Marriage License Requirements
Planning a wedding can be both exciting and overwhelming. From choosing the venue to selecting the perfect dress, there are countless decisions to make. One crucial aspect that often gets overlooked is finding the right wedding officiant to lead the ceremony. In Arkansas, where weddings are a cherished tradition, selecting the right officiant is of paramount importance. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about Arkansas wedding officiants, from marriage license requirements to the role of an officiant and more. So, whether you’re a local resident or planning a destination wedding, let’s dive into the world of Arkansas wedding officiants.
Marriage License Requirements
To legally marry in Arkansas, there are certain requirements that you must meet to obtain a marriage license:
Both parties must be 18 years or older and present valid government-issued identification that shows their correct name and date of birth. This can include a state-issued ID, valid driver’s license, Indian card, passport, visa, military ID, or original birth certificate.
Name Change and Divorce Decree
If you or your partner have undergone a name change due to divorce, you’ll need to provide a certified copy of the divorce decree, especially if your driver’s license doesn’t reflect this change.
A marriage license application fee of $60.00 (Sixty Dollars) is required.
Returning the Marriage License
After the ceremony, whether the marriage license is used or unused, it must be returned to the County Clerk’s office within SIXTY (60) days from the date of issuance.
Marriage ID Requirements
Acceptable forms of identification for obtaining a marriage license include:
- State issued ID
- Valid driver’s license
- Indian card
- Passport or visa (not expired)
- Military ID
- Original birth certificate
Marriage Waiting Period
In Arkansas, there is no waiting period required for obtaining a marriage license. However, if one or both parties are under 18 years of age, a waiting period of 5 business days is mandatory with parental consent. Males age 17 and females age 16 or 17 who are obtaining a marriage license with parental consent must fulfill this waiting period.
Marriage Residency Requirement
You do not have to be a resident of Arkansas to obtain a marriage license. The license can be used anywhere within the state.
If you were previously married, you’ll need to provide your divorce decree or information about the date, county, and state of death of your previous spouse. If your name has changed due to divorce, you’ll also need to bring a certified copy of your divorce decree.
Marriage License Fees
The fee for an Arkansas marriage license is $60.00 (Sixty Dollars). Cash is an acceptable form of payment. For other payment methods, it’s recommended to call ahead.
Arkansas offers the option of a Covenant Marriage, where a couple declares their intent to enter a Covenant Marriage on their marriage license application. This option involves additional counseling and requirements emphasizing the nature and responsibilities of marriage.
Proxy marriages are not allowed in Arkansas. Both parties must be physically present to obtain a marriage license.
Cousin marriages are not permitted in Arkansas.
Common Law Marriages
Common law marriages are not recognized in Arkansas.
Marriage Blood Test
Arkansas does not require blood or medical tests for marriage.
Obtaining a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your name. For a name change, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirements
In Arkansas, males must be at least 17 years of age and females must be at least 16-17 years of age, with parental consent. Parental consent requires a mandatory 5-day waiting period. Various situations involving parental consent and pregnancy are considered.
Various individuals are eligible to solemnize marriages in Arkansas. Justices of the Peace and ministers can officiate marriages, provided they fulfill specific requirements. Ministers must have their credentials recorded in any county in Arkansas. Officiants must complete the marriage license information, but ministers are not responsible for returning the license after the ceremony.
Unlike some states, Arkansas does not require witnesses for a marriage ceremony.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
An Arkansas marriage license is valid for sixty (60) days. It can be used anywhere in the state but must be returned to the County Clerk’s office where it was obtained.
Copy of Certificate of Marriage License
For copies of your marriage license, you can contact the Division of Vital Records in Little Rock, Arkansas.
In conclusion, whether you’re planning an intimate ceremony or a grand celebration, understanding the ins and outs of Arkansas wedding officiants and marriage requirements is crucial. From obtaining a marriage license to choosing the right officiant, these details play a significant role in making your special day unforgettable.
- Can I get married immediately in Arkansas?
- Yes, if both parties are 18 or over, you can get married immediately.
- Do I need witnesses for my marriage ceremony?
- No, Arkansas does not require witnesses for a marriage ceremony.
- What is a Covenant Marriage?
- A Covenant Marriage in Arkansas involves additional counseling and emphasizes the nature and responsibilities of marriage.
- Can I change my name immediately after marriage?
- No, obtaining a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your name. You can use an online marriage name change kit.
- Is a blood test required for marriage in Arkansas?
- No, Arkansas does not require blood or medical tests for marriage.