Sarpy County's Marriage License Department is located in the Administration wing on the east side of the main courthouse (84th Street and HWY 370) at 1210 Golden Gate Drive #1130 in Papillion.
Hours available for obtaining a marriage license are as follows:
8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday-Friday
*Ceremony for the license can only be performed in the State of Nebraska*
*We have provided links below to utilize our "form fill" documents in order to expedite the application process or you may print the documents and complete by hand. Be sure to provide a copy of your identificaiton when applying for a certified copy of your marriage record.
BOTH applicants must appear before us and provide a current government issued picture ID with birth date - such as driver's license, military ID or passport along with this "Marriage Worksheet". Applicant's must provide birth places (city and state) and parents' full names - including mother's maiden name, and your parents' birth places (city and state). 17 and 18 year olds MUST have a certified copy of their birth certificates.
Applicants under the age of 19 must have parental consent. Anyone under the age of 17 cannot marry in Nebraska.
If there were any previous marriages we will need to know how they ended - divorce, annulment or death and the date the divorce was final or the date of death. If there is a previous divorce, a new license will not be issued and you cannot remarry until at least six (6) months and one (1) day have passed from the date the Decree is signed by the judge and filed with the Clerk's (District Court) office.
The fee for a marriage license is $15.00 with an additional $5.00 fee for a certified copy of the license payable at the time of application. The certified copy is required to execute any legal name changes and will be mailed to you after we receive your completed marriage license. Additional certified copies may be purchased at $5.00 per copy.
Nebraska no longer has a requirement for a blood test. Additional information on this can be viewed below under rubella tests.
Nebraska no longer has a waiting period so providing all required information is provided, you will leave with the license when you come in to apply. The licenses are valid anywhere in the state of Nebraska for a period of one year.
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the minimum age for marriage in Nebraska?
In order to marry in Nebraska, both parties must be a minimum age of seventeen and minors must have parental consent to marry. Parental consent may be provided by : 1) either of the parents, if the parents are living together; 2) the parent having legal custody, if the parents are living apart from each other; 3) the surviving parent, if one is deceased; or 4) the minors guardian if both parents are deceased or if the guardian has legal and actual custody of the minor. '42-105. Persons over age 19 are no longer considered minors, but if a person under age 19 is married, his or her minority ends. '43-2101.
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 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 under '43-3340. This requirement was enacted pursuant to federal law and is intended to aid child support enforcement efforts. 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 should be issued if a couple is renewing their vows. Marriages are void if either party has a spouse living at the time of the marriage, '42-103. The renewal is ceremonial in nature only and has no legal effect on the existing marriage of the parties. Similarly, now 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 another 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. A new license will not be issued and you cannot remarry until at least six (6) months and one (1) day have passed from the date the Decree is signed by the judge and filed with the Clerk's (District Court) office. The applicants will be required to submit the date the previous marriage ended. A divorce obtained in another jurisdiction is not effective if both parties are Nebraska residents at the time the divorce proceedings were begun '42-341.
Are rubella tests for female applicants required?
No. LB 1073, a Health and Human Services clean-up bill, outright repealed the rubella test, among other things. '42-121. Effective April 14, 1998, rubella testing is no longer required. Although a prohibition on marriage of persons afflicted with venereal disease remains in statute, no provisions are made for testing or enforcement. '42-102.
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 must present satisfactory documentary proof and must swear on the application the place, date and year of their birth. '42-104. State marriage license statutes do not provide for the services of an interpreter or other means of determining the accuracy of documentation presented in marriage license applications. County Clerks are given statutory discretion to refuse to grant a license if the required proof is not given, the parties are incompetent or minors without consent, or there is an impediment '42-107. However, a clerk who willfully and knowingly makes a false record of a certificate may be guilty of a Class I misdemeanor. '42-113. No Nebraska case law has interpreted this issue, although cases from other states have raised issues of good faith and privacy rights.
Can minors be witnesses?
