Hot Spring County
Marriage License Requirements
Marriage is a beautiful journey that brings two souls together in a union of love and commitment. If you’re planning to tie the knot in the picturesque state of Arkansas, understanding the marriage license process is crucial. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the essential details of obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas, from application requirements to marriage officiants. Let’s dive in!
Applying for a Marriage License in Arkansas
Before you say “I do,” you’ll need to obtain a marriage license. Here’s what you need to know:
Eligibility and Identification
Both parties must be 18 years or older and provide valid government-issued identification with correct names and birthdates. If a name change occurred due to divorce and isn’t reflected in your driver’s license, bring a certified copy of the divorce decree.
There is a non-refundable application fee of $60.00. This fee is payable in cash.
Returning the License
Whether you use the license or not, you must return it to the County Clerk’s office within sixty (60) days from the date of issuance.
Identification Requirements for Marriage
Proof of Age and Identity
Both parties must have a state-issued ID, valid driver’s license, Indian card, passport, visa (not expired), military ID, or original birth certificate.
Marriage Waiting Period in Arkansas
In most cases, there’s no waiting period for obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas. However, if one party is 16 or 17 and the other is 17, a waiting period of five business days applies. For individuals aged 18 and over, licenses can be issued immediately.
Marriage Residency Requirements
Good news for non-residents! You don’t have to be a resident of Arkansas to obtain a marriage license within the state.
Previous Marriages and Records
If you were previously married, you’ll need to provide your divorce decree or information about the date, county, and state of your previous spouse’s death.
Changing Your Name
Obtaining a marriage license with your new name doesn’t automatically change your name. For a name change, consider using an online marriage name change kit.
Arkansas offers an option for couples to choose a Covenant Marriage, which involves declaring your intent to have a Covenant Marriage during the application process. This option involves authorized counseling and additional requirements.
Proxy, Cousin, and Common Law Marriages
Arkansas does not allow proxy marriages.
Cousin marriages are not permitted in Arkansas.
Common Law Marriages
Arkansas does not recognize common law marriages.
Marriage Blood Test and Age Requirements
No blood or medical tests are required for marriage in Arkansas.
Males must be at least 17 years old, and females must be 16 or 17 years old. Parental consent is required, along with a mandatory 5-day waiting period.
Marriage Officiants and Witnesses
Justices of the Peace and qualified ministers can solemnize marriages. Ministers must complete the required information on the Marriage License.
Witnesses are not required for marriages in Arkansas.
Expiration and Vital Records
The marriage license is valid for sixty (60) days and must be returned to the County Clerk’s office where you applied.
Copy of Certificate
For a copy of your Certificate of Marriage License, contact the Division of Vital Records.
Obtaining a marriage license is a significant step towards starting your journey of love and togetherness. Arkansas offers a streamlined process, allowing you to celebrate your special day with ease. Remember, each detail, from identification to eligibility, plays a crucial role in ensuring a smooth experience. As you plan your wedding, use this guide to navigate the marriage license requirements in Arkansas and embark on your lifelong adventure.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Can non-residents get married in Arkansas? Absolutely! Arkansas allows non-residents to obtain a marriage license.
- Is there a waiting period for marriage licenses in Arkansas? Generally, there is no waiting period for applicants aged 18 and over. However, for those aged 16 or 17, a waiting period of 5 business days applies.
- Can I have a proxy marriage in Arkansas? No, proxy marriages are not permitted in Arkansas.
- Is counseling required for a Covenant Marriage? Yes, authorized counseling is required for couples choosing a Covenant Marriage in Arkansas.
- How long is a marriage license valid in Arkansas? A marriage license in Arkansas is valid for sixty (60) days.