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County Home => Clerk's Office => Marriage Bureau => Clerk's Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


• Who may marry?

A male and female person, at least 18 years of age, not nearer of kin than second cousins or cousins of the half blood, and not having a husband or wife living, may be joined in marriage. Both parties must appear at the Marriage License Bureau in either Reno or Incline Village.

• Do we need a blood test?

Blood tests are not required in Nevada, and there is no waiting period.

• What should we bring for identification?

IDENTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
EFFECTIVE DECEMBER, 2011

NRS 122.040 (2): Before issuing a marriage license, the county clerk shall require each applicant to provide proof of the applicant's name and age.

NRS 122.050: The Marriage License must contain the name of each applicant as shown in the documents presented to prove name and age.

ACCEPTABLE AS PROOF OF AGE & NAME

The following original documents containing the applicant's photo are acceptable. The photo must be a sufficiently recent, clear likeness of the applicant.

  • Driver's License
  • Driver's Instruction Permit
  • ID Card issued by U.S. state or territory
  • Foreign government issued ID Card, including Driver's License (must include birth date)
  • Passport
  • Matricula Consular Card
  • Military ID Card issued by branch of U.S. Armed Forces
  • Military Dependent ID Card issued by branch of U.S. Armed Forces
  • Certificate of Citizenship issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • Permanent Resident Card issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • Voter Identification Card (must contain birth date)

COMBINATIONS OF ACCEPTABLE PROOF OF AGE & NAME

An original or certified Birth Certificate AND

  • any secondary document that contains the name and photograph of the applicant, or
  • any document for which identification must be verified as a condition of receipt of the document, such as:
    • Gaming Sheriff's Work Card
    • Social Security Card
    • Voter Registration Card
    • Bank issued Debit Card
    • Employee ID Card/Badge
    • Membership Card from establishments requiring ID for membership (Costco, Sam's Club, etc.)

The County Clerk requires that foreign birth certificates be translated into English. The translation must state that it is a true and correct translation of the birth certificate. The translation must also state that the translator is a qualified translator and include the printed name of the translator. The document must be signed and notarized.

If the Marriage Bureau Clerk determines the applicant clearly appears over the age of 25 years, no proof of age is required. Proof of identity (name) is still required.

DOCUMENTS TO BE HANDLED ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS

  • Student Identification Card
  • Prison Identification Card
  • Any other document not otherwise mentioned in this policy
  • Temporary Driver's License or Permit (must not have language "Not Valid for ID Purposes")
  • Any other secondary document that contains the name and photograph of applicant;

EXAMPLES OF UNACCEPTABLE PROOF OF AGE & NAME

  • ID card issued by check cashing companies
  • Debit or Credit Cards (Accepted only if presented with original or certified copy of the birth certificate)
  • Membership cards from businesses or organizations that do not require ID for membership
  • ID card or document indicating "Not Valid for Identification Purposes"
  • Letters or Statements (which may or may not be notarized) stating that the person says he's the person known as "John Doe"
  • Documents that appear to be home-made or lack the appearance of being an official form of identification.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

  • If a parent giving consent to the marriage of a minor pursuant to subsection 5 of NRS 122.020 has a last name different from that of the minor seeking to be married, the county clerk shall accept, as proof that the parent is the legal parent of the minor, a certified copy of the birth certificate of the minor which shows the parent's first and middle name and which matches the first and middle name of the parent on any document listed in subsection 2 or NRS 122.020.
  • Court Orders presented for minors under the age of 16 require acceptable photo identification as listed above in addition to the Court Order
  • Hyphens may not be included in names unless they are on the identification presented

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Your Marriage License and Certificate will be prepared with your legal name exactly as it appears on the identification presented. It is your responsibility to present the proper identification to have your name reflected as you desire. For example, if you want your Marriage License and Certificate to reflect your full middle name, the identification you present must contain your full middle name - not an initial.

Errors discovered after the ceremony may be corrected upon written request to this office. Marriage records WILL NOT be changed after the ceremony to reflect names that are different from the names on the identification presented at the time the license was issued unless extenuating circumstances exist and proof of the correct name is provided. Corrections of marriage records will be approved on a case-by-case basis and will be subject to a fee. No fee will be charged for corrections due to clerical errors made by County Clerk staff.

• What if I'm divorced?

You do not need to bring your divorce papers, however, if you have been divorced or your previous marriage has been annulled, the divorce or annulment must be final in the state where granted. You must know the year of the divorce or annulment and where the papers were filed.

• What if I'm not 18?

