Marriage License Requirements
If you’re planning to tie the knot in Arkansas, understanding the marriage license process is crucial. From the necessary documents to the application fees and waiting periods, this article covers everything you need to know about obtaining a marriage license in the state.
Congratulations on your decision to get married! Arkansas offers a straightforward process for obtaining a marriage license, ensuring your wedding plans go smoothly.
Marriage License Application
To apply for a marriage license in Arkansas, both parties must be at least 18 years old and present valid government-issued identification. This identification should display your correct name and date of birth. If you’ve had a name change due to divorce, be sure to bring a certified copy of your divorce decree. The application fee is $60.00, and you have 60 days from the date of issuance to return the license to the County Clerk’s office, whether used or unused.
Marriage ID Requirements
For the application process, you’ll need one of the following forms of identification:
- State-issued ID
- Valid Driver’s License
- Indian Card
- Passport or Visa (not expired)
- Military ID
- Original Birth Certificate
Marriage Waiting Period
Arkansas doesn’t impose a waiting period for marriage licenses. If both applicants are 18 or older, a license can be issued immediately. However, if one party is 16 or 17 and obtaining a marriage license with parental consent, there is a 5-business day waiting period.
Marriage Residency Requirement
You don’t need to be a resident of Arkansas to get married there. The marriage license obtained in Arkansas is valid anywhere within the state.
Previous Marriages and Name Changes
If you’ve been previously married, you’ll need to provide your divorce decree or information about the date, county, and state of your previous spouse’s death. If your name has changed, a certified copy of your divorce decree is required.
Marriage License Fees
The fee for an Arkansas marriage license is $60.00. Payment can be made in cash, and for alternative payment methods, it’s advisable to inquire in advance.
Covenant marriages are a unique option in Arkansas. By declaring their intent on their marriage license application and executing a Declaration of Intent, a couple can enter into a Covenant Marriage. This option emphasizes authorized counseling and additional commitments.
Proxy marriages are not allowed in Arkansas. Both parties must be present during the application process.
Cousin marriages are not permitted in Arkansas.
Common Law Marriages
Common law marriages are not recognized in Arkansas.
Marriage Blood Test
Arkansas does not require blood or medical tests for marriage.
Name Change after Marriage
Obtaining a marriage license with your new name on it doesn’t automatically change your name. For a name change, you can utilize an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirements
In Arkansas, males can marry at 17, and females can marry at 16 or 17 with parental consent. A 5-day waiting period is mandatory for minors with parental consent. “Parental Consent” is defined broadly, encompassing various circumstances.
Justices of the Peace and ministers can solemnize marriages in Arkansas. Ministers must have their credentials recorded in an Arkansas county. The minister is not responsible for returning the license, and it must be returned to the County Clerk’s office within 60 days.
Witnesses are not required for marriages in Arkansas.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
A marriage license in Arkansas is valid for 60 days. The license can be used anywhere in the state but must be returned to the original County Clerk’s office.
Obtaining a Copy of Certificate of Marriage License
If you need a copy of your marriage license certificate, you can contact the Division of Vital Records in Little Rock.
Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of the marriage license process in Arkansas, you’re well-prepared to embark on this exciting journey of getting married. Remember to adhere to the guidelines and ensure a smooth and legal union.
- Can I get married immediately in Arkansas? Yes, if both parties are 18 or older, a marriage license can be issued immediately.
- Is there a waiting period for minors with parental consent? Yes, a 5-business day waiting period is required for minors with parental consent.
- Can I change my name immediately after getting a marriage license? No, obtaining a license with a new name doesn’t automatically change it. You’ll need to follow the appropriate process for a name change.
- Are proxy marriages allowed in Arkansas? No, proxy marriages are not allowed in Arkansas.
- What is the validity period of a marriage license in Arkansas? A marriage license in Arkansas is valid for 60 days.