Marriage License Requirements
Marriage is a sacred union between two individuals, a commitment to love and cherish each other for a lifetime. Before embarking on this beautiful journey, obtaining a marriage license is a crucial step in the process. In this article, we will explore all the essential details about obtaining a marriage license in the state of Arkansas, the requirements, fees, and other important information you need to know.
Congratulations on your decision to tie the knot! Before you say “I do,” let’s explore the process of obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas. A marriage license is a legal document that allows you to marry your partner and is an essential prerequisite to your wedding day.
Marriage Application Requirement
To apply for a marriage license in Arkansas, both parties must be 18 years or older and present a valid government-issued identification showing 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, a certified copy of the divorce decree is required. The application fee for a marriage license is $60.00.
Marriage ID Requirement
Both parties must have one of the following forms of identification to apply for a marriage license in Arkansas:
- State-issued I.D.
- Valid Driver’s License
- Indian Card
- Passport or Visa (not expired)
- Military I.D.
- Original Birth Certificate
Marriage Waiting Period Requirement
There is no waiting period required in Arkansas for couples who are both age 18 or over. However, males aged 17 and females aged 16 or 17 who are obtaining a marriage license with parental consent must fulfill a waiting period of 5 business days.
Marriage Residency Requirement
You do not need to be a resident of Arkansas to obtain a marriage license. The license can be used anywhere within the state of Arkansas.
If you were previously married, you will need to show your divorce decree or have information regarding the date, county, and state of death of your previous spouse. In case of a name change, you will need to provide a certified copy of your divorce decree.
Marriage License Fees
The marriage license fee in Arkansas is $60.00, and the acceptable form of payment is cash. It’s advisable to check with the County Clerk’s office for guidance on additional methods of payment.
Arkansas offers the option of a Covenant Marriage, which is a more solemn and binding form of marriage. To enter into a Covenant Marriage, the couple must declare their intent to do so on their Application for Marriage license and execute a Declaration of Intent to contract a Covenant Marriage. This option requires authorized counseling from various licensed professionals.
Arkansas does not allow proxy marriages, meaning both parties must be present at the time of applying for the marriage license.
Cousin marriages are not permitted in Arkansas.
Common Law Marriages
Arkansas does not recognize common law marriages, and couples must obtain a valid marriage license to be legally married.
Marriage Blood Test
No blood or medical tests are required to get married in Arkansas.
Obtaining a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your last name. If you wish to change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirements
Males aged 17 and females aged 16-17 years must have parental consent to marry in Arkansas. Parental consent can be given by both parents, a custodial parent, or a court-appointed guardian.
Marriages in Arkansas can be solemnized by Justices of the Peace, Ministers, and various licensed professionals. The person officiating the wedding must complete the required information on the Marriage License.
Unlike some states, Arkansas does not require witnesses for marriages.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
The marriage license is valid for sixty (60) days from the date of issuance. It can be used anywhere in the state of Arkansas but must be returned to the County Clerk’s office where it was first obtained.
Obtaining a marriage license is an important step in legalizing your union. By following the guidelines and requirements set forth by the state of Arkansas, you can ensure a smooth process and focus on planning the perfect wedding day. Remember, love is the foundation of any marriage, and a valid marriage license symbolizes the beginning of a beautiful journey together.
- Can I apply for a marriage license if I am under 18 years old? In Arkansas, males aged 17 and females aged 16-17 can apply for a marriage license with parental consent and fulfillment of a 5-day waiting period.
- Is there a waiting period for couples over 18 years old? No, there is no waiting period for couples aged 18 or older in Arkansas.
- Can I have a proxy marriage in Arkansas? No, Arkansas does not allow proxy marriages. Both parties must be present at the time of applying for the marriage license.
- What is a Covenant Marriage? A Covenant Marriage is an option in Arkansas for couples seeking a more solemn and binding form of marriage. It requires authorized counseling from various licensed professionals.
- Do I need to bring witnesses to my wedding ceremony in Arkansas? No, Arkansas does not require witnesses for marriages.