Frequently Asked Questions

+
Board of Equalization

+
Can I get my hearing date changed?
You may request a hearing date to be changed by sending a letter to the Washoe County Clerk specifying the reason(s) why you need the date changed at least five (5) days prior to your hearing date. The final decision as to whether or not a hearing date can be changed will be at the Board's discretion. All business of the County Board must be concluded by February 28th.

+
How long can I expect to be at a hearing?
The Board may ask questions at any time during the hearing. Hearings are scheduled to commence at 9:00am. Hearings are called based on the petitioners present at the hearing in the order they sign in with the Clerk. Any particular petition on the agenda may be heard at any time during the day and may not be heard in the order it appears on the agenda. Hearings can sometimes run into the evening hours.

+
What are the Board of Equalization's hearing procedures?

All hearings before the Board of Equalization proceed as follows:

  1. Assessor describes and locates the subject property
  2. Petitioner's (property owner) presentation of value
  3. Assessor's presentation of value
  4. Petitioner's rebuttal

The Board may continue the hearing to a future date. In the event that the Board takes action on the petition, the Board may ask questions at any time. The Board's action may consist of denying the petition, upholding the petitioner's value, or deciding a different value for the property.

Action taken by the Board of Equalization on any appeal may include adding thereto or deducting therefrom a sum from any other property assessed by the County Assessor as is necessary to make it conform to the taxable value of the property on appeal.



+
What do I need to bring to my hearing and what do I need to leave with the County Clerk?

For information related to this question, please review the information contained in the Board of Equalization Evidence Exhibits section.



+
What if I can't be there for my hearing?

The Board of Equalization may hear a petition with or with out the petitioner present. If you can't attend the hearing, but want the Board to consider your written evidence, please review the information contained in this section.



+
When may I file an appeal?
Petitions must be filed with the County Assessor of the county in which the property is located, not later than January 15th.

+
Why does the County Clerk need my evidence five (5) days in advance of my hearing date?
The Clerk needs this documentation ahead of time so it can be copied and provided to the Board of Equalization. The Board has requested that they receive the information to review three (3) days prior to the scheduled hearing. If you are unable to provide the documentation to the Clerk five days before your hearing, please bring eight (8) copies of the documentation with you to the hearing and the Board will review it at that time.

+
Business

+
Does the Fictitious Firm Name Certificate expire?
The certificate will expire five years from the file date.

+
Does this information get published in the newspaper?
Publishing is not required in Nevada. Our office does not submit any information to the newspapers regarding fictitious firm name certificates.

+
How can I protect my business name?
The filing of this certificate does not prevent someone else from using the same business name. You can file a "Trade Name" with the Nevada Secretary of State. Please call (702) 486-2880.

+
When must I refile this certificate?
The certificate must be refiled with each change of legal ownership, change of residence address of any legal owner or at five years from the file date.

+
Where do I go next?
You will need to contact the Nevada Department of Taxation, as well as the business license office(s) for their requirements. Any business that is regulated by a State agency must comply with those specific requirements as well.

+
Why can't I use a PO Box? Can I use a private mail box?
The statute states a physical address must be used and prohibits the use of a public or private mailbox. We have provided space for an alternate mailing address.

+
Why must I file a fictitious firm name certificate?
When the business name is in any way different from the legal name of the owner(s) of the business, or a corporation is doing business under a name different than the legal entity name, a fictitious firm name certificate is required by state law. Please refer to NRS 602.

+
Will the Clerk's Office mail anything to my home?
When filing this document, the Clerk's office does not mail anything to your home. You will be notified of the expiration of your certificate at the five-year expiration period.

+
Marriage Officiants

+
Are faxed copies of the paperwork acceptable?
We are not able to accept faxed copies of any of the forms. We must have the originals.

+
Can the certificate be picked up or mailed to a different address from the one on the application?
Yes, just make sure to include the special instructions when you submit your application. Please note that we cannot express or priority mail certificates unless it is through the post office using a self-addressed, pre-paid Express Mail or Priority Mail envelope that is provided to us with your application package.

+
How does a minister, church or religious official, or notary public get removed from the database?
Removal of a minister, church or religious official authorized to solemnize marriages is accomplished by an Affidavit of Removal of Authority to Solemnize Marriages which needs to be completed by someone authorized to speak on behalf of the church or religious organization. We will also accept a letter from the minister or other person authorized to solemnize marriages if he or she wishes to voluntarily notify us. 

A notary public authorization will be revoked upon notification from the Secretary of State that the notary public is no longer in good standing and/or upon written notification or request from the notary or a court-appointed personal representative on behalf of the notary public.



