The Clark County Recorder. See, when you get married in Las Vegas, and you’re a damn furriner such as myself, and wish to register your marriage in your country of residence, you need a certified copy of your marriage certificate. Said copy then needs to be deposited at the Secretary of State in Carson City, who provides it with an Apostille certificate, which means those two documents together will be accepted in any country subscribing to the Apostile Treaty, initiated in The Hague in 1961. Both the United States and the Netherlands are subscribers to this treaty, so all should be hunky fucking dory.
So, my wife ordered a certified copy way back in May, and had it sent to Carson City, after which it was returned to her with the corresponding Apostille letter.
And I took the whole package home with me after my trip to the US, in early July.
On July 15, I filed all the paperwork at city hall in Amsterdam, and was told that it would take about 4 weeks to process. No worries, my wife arrives on August 27, so it’s all good.
Yesterday, while driving to a client, the car phone rings. It’s Betty Bureaucrat from city hall. She says, “This document is no good - it doesn’t have the city of marriage on it”. Then she asked if I could come over with the original marriage certificate to verify the information.
So, I went over there tonight. And lo and behold: the document with the Apostille is not actually a certified copy of the marriage certificate, but a certified abstract from the Clark Country records. A different document altogether, which does indeed state bride and groom names, date of marriage, date of registration, and the marriage certificate ID. It is undersigned by the Clark Country Recorder, and the accompanying Apostille letter states that said recorder is authorised to sign it.
So, I’m thinking, “Well, the original marriage certificate does state the city name. And it has the corresponding ID. All should be well!”
The undersigning party of the original marriage certificate is the Clark County Clerk, not the recorder. Different person altogether, and as such, not verified and guaranteed by an Apostille letter in my posession.
Now, I take some responsibility for not checking everything 27 times, but for crying out loud, this is not something I do on a daily basis.
The Clark County Recorder DOES do this sort of thing on a daily basis. What sort of a dumbass does it take to send the WRONG document to Carson City for an Apostille verification? Am I the first foreigner ever to get married in Las Vegas or something?
So, now we need to expedite another certified copy to Carson, where people will then again expedite it with an Apostille to me. Upon receival, I bring it to city hall, where they ask the Dutch Immigration Police for approval. They will send me a big-ass form, which I will return. Then an expected back log time of “several weeks”, and then they’ll tell city hall to register the marriage, after which my wife can apply for a residency permit.
My wife lands in 15 days. See where this is headed?
Oh, there’s of course the 90 day buffer period provided by the standard tourist visa every American gets for the Netherlands, but it HAS to be done in that time period, or we’re fucked.
So, in short, FUCK YOU, Frances Deane, Clark County Recorder - or whomever was in charge of shipping out the wrong document. Thanks for making us jump through an extra 27 hoops under rather stringent time pressure. As if relocating to be with your spouse is easy to begin with, even WITHOUT your incompetence fucking things up.
I need a fucking drink. :mad: