognised.
Those wishing to have their marriage registered in Australia can have a legal ceremony here before or after getting married in Las Vegas.
Q: Can I register my Las Vegas marriage with the Australian government if I wish to?
A: Yes. If you wish to register your marriage in Australia, after your Las Vegas wedding you will need to obtain a certified copy of your marriage documents from the Clark County Recorder, along with an Apostille from the Nevada Secretary of State.
You may obtain a certified marriage certificate or certified marriage abstract from the Clark County Recorder; these documents cost USD $15 each. A certified marriage package is also available, which includes both a certified marriage certificate and certified marriage abstract, for a fee of USD $30. Further information and documents relating to the certified marriage package can be found on the Clerk County Marriage portion of their website.
To order or pick up your certified marriage documents, visit the Clark County Recorder in person, or mail in your request to:
Clark County Recorder
Attn: Marriage Certificates
500 S. Grand Central Parkway, 2nd Floor
Las Vegas, NV 89155-1510
You will need these certified copies of your marriage documents in order to obtain an Apostille from the Nevada Secretary of State; do not send your Apostille request to the recorder’s office. The Secretary of State can send the Apostille directly to you or your government.
To order an Apostille, please send a certified copy of your marriage documents, along with the required form provided here and proper payment laid out in the form to:
Secretary of State
101 N. Carson Street, Suite 3
Carson City, NV 89701
Q: Are there any drawbacks or problems I should consider with a Las Vegas marriage?
A: Although getting married in Las Vegas is valid and legal for Australians, as stated previously, it is not generally registered in Australia unless you have a separate legal ceremony at home.
The only affect this has is if the bride decides to change her name, she has to do it by deed poll rather than through the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registry.
Q: Can I renew my wedding vows in Las Vegas?
A: Yes. Couples may renew their wedding vows at a church or wedding chapel. Churches or chapels may require you to bring a copy of your marriage certificate as proof of marriage before performing the renewal ceremony. A Nevada marriage license is not required.
A new marriage license cannot be issued to couples who are currently married to each other, with one exception: A license will be issued to couples previously married to each other who are being rejoined in marriage due to the documents having been lost, destroyed or otherwise unavailable.
Q: Can my partner and I have our commitment ceremony performed in Las Vegas?
A: Of course you can, and no paperwork is required.
An alternative worth considering:
You can have a legal ceremony in Australia – most government offices can do this with 2 months’ notice at a cost of AUD$250. You can also take your Australian registered marriage certificate to the Las Vegas wedding chapel or venue of your choice, and voila – get married!!
Whether you’d like a simple elopement or a Vegas wedding extravaganza, Pure Las Vegas weddings can make it happen! As a licensed travel agency, we can organize your entire wedding trip from start to finish, at absolutely no cost to you! Our wedding planning services are free. From just the two of you, to a wedding with hundreds of guests, we can give you the Las Vegas Wedding of your dreams. Call us on 1800 747 848 from Mon – Fri 9:00 am – 5:00 pm AEST, or send us an email anytime via the contact us page.
The Obligatory Disclaimer:
The information provided in this website is tried, tested and constantly updated; however, you should always check the source of the information both in Australia via Smartraveller and the US Embassy.
Whether you want to elope or have a wedding extravaganza, Las Vegas Weddings can organise your wedding, accommodation, flights and honeymoon for 2, 10 or 1000 people!
Let us help you save time and money. Weddings is big business in Las Vegas so let us help you deal with the detail – contact us via our online enquiry form.
Las Vegas Weddings is a division of Pure Travel.
For a pdf of the above go to Legal requirements for Aussies getting married in Las Vegas