+
How do I become a minister or other person authorized to solemnize marriages?
Our office cannot provide instruction to individuals on how to become a minister or other person authorized to solemnize marriages. Each of the various churches and/or religious organizations has their own standards and requirements. Our office is only involved with authority to solemnize marriages. If you have any other questions regarding Certificates of Permission to Solemnize Marriages in the State of Nevada, feel free to send us an email.

+
How do I change my current certificate to Retired Clergy Status?
All clergy will need to reapply if they change to Retired Status. There is a separate application for a Retired Status Certificate. To obtain a Retired Status Certificate you must have had active charge of a church or religious organization in the State of Nevada for a period of at least (3) three years.  There is no retired status authorized for a notary public.

+
How long does it take to process the application and for the certificate to be issued?
The turnaround time for a permanent authorization is 2-3 weeks, depending on the results of the background check. If everything is in order, the certificate will be mailed to the home address of the applicant. If there is a problem with the paperwork, there will be a delay in issuing the certificate until any and all issues are resolved.

+
How long is the certificate valid?

MINISTER OR CHURCH OR RELIGIOUS OFFICIAL

According to NRS 122.066, it is valid until:

(a) The county clerk has received an Affidavit of Removal of Authority to Solemnize Marriages stating that the minister or other person authorized to solemnize marriages from the church or religious organization is no longer authorized to solemnize marriages for the church or religious organization;

(b) The county clerk has received a written statement that the minister to whom a certificate of permission was granted is no longer a minister;

(c) The county clerk has reason to believe that the minister or other person authorized to solemnize marriages is no longer in good standing within his church or religious organization, or that he is no longer a minister or other person authorized to solemnize marriages, or that such church or religious organization no longer exists. The clerk may require satisfactory proof of the good standing of such minister or other person authorized to solemnize marriages. If such proof is not presented within 15 days, the county clerk shall revoke the Certificate of Authority to Solemnize Marriages; and

(d) If any minister to whom a Certificate of Authority to Solemnize Marriages has been issued servers ties with his church or religious organization or moves from the county in which his certificate was issued, the certificate shall expire immediately upon such severance or move and the church or religious organization shall, within 5 days after the severance or move, file an Affidavit of Revocation of Authority to Solemnize Marriages. If the minister or other person authorized to solemnize marriages voluntarily advises the county clerk of the severance with his church or religious organization, or that he has moved from the county, the certificate shall expire immediately upon such severance or move without any notification to the county clerk by the church or religious organization.

Authorization for a Single Ceremony Certificate of Permission to Perform A Marriage is issued for one specific ceremony. The minister or other person authorized to solemnize marriages must obtain a separate authorization for each marriage performed, and may not perform more than five marriages in this State in any calendar year.

NOTARY PUBLIC

A Certificate of Permission issued to a notary public expires at the end of the notary’s current notary commission with the Nevada Secretary of State, unless renewed within 90 days of its expiration.



+
I am a judge in another state; can I obtain authorization to perform a ceremony in Nevada?

There is no provision in Nevada law allowing for an out-of-state judge to perform a marriage.



+
I am a licensed, ordained or appointed minister, or church or religious official; may I obtain permission to perform a specific wedding ceremony in Nevada?
NRS 122.062 states that a licensed, ordained or appointed minister, or church or religious official may be authorized to perform a specific marriage in the county where the ceremony is to take place if he is in good standing with his church or religious organization. The authorization must be in writing and a separate authorization is required for each marriage performed. Such a minister or other person authorized to solemnize marriages may perform not more than five marriages in this state in any calendar year. You may apply by completing the application for a Single Ceremony Certificate of Permission to Solemnize Marriages.

+
I am a notary public in another state; can I obtain authorization to perform a ceremony in Nevada?

There is no provision in Nevada law allowing for an out-of-state notary public to perform a marriage.



+
I am a retired Nevada judge; am I still authorized to perform marriage ceremonies?
Nevada law does not provide for retired judges to perform a marriage. However, a Nevada senior justice or judge may perform routine ministerial acts, including the solemnization of marriages and the administering of oaths, during his/her term as a senior justice or judge. (Nevada Supreme Court Rule 10, Section 9)

+
I am an out-of-state licensed, ordained or appointed minister, or church or religious official; may I obtain permission to perform a specific wedding ceremony in Nevada?
NRS 122.062 states that a licensed, ordained or appointed minister, or church or religious official may be authorized to perform a specific marriage in the county where the ceremony is to take place if he is in good standing with his church or religious organization. (There is no residency requirement for this minister or religious official for a single ceremony certificate).  The authorization must be in writing and a separate authorization is required for each marriage performed. Such a minister or other person authorized to solemnize marriages may perform not more than five marriages in this state in any calendar year. You may apply by completing the application for a Single Ceremony Certificate of Permission to Solemnize Marriages.