State marriage license statutes require that at least two witnesses, in addition to the minister or magistrate, be present at the ceremony. '42-108 and 42-109. The names and residences of these witnesses must be provided on the certificate '42-110. While these sections do not specify a minimum age for witnesses, the age of majority for other legal purposes is 19, '42-2101. However, the minority of the witnesses is not specifically included as a statutory reason for a marriage to be void or voidable.
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. If the marriage is consummated with belief of the parties that they have been joined in marriage, the validity of the marriage is not affected by any want of jurisdiction or authority of a supposed minister, '42-114. However, if any person undertakes to join others in marriage, knowing that he or she is not authorized to do so or knowing of a legal impediment to the marriage, he or she shall be guilty of a Class I misdemeanor. '42-113.
What elements are required in the marriage ceremony?
No particular form of ceremony is required, although each party must solemnly declare in the presence of the efficient and witnesses that they take each other as husband and wife, '42-110. The ceremony may follow the rites and customs of the religious society to which the parties belong, with the moderator or keeper of the society's books completing and returning the certificate of marriage to the County Clerk '42-115.
CHANGING YOUR NAME (Bride)
This is a personal decision. You may choose to keep your name but if you decide to change your name legally, you should do the paperwork as soon as possible after you're married (or after your honeymoon). Following is a list of what may need to be updated. Many entities will require you to present a certified copy of your marriage license as proof of legal status to make your name change.
- Social Security Card
- Banks and Credit Union and investment accounts
- Vehicle Registration
- Driver's License
- Homeowner's insurance
- Medical and dental records
- Life insurance
- Car insurance
- Credit cards and files
- Deeds and property titles
- Voter registration
- IRS Forms
- Church records
- Mail and Newspaper subscriptions
Are same-sex marriages allowed?
No. The state of Nebraska does not recognize same-sex marriages. The issue has been raised during several recent legislative sessions, but no legislation has been adopted related to this issue. A 1996 Attorney Generals Opinion argues that despite state statutes recognizing all marriages contracted outside of the state, Nebraska law implicitly prohibits recognition of same sex marriages from other states based on the gender-specific references to the parties in state statute. Op. Atty Gen., No. 96025, March 30, 1996. A second Opinion cites the federal Defense of Marriage Act passed in September 1996, which allows states to refuse to accept same sex relationships that are treated as marriages in other states. Op. Atty Gen., No. 96090, December 30, 1996 citing 28 U.S.C. 1738C.
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. Because the state accepts marriages that are validly entered into elsewhere, a common law marriage of another state would be accepted here '42-117. However, residents of Nebraska cannot temporarily enter a common law marriage state to achieve that status. Binger v. Binger, 158 Neb. 444, 63 N.W.2d 784.
Can a customer get an official copy of a marriage license from the County Clerk's office?
Since 1987, County Clerks have submitted marriage records to the state, currently to the Bureau of Vital Statistics. State records retention guidelines provide that records of marriages entered into between 1909 and 1986 may be disposed of at the discretion of the County Clerk and there is no statutory requirement that records after 1987 be maintained in any fashion in the county.
The Sarpy County Clerk does, however, retain copies of these marriage records (1987 to current) and makes them available for a $5.00 fee for certified copies. These certified copies may be used for all legal purposes. The following "Application for Marriage Record" form may be downloaded for your convenience. Follow the instructions on this form and mail to the address listed.
You may also obtain official state-certified copies of marriage licenses for the years 1908 to current from the Bureau of Vital Statistics. The fee for such copies is $11.00. Copies of marriage licenses issued prior to 1908 may be obtained from the Nebraska State Historical Society.
Are prenuptial agreements allowed in Nebraska?
Prenuptial or premarital agreements are provided for in '42-1001 et. seq. And may be used by the parties to set out property rights, spousal support, life insurance and other matters prior to marriage. In general, an agreement must be in writing, must be signed voluntarily by both parties, and must make fair and reasonable disclosure of obligations '42-1003 and '42-1006. The agreement becomes effective upon marriage '42-1005.
If further information regarding your Marriage License is required please call 593-5957.
For information concerning scheduling the magistrate to conduct a marriage ceremony, contact the Sarpy County Court at 593-2179.