Utah’s online marriage licensing gets attention all over the world

Mar 29, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: Mar 30, 2023, 8:51 am

An online marriage licensing portal has grabbed the attention of Israel, where historically marriag...

An online marriage licensing portal has grabbed the attention of Israel, where historically marriage is controlled by the Rabbinate. (Photo credit: Getty images)

(Photo credit: Getty images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah County Commissioner Amelia Powers Gardner made a simple policy change moving marriage licensing online, that had a ripple effect all over the world. 

She joined Boyd Matheson on Inside Sources to discuss how the change started in Utah County. 

Gardner said it all started when she joined the government with the intent to make aspects of life easier for citizens. 

“I was married four months before I took office. And my husband had to take a day off of work before our wedding. With three children in tow, we went down to the marriage license office. And filled out pieces of paper on clipboards with pencils,” she said. “And I just thought there’s gotta be a better way to do this.”

Then, in January 2020, Garder with the help of other teams launched an online marriage portal. Through the portal, partners can get legally married without help from a licensing office. 

“That’s really how this whole thing started. Let’s make the government easy to do business with,” Gardner told Matheson. 

Following the pandemic, the online portal began receiving requests not just from Utahns, but from all over the world. However, at the time the marriage licenses could only be used in Utah. 

“But then it occurred to me, if I’m performing the marriage and I’m sitting in Utah does that mean this marriage is valid,” Gardner questioned.

It was concluded that if judges allowed individuals to appear in court via zoom, then people should be allowed to be married via zoom. 

Marriage in Israel, and what’s next on Gardner’s agenda 

Not long after this decision, online marriage licensing got the attention of Israel. 

“In Israel, marriage is controlled by the Rabbinate, which is basically the religious authority,” Gardner explains. 

Until the creation of the online marriage portal, in Israel up until now, civil marriage was not allowed. That includes those who are of different religions or those who aren’t religious. 

“Israel Supreme Court found unanimously that marriages performed by Utah County via zoom are in fact valid in Israel,” said Gardner. 

Some other areas Gardner says we should look at, aside from marriage licenses, are making government overall more convenient for people. 

Currently, Gardner hopes to change the process of some health services. 

“See how many of these services can we let people sign up for remotely. So a single mom isn’t taking time off work to get a birth certificate to register her daughter for kindergarten,” she said to Matheson. 

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

Related reading: Church reacts to Biden signing Respect for Marriage Act into law

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Politics + Government

The OLRGC released an analysis of the expected topics to be discussed during a special session of t...

Mark Jones

KSL at Night: Coalition seeks hold on Utah’s age verification law

The Free Speech Coalition is taking legal action against Utah's age verification law. KSL at Night discuss the situation with the sponsor of the bill, Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross.

2 days ago

The book of mormon & bible banned in some Davis School District schools...

Aimee Cobabe

Following complaint against Bible in schools, Book of Mormon receives complaint for “sensitive content”

First it was the Bible and now Davis School District has a complaint against the Book of Mormon being on school bookshelves.

2 days ago

Utah's Republican Party is strongly urging state leaders to hold a special election before the end ...

Lindsay Aerts

Utah GOP wants quick special election for 2nd District seat

Multiple laws govern Utah elections, and one of them says the state must pay more for special elections that deviate from established dates.

2 days ago

Chris Stewart resignation...

Boyd Matheson

A congressional resignation, hurry sickness and the need for respectful restraint

Rep. Chris Stewart announced his resignation from Congress on Wednesday, prompting the mad rush to replace him began. We need to slow down.

2 days ago

When news broke of a shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, one year ago, President Joe...

Kevin Liptak, CNN

Biden to address nation from Oval Office after avoiding catastrophic default

In his remarks, Biden will tell Americans the package ensures economic progress going forward.

2 days ago

Former Vice President Mike Pence talks with local residents during a meet and greet, Tuesday, May 2...

Jeremy Herb and Katelyn Polantz, CNN

Justice Department will not seek criminal charges in Pence classified document probe

 The Justice Department has closed its investigation into the possible mishandling of classified documents found at the home of former Vice President Mike Pence.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

close up of rose marvel saliva blooms in purple...

Shannon Cavalero

Drought Tolerant Perennials for Utah

The best drought tolerant plants for Utah can handle high elevations, alkaline soils, excessive exposure to wind, and use of secondary water.

Group of cheerful team members high fiving each other...

Visit Bear Lake

How To Plan a Business Retreat in Bear Lake This Spring

Are you wondering how to plan a business retreat this spring? Read our sample itinerary to plan a team getaway to Bear Lake.

Cheerful young woman writing an assignment while sitting at desk between two classmates during clas...

BYU EMBA at the Marriott School of Business

Hear it Firsthand: 6 Students Share Their Executive MBA Experience at BYU’s Marriott School of Business

The Executive MBA program at BYU offers great opportunities. Hear experiences straight from students enrolled in the program.

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and gates.

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...

Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer.

Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy.

Utah’s online marriage licensing gets attention all over the world