Marriage License Requirements
Your Guide to Obtaining a Marriage License in Arkansas
Are wedding bells ringing in your near future? If you’re planning to tie the knot in the picturesque state of Arkansas, it’s essential to be well-versed in the process of obtaining a marriage license. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of acquiring a marriage license in Arkansas, from the application requirements to the necessary documents and more. So, let’s dive right in!
Congratulations on embarking on this beautiful journey of love and commitment! Before you exchange your vows, you’ll need to obtain a marriage license. The state of Arkansas offers a streamlined process to ensure your legal union is valid and recognized. Let’s explore the key steps involved.
To apply for a marriage license, both parties must be at least 18 years old and must present a valid government-issued identification that includes their correct name and date of birth. If you’ve experienced a name change due to divorce and your driver’s license hasn’t been updated, make sure to bring a certified copy of your divorce decree. The application fee is $60.00, payable in cash.
Various forms of identification are accepted, including a state-issued ID, valid driver’s license, Indian card, passport, visa (not expired), military ID, or original birth certificate. Luckily, Arkansas does not impose a waiting period for marriage licenses; however, if one or both parties are under 18 years old, there are specific rules to follow.
Great news for out-of-state lovebirds! You don’t need to be an Arkansas resident to obtain a marriage license in the state. Your Arkansas marriage license is valid anywhere within the state’s borders.
For those who have been previously married, you’ll need to provide your divorce decree or information about the date, county, and state of your previous spouse’s death. Don’t forget to bring a certified copy of your divorce decree if your name has changed.
Marriage License Fees
The marriage license fee in Arkansas is $60.00, and cash is the acceptable form of payment. To explore alternative payment methods, it’s a good idea to contact the relevant authorities in advance.
Arkansas provides the option for couples to enter into a Covenant Marriage. This involves a formal declaration of intent on the marriage license application, along with authorized counseling from qualified individuals. If you’re interested in this unique type of marriage, make sure to follow the specific guidelines.
Proxy, Cousin, and Common Law Marriages
While some states allow proxy, cousin, or common law marriages, Arkansas does not permit any of these forms of marriage.
Marriage Blood Test
Unlike some states, Arkansas does not require a blood or medical test for marriage.
Name Change After Marriage
If you’re planning to change your last name after marriage, obtaining a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your name. You’ll need to follow the appropriate legal procedures to update your name officially.
Marriage Age Requirements
For males aged 17 and females aged 16-17, parental consent is mandatory, and there’s a five-day waiting period. Various scenarios involving parental consent and custody are detailed, ensuring that young couples understand the legal requirements.
Justices of the Peace and ordained ministers can solemnize marriages in Arkansas. Ministers are responsible for completing the necessary marriage certificate information, which must be returned within sixty days from the date of issuance.
Arkansas does not require witnesses for marriages, making your ceremony more intimate and personal.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Your marriage license is valid for sixty days and can be used anywhere within the state. Ensure you return the license to the County Clerk’s office where you initially applied.
Obtaining a Copy of the Marriage License
If you need a copy of your marriage license, you can contact the Division of Vital Records in Little Rock. They’ll be able to assist you in obtaining the necessary documentation.
In conclusion, the process of obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas is straightforward and designed to ensure the legality and validity of your union. By adhering to the outlined guidelines and requirements, you’ll be well on your way to saying “I do” and embarking on a lifelong journey of love and companionship.
- Can we apply for a marriage license online? Unfortunately, Arkansas does not currently offer online applications for marriage licenses. You’ll need to visit the County Clerk’s office in person.
- Is there a waiting period for getting married in Arkansas? Generally, there is no waiting period for obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas. However, specific rules apply if either party is under 18 years old.
- What if we want to have a Covenant Marriage? If you’re interested in a Covenant Marriage, make sure to follow the guidelines provided by Arkansas law and seek authorized counseling.
- Can a friend officiate our wedding in Arkansas? While Justices of the Peace and ordained ministers can officiate marriages, a friend cannot legally solemnize your marriage in Arkansas.
- How long do we have to return the marriage license after the ceremony? The marriage license must be returned to the County Clerk’s office within sixty days from the date of issuance.