Marriage License Requirements
Getting married is a momentous occasion that marks the union of two people in love. To make this beautiful journey official, one of the important steps is obtaining a marriage license. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the details of marriage license requirements in Arkansas. From necessary documentation to fees and marriage officiants, we’ll cover it all. Let’s embark on this informative journey to ensure your dream wedding becomes a reality!
The Marriage License Application Process
To kickstart the process of obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas, couples need to adhere to specific requirements:
Identification and Name Changes
Both parties involved must be 18 years or older and possess a valid government-issued identification showcasing their correct name and date of birth. If one has changed their name due to a divorce and the driver’s license doesn’t reflect this alteration, a certified copy of the divorce decree is required.
An application fee of $60.00 (Sixty Dollars) is mandatory. This fee covers the processing and issuance of the marriage license.
Return of License
Once obtained, the marriage license must be returned to the County Clerk’s office within SIXTY (60) days from the date of issuance. This holds true regardless of whether the license is used or remains unused.
Meeting Identification Requirements
To fulfill identification requirements, both parties must present any of the following:
- State-issued I.D.
- Valid Driver’s License
- Indian Card
- Passport or Visa (not expired)
- Military I.D.
- Original Birth Certificate
No Waiting Period
Arkansas doesn’t impose a waiting period for obtaining a marriage license. If both applicants are aged 18 or over, the license can be issued immediately.
Residency Not Required
Couples don’t need to be residents of Arkansas to obtain a marriage license. The license is valid for use anywhere within the state.
For those with a previous marriage, the divorce decree or information about the date, county, and state of death of the former spouse is needed. In cases of a name change, a certified copy of the divorce decree is essential.
Arkansas offers an option for Covenant Marriages. This involves declaring the intent to contract a Covenant Marriage on the Application for Marriage license and executing a Declaration of Intent. The Declaration of Intent emphasizes counseling and is filed with the marriage license application.
Proxy, Cousin, and Common Law Marriages
Proxy, cousin, and common law marriages are not allowed in Arkansas.
No Blood Test Required
Arkansas does not require any blood or medical tests for marriage.
Name Change Consideration
Although a marriage license with a new name doesn’t automatically change one’s name, an online marriage name change kit can be used to facilitate the process.
Age Requirements and Parental Consent
For parties under the age of 18, parental consent is essential. Various circumstances determine consent, such as parental custody, paternity determination, and pregnancy.
Justices of the Peace and qualified ministers can solemnize marriages in Arkansas. Ministers must have their credentials recorded in any county in the state. The applicants must return the marriage license to the County Clerk’s office for recording within SIXTY (60) DAYS.
Witness and Expiration
Marriage witnesses are not required in Arkansas. The marriage license is valid for sixty (60) days and must be returned to the County Clerk’s office where it was initially obtained.
For more details and to acquire a copy of the Certificate of Marriage License, you can contact the Division of Vital Records at:
- Address: 4815 West Markham Street, Little Rock, AR 72205
- Phone: 501.661.2726
- Fax: 501.663.2832
Obtaining a marriage license is a vital step towards beginning your journey of wedded bliss. By adhering to the guidelines and requirements set forth by the state of Arkansas, you can ensure that your marriage is legally recognized and celebrated. Remember, while the process may seem intricate, it’s a significant milestone that paves the way for a lifetime of happiness together.
- Can we apply for a marriage license if we’re not residents of Arkansas?Yes, residency in Arkansas is not a requirement to obtain a marriage license. The license is valid throughout the state.
- Is counseling required for Covenant Marriages?Yes, couples opting for a Covenant Marriage need to receive authorized counseling as part of the process.
- Are proxy marriages allowed in Arkansas?No, Arkansas does not permit proxy marriages.
- Is there a waiting period for marriage licenses in Arkansas?There is no waiting period for applicants aged 18 or over. However, a mandatory 5-day waiting period applies to males aged 17 and females aged 16 or 17 with parental consent.
- What is the validity period of the marriage license?The marriage license is valid for sixty (60) days and can be used anywhere in Arkansas.