Marriage License Requirements
Getting married is a joyous occasion, but it comes with a few legalities that need to be addressed. Whether you’re a resident of Arizona or planning a destination wedding in the Grand Canyon State, understanding the marriage requirements is crucial. From obtaining a marriage license to ensuring proper identification, here’s everything you need to know to make your Arizona wedding a smooth and unforgettable event.
Your wedding day is a celebration of love and commitment, but before you say “I do,” it’s important to understand the legal aspects of getting married in Arizona. From marriage licenses to officiants, this guide will cover all the necessary details to ensure your marriage is recognized by the state.
Obtaining a Marriage License
To embark on your journey to matrimony, you’ll need a marriage license. Both parties must be present to apply, and the process typically involves filling out an application form and paying the required fee.
Identification and Sworn Affidavits
Valid government-issued photo identification, such as a driver’s license or passport, is necessary to prove age and identity. Additionally, both individuals will need to provide their Social Security Numbers and sign affidavits affirming the accuracy of their personal information.
The Marriage Ceremony
While obtaining a marriage license is a crucial step, remember that it doesn’t make you married. A qualified officiant, whether it’s a Justice of the Peace, a clergy member, or another authorized individual, must perform a marriage ceremony and sign the license for the marriage to be legally binding.
Marriage License Validity
A marriage license must be obtained before the ceremony, signed during the ceremony, and returned to the officiant within 30 days after the event. This ensures that your marriage is recorded officially.
Good news for couples planning a destination wedding in Arizona: you don’t need to be a resident of the state to get married here. The stunning landscapes of Arizona are available to all who wish to tie the knot within its borders.
Marriage License Fees
There’s a fee of $83 for obtaining a marriage license in Arizona. This fee might vary, so it’s a good idea to check with the local county clerk’s office for the most up-to-date information.
Covenant Marriage Option
For couples seeking a deeper commitment, Arizona offers the option of a covenant marriage. This type of marriage requires premarital counseling and imposes stricter requirements for divorce, emphasizing the sanctity of marriage.
Unlike some states, Arizona does not permit proxy marriages, which involve one or both parties being absent during the ceremony, with someone else standing in their place.
First cousins can marry in Arizona if both individuals are aged 65 or older. If one or both are younger than 65, they can marry after providing proof that reproduction is not possible.
Common Law Marriages
Arizona does not recognize common law marriages, where a couple lives together for a certain period of time and is considered legally married without a formal ceremony.
Marriage Blood Test
Unlike some states, Arizona does not require a blood test as part of the marriage application process.
Name Change After Marriage
While obtaining a marriage license with your new name is a step towards changing your name, it doesn’t automatically change it. There are specific processes to go through for a complete name change.
Marriage Age Requirements
If you’re under 18, you need parental consent or a court order to get married. Age 16-17 requires a certified birth certificate and government-issued picture ID. If you’re under 15, a court order is mandatory.
Marriages can be performed by members of the clergy, judges, magistrates, clerks of the circuit court, or other authorized individuals. The officiant must record the marriage and return the license to the Superior Court within 20 days.
All county marriage licenses need to be signed by the couple, two witnesses aged 18 or older, and the officiating minister.
As you plan your dream wedding in Arizona, ensure you’re well-informed about the legal requirements. From obtaining a marriage license to choosing an officiant, each step plays a vital role in making your marriage official and memorable.
- Is there a waiting period for getting married in Arizona? There is no waiting period, so you can have your wedding on the same day you receive the marriage license.
- Can I change my last name immediately after getting married? No, obtaining a marriage license with your new name doesn’t automatically change it. You’ll need to follow specific procedures for a name change.
- Who can perform marriage ceremonies in Arizona? Marriages can be officiated by clergy members, judges, magistrates, and other authorized individuals.
- Are proxy marriages allowed in Arizona? No, Arizona does not permit proxy marriages.
- How long is a marriage license valid in Arizona? A marriage license is valid for up to twelve (12) months and can be used anywhere within the state.