Marriage License Requirements
Are you planning to tie the knot in Hot Springs, Arkansas? Before you say “I do,” it’s essential to understand the process of obtaining a marriage license. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the requirements, application procedures, and other important details you need to know about getting married in Arkansas.
Congratulations on your decision to get married! Hot Springs, Arkansas, offers a beautiful backdrop for your special day. To legally tie the knot, you’ll need a marriage license. Let’s dive into the details of this process, so you can embark on your journey to wedded bliss.
To apply for a marriage license, both parties must meet the following criteria:
- Both individuals must be 18 years of age or older.
- Valid government-issued identification with correct names and birth dates is required.
- If either party has changed their name due to divorce, a certified copy of the divorce decree is necessary.
- An application fee of $60.00 is applicable.
Accepted forms of identification include:
- State-issued I.D.
- Valid Driver’s License
- Indian Card
- Passport or Visa (not expired)
- Military I.D.
- Original Birth Certificate
Unlike many states, Arkansas doesn’t have a waiting period for marriage licenses. If both applicants are 18 or older, the license can be issued immediately. However, if one party is 16 or 17 (female) or 17 (male), parental consent is required, and there’s a mandatory 5-business-day waiting period.
Arkansas doesn’t have a residency requirement, meaning you can obtain a marriage license in the state regardless of where you live. The license is valid for use anywhere within Arkansas.
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 decree is necessary.
Marriage License Fees
The application fee for a marriage license in Arkansas is $60.00, payable in cash. If you require alternative payment methods, be sure to call ahead for guidance.
Arkansas offers the option of a Covenant Marriage, a special type of marriage that requires couples to undergo authorized counseling before marrying. This counseling can be provided by various qualified professionals.
Proxy marriages are not allowed in Arkansas.
Cousin marriages are not permitted in Arkansas.
Common Law Marriages
Arkansas does not recognize common law marriages.
Marriage Blood Test
Arkansas does not require blood or medical tests for marriage.
Getting a marriage license with your new name doesn’t automatically change your name. If you want to change your last name, consider using an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirements
For males, the minimum marriage age is 17, while for females, it’s 16-17 years, and parental consent is required. In specific circumstances where pregnancy is involved, underage parties may seek a judge’s approval to marry.
Justices of the Peace in Arkansas can solemnize marriages. Ministers must have their credentials recorded in an Arkansas county. Ministers are responsible for completing marriage license information.
Witnesses are not required for marriages in Arkansas.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
A marriage license is valid for 60 days and can be used anywhere in the state. However, it must be returned to the County Clerk’s office where you applied.
Copy of Certificate of Marriage License
For a copy of your marriage license certificate, you can contact the Division of Vital Records in Little Rock.
Obtaining a marriage license is a crucial step on your journey to wedded bliss. By understanding the requirements and procedures, you can ensure a smooth process as you prepare for your special day. Remember, each detail matters, and with your marriage license in hand, you’re one step closer to a lifetime of love and happiness.
1. Can I apply for a marriage license if I’m not an Arkansas resident? Yes, Arkansas doesn’t have residency requirements for obtaining a marriage license.
2. Can we get married immediately after obtaining the license? If both parties are 18 or older, yes, the marriage license can be issued immediately.
3. What if one of us is underage and pregnant? Underage parties seeking marriage due to pregnancy can apply for a marriage license with a judge’s approval.
4. Do we need witnesses for our marriage ceremony? No, witnesses are not required for marriages in Arkansas.
5. How long is the marriage license valid? The marriage license is valid for 60 days from the date of issuance.