+
If I belong to a church or religious organization that was just started and I am the senior pastor/president of the board, who can complete the Affidavit of Authority to Solemnize Marriages on my behalf?
NRS 122 provides that the form be signed by an individual authorized to speak on behalf of your church or religious organization. It could be someone such as a member of the board, an officer of the organization, or someone else within your organization who has authority to speak for your church or religious organization. You cannot sign on your own behalf.

+
Is there a fee for processing an Application for Authority to Solemnize Marriages?
Yes.  Effective October 1, 2013 there is a $25 fee for all Applications.  In addition, background checks are performed on all applicants, with the exception of single ceremony applicants and U.S. Armed Forces Chaplains.  The fee for the background check is $49 which goes to the third-party vendor conducting the investigation.  Details regarding payment of these fees are included in the application instructions.

+
The wedding is to take place within a few days. Is it possible to obtain the Certificate of Authority to Solemnize Marriages in time to perform the wedding?
Local ministers, church or religious officials or notary publics should submit their paperwork at least 3-4 weeks in advance of the wedding to allow time for processing and the required background check. Applicants applying for a Single Ceremony Certificate of Permission to Perform A Marriage should submit their applications 3-4 weeks prior to the wedding in case there are delays for corrections to the paperwork. Unfortunately, if the application is not received timely, there is a chance that your application will not be acted upon prior to your intended ceremony.

+
What are my responsibilities after the wedding ceremony?
+
What if I change my address?
Address changes require completion of the appropriate Change of Address form.  Religious Change of Address or Notary Change of Address.  A Notary Public moving to a different County must reapply in the new County of residence as the Certificate is only valid while they reside in the County of issuance.

+
What if I change my church or religious organization or if my church or religious organization moves to a new location?
Address changes for church or religious organization or the minister's home address require completion of a Religious Organization Change of Address form. Please notify us of address changes on the appropriate form and return it to the address listed above. Certificate holders will need to reapply if they change to a new church or religious organization. Applications can be obtained online.

+
Where do I send the application?
Send it to Washoe County Clerk's Office, Clerk’s Admin, P. O. Box 11130, Reno, NV 89520. If you are sending it via express mail, send to 1001 E 9th Street, Building A, Reno, NV 89520.

+
Why do I have to have a background check?
NRS 122.064, Subsection 3 (c), mandates that "…the county clerk shall, before approving an initial application, satisfy himself that: …the applicant has not been convicted of a felony, released from confinement or completed his parole or probation, whichever occurs later, within 10 years before the date of the application." A background check will be conducted by a third party vendor on all Permanent Applications, Retired Status (local ministers only) Applications and Temporary Replacement Applications. The non-refundable fee for this background check is $49 payable by the applicant. Additional information is contained in the individual Application packets.

+
Marriages

+
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.

+
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.

+
Do we need a blood test?
Blood tests are not required in Nevada, and there is no waiting period.

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

You can request a copy of the Marriage Application online. 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 11130
Reno, NV 89520-0027

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.



+
What do I need to change my name with Social Security and the 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.

+
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?
  • Both the parent/legal guardian and the minor must present a valid government-issued photo identification. See section "What should we bring for identification"
  • 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.


+
What information do we need to purchase a marriage license?

Each applicant must provide government issued photo ID containing the person’s legal name and date of birth (see Marriage FAQs:  What Should I Bring for Identification? and What If I’m Not 18? for more information).  Your name and birth date will appear on your marriage license exactly as they appear on the ID you present.

Nevada Revised Statute 122.040(3) requires each applicant to provide the following information under oath:

  1. Information about applicant:
    1. Place of residence (city and state or, if outside the U.S.A., name of country)
    2. Place of birth (city and state or, if outside the U.S.A., name of country)
    3. Social Security Number (documentation is not required). If a person does not have a Social Security Number, the person must state that fact
    4. Prior marriages (documentation is not required)
      1. Number of this marriage (1st, 2nd, etc.)
      2. How most recent marriage ended (death, divorce or annulment)
      3. Where most recent marriage ended (city and state, if outside U.S.A., name of country)
      4. When most recent marriage ended (month and year)
  2. Parental Information
    1. Father's name
    2. Father's place of birth (state or, if outside the U.S.A., name of country)
    3. Mother's name (maiden)
    4. Mother's place of birth (state or, if outside the U.S.A., name of country)
  3. Mailing address for the couple



+
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 POSSIBLE ACCEPTABLE PROOF OF AGE & NAME
(DOCUMENTS TO BE HANDLED ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS)

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.)
    • 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;

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.


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.



+
Where are you located and how are the road conditions?
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.

+
Where can I find information related domestic partnerships?
+
Who May Marry?

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