What are the "Minimum Age Marriage Laws" in Nevada?

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Nevada, Las Vegas in particular, is often known as being a hotbed for marriage ceremonies. Chapels can be seen on just about every corner or inside most Las Vegas strip casino/resorts, solidifying Nevada's marriage reputation.  The reasoning is mostly due to Nevada's relaxed take on the requirements needed to obtain a marriage license.  So what exactly are Nevada's laws, regulations and requirements, regarding marriage?

Before covering what Nevada requires in order to obtain a marriage license, it is important to note what it does not.  Nevada does not require marriage license applicants to submit to a blood test or participate in a state-mandated waiting period.  Further, Nevada also offers many licensed bureaus that are open for business 24 hours per day, making marriage license extremely accessible.

What is the age requirement for marriage in Nevada?

For a marriage to be valid in Nevada, the law requires that both parties must appear in person before a Clerk at a Clark County marriage bureau location.  The applicants standing before the Clerk must be two people and be of at least 18 years of age.  Further, the applicants must be no closer in relation than second cousins and not have a current husband or wife that are living.

It is possible for people under the age of 18 to obtain a marriage license.  To do so, the consent of a parent must be given as well as a finding by a court that the marriage will serve the best interests of such persons and such person has also consented.

Minors seeking a valid marriage license will need an original or certified copy of their birth certificate which lists the name of the consenting parent.  If the parent has a last name that is different from that of the minor seeking the approved marriage, the parent will need to provide a certified copy of the minor's birth certificate which lists the parent's first and middle name.  If a legal guardian is authorizing the marriage, they will be required to present a certified copy of the court-ordered guardianship papers to the bureau.

Nevada's marriage and divorce rates exceeded the national average in 2009 and tend to be married for fewer years than the national average.  Part of the reason may be tied to the fact that, as mentioned, Nevada is lax on requirements for marriage and so less thought goes into the meaning and commitment that stands behind the easy to obtain a license.

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