Marriage Officiant's FAQs

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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.

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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.

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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.



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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.



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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.



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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.

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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.



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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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What are my responsibilities after the wedding ceremony?
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.