Marriage License Requirements
Planning a wedding involves numerous details, and one of the critical aspects is obtaining a marriage license. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process, requirements, and essential information about getting a marriage license in Arkansas.
Getting married is a significant life event, and obtaining a marriage license is a crucial step in the process. The marriage license legitimizes your union and grants you the legal right to marry. In Arkansas, the process is straightforward, but there are important details you need to know.
Marriage License Application Process
To apply for a marriage license in Arkansas, both parties must appear together at the County Clerk’s office. The process involves completing an application form and providing the required documentation.
Both parties must be 18 years or older and present valid government-issued identification that shows their correct name and date of birth. If one’s name has changed due to a divorce, a certified copy of the divorce decree is necessary.
There is a non-refundable application fee of $60.00. This fee covers the processing of your marriage license application.
Returning the Marriage License
Once the marriage license is issued, it must be returned to the County Clerk’s office within SIXTY (60) days, whether it’s used or unused. This is a crucial step to ensure the license is properly recorded.
Marriage ID Requirements
To fulfill the marriage ID requirement, both parties must have one of the following:
- State-issued I.D.
- Valid Driver’s License
- Indian Card
- Passport or Visa (not expired)
- Military I.D.
- Original Birth Certificate
Marriage Waiting Period
Arkansas doesn’t have a waiting period for marriage licenses. If both applicants are 18 or over, the license can be issued immediately. However, if one party is 16 or 17, a waiting period of 5 business days applies with parental consent.
You don’t need to be an Arkansas resident to obtain a marriage license in the state. The license is valid anywhere within Arkansas.
Previous Marriages and Records
If you’ve been previously married, you’ll need to show your divorce decree or provide information about the date, county, and state of death of your previous spouse. If your name has changed, a certified copy of the divorce decree is necessary.
Marriage License Fees
The marriage license fee in Arkansas is $60.00, payable in cash. For alternative payment methods, it’s advisable to call ahead and inquire.
Arkansas offers an option for Covenant Marriages, where couples can declare their intent to enter into a covenant marriage. This involves additional counseling and documentation.
Proxy marriages are not allowed in Arkansas. Both parties must be present to obtain a marriage license.
Cousin marriages are not allowed in Arkansas.
Common Law Marriages
Common law marriages are not recognized in Arkansas.
Marriage Blood Test
Arkansas does not require a blood or medical test to get married.
Obtaining a marriage license with your new name doesn’t automatically change your name. For a name change, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirements
Males aged 17 and females aged 16-17 may marry with parental consent. Parental consent is required for various scenarios, and different rules apply.
Justices of the Peace and Ministers can solemnize marriages in Arkansas. Proper credentials are required, and the license must be returned to the County Clerk’s office within 60 days.
No witnesses are required for marriages in Arkansas.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
The marriage license is valid for 60 days and can be used anywhere in Arkansas. It must be returned to the issuing County Clerk’s office.
For any inquiries or additional information, you can contact the Division of Vital Records at:
Division of Vital Records 4815 West Markham Street Little Rock, AR 72205 Ph: 501.661.2726 Fx: 501.663.2832
In conclusion, obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas involves several steps and considerations. By understanding the requirements, fees, and procedures, you can ensure a smooth and legally valid marriage process.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can non-residents of Arkansas get married in the state? Yes, you do not need to be a resident of Arkansas to obtain a marriage license that’s valid within the state.
- Is counseling required for Covenant Marriages? Yes, couples opting for Covenant Marriages must undergo authorized counseling emphasizing the nature and responsibilities of marriage.
- Are proxy marriages allowed in Arkansas? No, proxy marriages are not permitted in the state of Arkansas.
- What is the age requirement for marriage with parental consent? Males aged 17 and females aged 16-17 can marry with parental consent, subject to specific conditions.
- Is a blood test necessary to get married in Arkansas? No, Arkansas does not require a blood or medical test to obtain a marriage license.