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New state law expands marriage duties for Notaries

Wedding.jpgUpdated 7-7-23 with new Maine information.

Nevada has become the fourth state authorizing Notaries to conduct wedding ceremonies.

Under Senate Bill 419, which took effect October 1, Notaries may apply for a certificate to perform marriages from the clerk of the county in which they reside. Once issued a certificate, Notaries may perform marriages for couples that present a valid marriage license issued by any Nevada county.

As an alternative, Notaries that do not have general permission to perform marriages may apply with their county clerk for authority to perform a single, specific marriage ceremony. A Notary may apply for a specific marriage ceremony certificate up to five times per year in Nevada.

Nevada Notaries may charge a fee of $75 for performing a marriage.

Five other states — Florida, Maine*, Montana, South Carolina and Tennessee — permit Notaries to officiate weddings as part of their duties, and California authorizes a limited number of Notaries to issue confidential marriage licenses to couples, which some Notaries combine with becoming ordained ministers in order to also perfom ceremonies. Notaries in these states have been able to establish thriving wedding businesses.

*Effective July 1, 2023, Maine Notaries automatically receive a license as a marriage officiant. However, Maine Notaries may opt out if they choose.

David Thun is the Assistant Managing Editor with the National Notary Association.

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