Marriage License Requirements
Getting married is a beautiful milestone in life, and having the correct information about obtaining a marriage license is essential for a stress-free and joyous wedding day. In this article, we will delve into the details of obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas, covering important requirements, fees, and other pertinent information that couples need to know.
Applying for a Marriage License in Arkansas
To obtain a marriage license in Arkansas, both parties must be 18 years or older and present a valid government-issued identification that shows their correct name and date of birth. If either party has changed their name due to a divorce and their driver’s license does not reflect this change, they will need to bring a certified copy of their divorce decree.
Applicants must pay a $60.00 application fee, and the marriage license must be returned to the County Clerk’s office, whether used or unused, within sixty (60) days from the date of issuance.
Marriage ID Requirements in Arkansas
When applying for a marriage license, both parties must provide one of the following forms of identification:
- State issued I.D.
- Valid Driver’s License
- Indian Card
- Passport or Visa (not expired)
- Military I.D.
- Original Birth Certificate
Marriage Waiting Period in Arkansas
There is no waiting period required in Arkansas if both applicants are age 18 or over. However, if one of the parties is a male aged 17 or a female aged 16 or 17, obtaining a marriage license with parental consent requires a waiting period of 5 business days.
Marriage Residency Requirements in Arkansas
Couples do not have to be residents of Arkansas to obtain a marriage license in the state. The marriage license can be used anywhere within the state.
Previous Marriages and Name Change
If either party has been previously married, they will need to show their divorce decree or provide information about the date, county, and state of death of their previous spouse. In cases where the name has changed due to a divorce, a certified copy of the divorce decree is required.
Covenant Marriages in Arkansas
Arkansas offers couples the option to choose a Covenant Marriage. To enter into a Covenant Marriage, the couple must declare their intent to do so on their application for a marriage license and execute a Declaration of Intent to contract a Covenant Marriage.
The Covenant Marriage requires authorized counseling, which can be provided by various professionals, including priests, ministers, rabbis, licensed counselors, and psychologists. The Recitation, Affidavit, and Attestation of the counseling must be filed when applying for the Covenant Marriage License.
Proxy Marriages, Cousin Marriages, and Common Law Marriages
Arkansas does not allow proxy marriages, cousin marriages, or common law marriages.
Marriage Blood Test in Arkansas
Arkansas does not require any blood or medical tests to get married.
Marriage Age Requirements in Arkansas
Males aged 17 and females aged 16-17 require parental consent and a mandatory 5-day waiting period. “Parental Consent” is defined in various scenarios, including consent from both parents, custodial parents, court-appointed guardians, and instances where the female is pregnant.
Marriage Officiants in Arkansas
Justices of the Peace in Arkansas, including former Justices who served at least 2 terms since 1977, may solemnize marriages. Ministers performing marriages in Arkansas must have their credentials recorded in any county in the state.
Marriage Witnesses and Expiration Date of Marriage License
No witnesses are required for marriages in Arkansas. The marriage license is valid for sixty (60) days and may be used anywhere in the state. However, it must be returned to the County Clerk’s office where it was first applied.
Obtaining a marriage license is an important step in the journey towards marriage. Understanding the requirements and procedures involved can make the process smooth and stress-free. Arkansas offers a variety of options for couples, including Covenant Marriages, and ensures that the marriage license application process is straightforward and accessible.
- Is there a waiting period for marriage in Arkansas? No, there is no waiting period if both parties are age 18 or over. However, if one of the parties is a male aged 17 or a female aged 16 or 17, a waiting period of 5 business days applies with parental consent.
- Can out-of-state couples get married in Arkansas? Yes, out-of-state couples can obtain a marriage license in Arkansas, and the license can be used anywhere within the state.
- What is a Covenant Marriage? A Covenant Marriage is an option available in Arkansas that requires couples to declare their intent to enter into such a marriage and receive authorized counseling from various professionals.
- Are blood tests required to get married in Arkansas? No, Arkansas does not require any blood or medical tests for marriage.
- Can cousin marriages or common law marriages be performed in Arkansas? No, Arkansas does not allow cousin marriages or common law marriages.