  • Persons at least 16 years of age but less than 18 years of age may marry only if the person has the consent of a parent or legal guardian. A parent or legal guardian is required to have acceptable identification to prove they are the parent on the birth certificate or the legal guardian on the guardianship order. If the parent's last name is different than the child's, you must show proof of how the parent obtained that name. Persons signing as legal guardians must furnish a certified court order showing proof of full legal guardianship to the satisfaction of the Clerk.

  • If the parent or legal guardian cannot be present, a consent form, written in English, stating the name, birth date, age of the minor child, relationship of the person giving consent, and name of prospective spouse; acknowledged before a Notary Public will be accepted. The notary portion of the consent form must state that the parent or guardian "personally appeared before" or that the document was "subscribed and sworn to before" the notary. A facsimile of the consent will be accepted. When a legal guardian is signing and sending a facsimile, a copy of the court order for full guardianship must be attached to the notarized consent. If the parent's last name is different than the child's, you must show proof of how the parent obtained that name.

  • Persons under 16 years of age may marry only if a parent or legal guardian files an action, pays all court fees as provided by law, and presents a court order from the Second Judicial District Court, County of Washoe, State of Nevada, authorizing the Clerk to issue a license.

• Am I married after I receive my license?

To be legally married, a marriage ceremony must be performed by any person authorized to perform a marriage in the State of Nevada. Your options are:

One witness to the marriage ceremony is required by law. Chapel brochures are available in the courthouse hallway for your selection. You may also call the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitor's Authority at (800) FOR-RENO, (888) 367-7366. The Chamber of Commerce  at (775) 636-9550. To be married at Lake Tahoe you may call the Incline Village/Crystal Bay Chamber of Commerce at (775) 831-4440.

A marriage license issued in the State of Nevada may be used anywhere within Nevada. If a Nevada license is used anywhere other than Nevada, the ceremony and the marriage are not legal. A marriage performed in Nevada with a Nevada license is a legal marriage.  

• How do I get certified copies of my marriage application/certificate?

You can request a copy of the Marriage Application online with your Visa or MasterCard. You are not requesting a license to be married. You must be present in our offices to request a Marriage License. By clicking the "online" link above, you will be taken to our secured server. You must use the tab key or your mouse to move from field to field. When you have completed your request, you will need to click on continue to return to our site. If you do not feel comfortable submitting your request online, you may obtain a copy by mail from:

Washoe County Clerk
P.O. Box 30083
Reno, NV 89520-3083

When ordering a certified copy by mail, please remit $.50 per page copy charge and $6.00 for the certification (most documents are one page in which case the fee would be $6.50 for a certified copy). You will be notified if there are additional pages.

Visa, MasterCard, Money Orders or Cashier Checks only, no personal checks. Please include the date of marriage and names of the bride and groom with your request. You may also call us at (775) 784-7260 as we do accept phone orders with a Visa or MasterCard credit card only.

You can obtain a true, legal certified copy of your marriage record (marriage certificate) from the Washoe County Recorder's Office. You can download the request form and mail or fax it to the Recorder's Office. The Recorder's Office is located in the Washoe County Administration Complex, 1001 E 9th Street, Building A, Room 150. The hours of service are Monday through Friday, 8AM to 5PM. The fee per certified copy is $15.00. When requesting certified copies through the mail from the Recorder's Office you will need to allow 10-15 working days for processing. The mailing address is WASHOE COUNTY RECORDER, PO BOX 11130, RENO, NV 89520-0027. It is Nevada State law that within 10 days after you have had a marriage ceremony performed, that the minister must deliver the original marriage certificate to the Washoe County Recorder's Office for official recording. If you need a certified copy of your marriage certificate sooner than 10 days, check with the agency performing your ceremony, as they may be able to help expedite the processing of your certificate.

• Where can I find information related to Domestic Partnerships?

• Where are you? How are the roads?

For road information, visit http://www.nvroads.com.
Click here for a map of our Reno location.
Click here for a map of our Incline Location.
Click here for a map of our Commissioner of Civil Marriages location.

• What do I need to change my name with Social Security and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)?

Social Security and the DMV require a certified copy of your Marriage Certificate, which will be recorded with the County Recorder after your ceremony.

• Do we both need to be present to purchase a marriage license?

Both parties must be present at the time their license is issued unless there are extenuating circumstances. Single signature licenses will only be issued with supervisor / management approval. If you feel you may qualify to be issued a single signature license, please contact our office prior to coming in so that we can discuss the specifics of your situation.