You Must Obtain A Marriage License in the State You Plan to Marry In

In order to legally get married, you will need to obtain a marriage license! Because Lake Tahoe lies in both California and Nevada, the process will differ a little, and you must get your marriage license in the state where your ceremony will take place.


To get a marriage license in California, you will need to visit any county clerk’s office in the state. There is no waiting period, but the license expires after 90 days – so if you’re local to California, it is usually easiest to find a county clerk’s office close to home! But, if you’re traveling from out of state, make sure to arrive early and give yourself enough time to get this done. The closest county clerk’s office to the lake is the El Dorado County Recorder-Clerk’s Office, located at 3368 Lake Tahoe Blvd, and you can fill out an application in advance here. Make sure to bring a photo ID and a way to pay for the license fee, which costs $80.


If you’re eloping on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, you can fill out a marriage application online here! Afterwards, you must appear in person at the county clerk’s office, located at 175 Highway 50 in Stateline, Nevada. If you live in Nevada, you can do this at any office in the state! If you’re traveling for your elopement, make sure to arrive at Lake Tahoe with enough time to grab your marriage license. There is no waiting period, so you can go right from the county clerk to your ceremony, but it’s always best to give yourself an extra day or two! You can apply for a marriage license up to a year in advance, and will need to bring a photo ID and $60 when you visit the county clerk.

Do I need a permit?

YES!! in order to have a smooth, easy, and relaxed elopement day you’ll want to obtain a permit ahead of time.

Regardless if it’s just 10 people in your party or just the two of you, you’ll want to ensure you get a permit (there is a small fee), the last thing you want is someone stopping you mid ceremony during such a special moment.

You can quickly get in touch with the Lake Tahoe Basin Mgt Unit Service office at (530) 543-2600.

4 Best locations to elope around lake tahoe

South Lake Tahoe is such a special place filled with epic tree lined scenery, wavering hues of alpine blue water, stunning views, hiking galore, open meadows, kayaking, boating, OH YEA and sandy beaches! Not a bad place to share your vows. If you’re dreaming of tying the knot and eloping in South Lake Tahoe this little guide will help you narrow down the exact location of where to have your perfect ceremony location, I’ll be sharing 4 worthy elopement ceremony locations for you to consider..

Emerald Bay State Park

This location is stunning and it’s super accessible and just a short walk from the parking lot, which is also helpful if you plan to have some family members. It overlooks the beautiful little island and you’re surrounded by trees while being engulfed by snow capped mountains. You can opt to have your ceremony on the rocks overlooking the bay or find a dirt clearing to host your ceremony.


Sand Harbor

Sand Harbor only allows ceremonies at the Ramada – but that doesn’t mean you have to get married in the hotel! There is a small pocket of beach where you can say your vows. A permit costs $400, plus $10 per car, and the application can be found here. And don’t worry, you can explore the beach and take photos in all the amazing locations after (or before) your ceremony!


Logan Shoals

On the east side of Lake Tahoe is a small, private overlook above the lake. It’s location on the east side makes this one of the best places to elope at sunset in Lake Tahoe, as the sun sets in the west and the mountains surrounding the lake light up in hues of red. Logan Shoals ceremony location is easily accessible, yet private as it is tucked away, and perfect for an elopement with just a few guests! You will need a special use permit! The special use office can be contacted at (530) 543-2636.


Cave Rock

If you’re just planning a “just us” experience for your elopement then you can opt to have your ceremony on TOP of Cave Rock. It’s a short but steep hike with a bit of scrambling up the rocks to reach the top, once on top you have a beautiful sweeping view of Nevada and California! I will mention that once you are at the top it is very limited, no more than 5 people can walk around, I would only suggest to have your ceremony here at sunrise because during sunset it gets a bit crowded/less private.