Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Israeli Couples Marrying in Utah Virtually

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

The phones at the Utah County clerk’s office just keep ringing, many of the calls coming from those seeking marriage licenses. While that may not be surprising, given the county’s reputation as a haven for big families, there’s a twist.
A number of the calls are coming from Israel. In fact, between Dec. 28 and Jan. 13, the county issued 62 licenses to Israeli couples. About a third of the 474 marriage licenses that were issued during the same period were to couples outside of Utah.
The county has seen increased demand for its online marriage certificate services after the recent recognition of a handful of remotely issued Utah certificates by the Israeli government.
The move is monumental for Israel, which does not permit civil marriages within the country. In the past, couples who did not want or could not be married in a religious ceremony, such as those who are LGBTQ, interfaith or nonreligious couples, have had to travel outside of the country to be married civilly before bringing back their civil marriage license to register with Israeli officials. The pandemic, of course, severely limited couples’ ability to travel outside of Israel for such marriages.
Utah County’s marriage system offered a loophole. The entire process — from applying for a license to saying “I do” and receiving a marriage certificate — can be done online. In fact, couples don’t even need to be physically together for the ceremony as long as a Utah officiant can see and hear both of them over video call.

Read more here.

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