Marriage License Requirements
Getting married is a significant milestone in life, and the process involves various legal requirements and paperwork. If you’re considering tying the knot in Jonesboro, Arkansas, then understanding the marriage license fee and associated regulations is crucial. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the essential information you need to know before heading to the Craighead County Courthouse.
Your Journey Begins: The Marriage License Application
The journey to your dream wedding starts with obtaining a marriage license. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Eligibility Criteria
Both parties involved must be 18 years or older and present valid government-issued identification displaying their accurate name and date of birth.
2. Divorce Decrees Matter
If you’ve undergone a divorce and your driver’s license doesn’t reflect the name change, you’ll need a certified copy of your divorce decree.
3. Application Fee
A non-refundable application fee of $60.00 is required. This fee covers the administrative costs associated with processing your marriage license.
4. Time Limit
Once issued, the marriage license must be returned to the County Clerk’s office, whether used or unused, within SIXTY (60) days.
Meeting the Identification Requirements
Ensuring your identification aligns with the state’s requirements is vital. Here are the accepted forms of identification:
- State issued I.D.
- Valid Driver’s License
- Indian Card
- Passport, Visa (not expired)
- Military I.D.
- Original Birth Certificate
No Waiting, No Residency Required
Arkansas is unique in that there’s no waiting period required for obtaining a marriage license. The license can be issued immediately for individuals aged 18 or older. However, if either party is aged 16 or 17, a 5-business day waiting period applies, along with parental consent.
Additionally, you don’t need to be a resident of Arkansas to obtain a marriage license within the state.
Previous Marriages and Covenant Marriages
If you’ve been 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, a certified copy of the divorce decree is necessary.
Arkansas offers an option for Covenant Marriages, allowing couples to declare their intent to enter into a Covenant Marriage during the application process. This involves authorized counseling and additional legal steps.
Miscellaneous Details and Special Cases
- Proxy Marriages: Arkansas does not permit proxy marriages.
- Cousin Marriages: Cousin marriages are not allowed in Arkansas.
- Common Law Marriages: The state does not recognize common law marriages.
- Marriage Blood Test: No blood or medical tests are required for marriage in Arkansas.
- Name Change: Getting a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your name; a separate process is required.
Age Requirements and Parental Consent
- Males aged 17 and females aged 16-17 require parental consent, along with a mandatory 5-day waiting period.
- Parental Consent: Defined by various circumstances, including parental custody, court determination of paternity, and pregnancy.
Officiants and Witnesses
- Justices of the Peace and Ministers may solemnize marriages in Arkansas, with specific requirements for credentials and documentation.
- No witnesses are required for marriages in the state.
Validity and Returning the License
A marriage license is valid for 60 days and can be used anywhere within Arkansas. However, the license must be returned to the County Clerk’s office where it was obtained.
Final Thoughts and Resources
Getting married in Arkansas involves several legal steps, but armed with the right information, the process can be smooth and memorable. For additional details, visit the Arkansas Division of Vital Records.
1. Can I get married immediately in Arkansas? Yes, if both parties are aged 18 or over, you can obtain a marriage license without waiting.
2. Are proxy marriages allowed in Arkansas? No, Arkansas does not permit proxy marriages.
3. Is there a waiting period for minors to get married? Yes, minors aged 16-17 require parental consent and a 5-business day waiting period.
4. Can I change my name through a marriage license? Obtaining a marriage license with a new name does not automatically change your name; you’ll need a separate process.
5. Can I use my Arkansas marriage license outside the state? Yes, the license is valid anywhere within Arkansas.