Why Sin City Is The Wedding Mecca And Divorce Capital Of The Country

By Rebecca Clifford-Cruz
Las Vegas Sun.

Las Vegas is the undisputed wedding capital of the world. Last year, the Clark County Clerk’s Marriage License Bureau issued 80,738 marriage licenses, at a rate more than double any other jurisdiction in the country.

The marriage industry brings big bucks into Clark County. Last year, wedding tourism pumped $2 billion into the local economy and generated $69 million in tax revenue.

But our dominance is waning. A decade ago, Clark County issued more than 128,000 marriage licenses annually, and weddings generated $190 million each year for county government coffers.

Why the drop? Nevada no longer is alone in quick, easy weddings. Other states increasingly are enacting relaxed marriage laws to compete for wedding tourists.

Still, there aren’t many other places people can go to file marriage paperwork at midnight or have Elvis officiate their wedding.

How to tie the knot in Sin City
Both the bride and groom must appear in person to apply for a marriage license before a clerk at a Clark County Marriage Bureau location.

The bureau at the Regional Justice Center, 201 E. Clark Ave., Las Vegas, is open 8 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week.

Under special circumstances, a marriage license may be issued when only one party can be present due to a mate’s hospitalization or incarceration.

Applicants must be 18 or older and be no closer of kin than a second cousin or cousin of half-blood. Applicants also cannot be legally married to anyone else.

Teens ages 16 and 17 can marry with permission from a parent or legal guardian, and people younger than 16 can marry if a judge approves it.

What to bring
Be sure to bring original identification to prove your name and age, such as a driver’s license, passport or military ID. You may bring an original or certified copy of your birth certificate but will need a second form of ID as well in that case, such as a sheriff’s work card, Social Security card, bank-issued debit card or membership card from a store such as Costco or Sam’s Club.

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