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Marriage Licenses - Frequently Asked Questions

Office Hours: 7:30 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.

Are rubella tests for female applicants required?

  • No. Effective April 14, 1998, rubella testing is no longer required.

Must social security numbers be included on the application?

  • Yes. Effective September 13, 1997, the social security numbers of both the bride and groom are required on the license and certificate. If a party refuses to submit his or her social security number or does not have one, Vital Statistics recommends obtaining a written statement from the party in this regard and attaching a photocopy of that document when the return is made to the state.

Should a license be issued if the parties are renewing their vows? Should a Nebraska license be issued if they were married in another country?

  • No new license is necessary and none will be issued if a couple is renewing their vows. Similarly, no new license should be issued if the parties were married in another state or country. If the marriage has been validly contracted under the laws of another state or country, it is effective here (§42-117).

How soon can parties remarry after a divorce?

  • In Nebraska, for purposes of remarriage, other than remarriage of the parties, a decree dissolving marriage becomes final and operative six months after the decree was rendered or upon the death of one of the parties, whichever comes first (§42-372.01). Neither applicant would be able to apply for a marriage license before the six month waiting period is over, therefore, they would have to wait exactly six months and apply one day after the waiting period is over. The applicants will be required to submit the date the previous marriage ended.

If a foreign birth certificate is presented as proof of age and the parties claim to be of age, must that document be accepted?

  • Each party applying for a marriage license shall present satisfactory documentary proof and shall swear to the application giving the place, date and year of their birth, full name of each applicant and residence (§42-104). Satisfactory documentary proof of identity includes, in Lancaster County, a photo id of each party. Please contact our office if you have questions concerning your identification papers.

How closely related may the parties be?

  • Marriages are void when the parties are related to each other as parent and child, grandparent and grandchild, brother or sister, half-brother or half-sister, whole first cousins, uncle and niece, or aunt and nephew (§42-103). This section applies to children and relatives born in or out of wedlock.

Must a minister be a resident of or certified in Nebraska?

  • No. Nebraska certification or residence is not needed as long as the minister is authorized to perform marriage ceremonies by the denomination to which he or she belongs. "Every judge, retired judge, or clerk magistrate, and every preacher of the gospel authorized by the usages of the church to which he or she belongs to solemnize marriages, may perform the marriage ceremony in this state" (§42-108).

Can I be married by someone who became ordained over the internet?

  • You would need to seek legal counsel or get an attorney's opinion. Our office does not give out advice on who can perform a ceremony unless they are/were a government employee. Please read the Statute above on what is required from the person who is going to perform your ceremony.

Are same-sex marriages allowed?

  • No. The State of Nebraska does not recognize same-sex marriages.

Are common law marriages accepted in the state?

  • Since 1923, common law marriages cannot be entered into in Nebraska (Ropken v. Ropken, 169 Neb. 352, 99 N.W.2d 480).

What do we do if we want to be married by a judge?

  • Who can perform your ceremony: State Statute 42-108 states, "Every judge, retired judge, clerk magistrate, or retired clerk magistrate, and every preacher of the gospel authorized by the usages of the church to which he or she belongs to solemnize marriages, may perform the marriage ceremony in this state." Attached is a list of Judges you may contact who can perform your marriage ceremony.
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