Marriage License Requirements
If you’re planning to tie the knot in the beautiful state of Arkansas, understanding the process and requirements for obtaining a marriage license is essential. From application fees to identification requirements, we’ve got you covered. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through all the important details to ensure a smooth journey to marital bliss.
Congratulations on your decision to get married! Before you embark on this exciting journey, let’s dive into the details of obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas.
Application Process and Requirements
To begin the process, both parties must be 18 years or older and present valid government-issued identification. This ID should show the correct name and date of birth. If either party has changed their name due to a divorce, a certified copy of the divorce decree is required.
Name Change Considerations
If your name has changed and your driver’s license doesn’t reflect this change, you’ll need to provide a certified copy of your divorce decree.
A non-refundable application fee of $60.00 is required. This fee can be paid in cash. For alternative payment methods, it’s recommended to contact the relevant authorities in advance.
Returning the Marriage License
After your wedding, whether you use the license or not, it’s important to return it to the County Clerk’s office within sixty (60) days from the date of issuance.
Acceptable Forms of ID
Various forms of identification are accepted, including state-issued IDs, valid driver’s licenses, Indian cards, passports, visas (not expired), military IDs, and original birth certificates.
Marriage Waiting Period
Arkansas doesn’t require a waiting period for couples aged 18 and over. However, if one party is 17 (male) or 16-17 (female) and parental consent is obtained, a five-business-day waiting period is mandatory.
You don’t need to be an Arkansas resident to obtain a marriage license, and the license can be used anywhere within the state.
Documenting Previous Marriages
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. In case of a name change, a certified copy of the divorce decree is necessary.
Marriage License Fees
The marriage license fee in Arkansas is $60.00, payable in cash. For specific payment methods, it’s recommended to contact the relevant office in advance.
Option for Covenant Marriages
Couples in Arkansas can choose a Covenant Marriage, an option created by Act 1486 of 2001.
The Declaration of Intent
To enter into a Covenant Marriage, couples must declare their intent on their Application for Marriage license and complete a Declaration of Intent. This declaration includes recitations, an affidavit confirming authorized counseling, and signatures witnessed by a notary.
Authorized counseling for Covenant Marriages can be provided by various professionals, including priests, ministers, licensed counselors, and psychologists.
Unfortunately, Arkansas doesn’t permit proxy marriages, requiring both parties to be physically present for the marriage ceremony.
Cousin marriages are not allowed 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 doesn’t automatically change your name. An online marriage name change kit can assist with this process.
Marriage Age Requirements
For individuals under 18 years old, parental consent is required for marriage.
Special Cases: Minors and Pregnancy
Special cases involve minors or pregnant individuals seeking marriage. A judge’s approval may be necessary in these situations.
Justices of the Peace and registered ministers can officiate weddings in Arkansas. These officials must complete the Certificate of Marriage on the Marriage License.
Witnesses are not required for marriages in Arkansas.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
A marriage license remains valid for sixty (60) days and must be returned to the County Clerk’s office where it was obtained.
How to Obtain a Copy of the Marriage Certificate
To obtain a copy of your marriage certificate, contact the Division of Vital Records. The address and contact information are provided at the end of this article.
In conclusion, getting married in Arkansas involves various steps and considerations. From application requirements to unique options like Covenant Marriages, this guide has covered everything you need to know. Remember, while this article provides valuable information, it’s always a good idea to verify details with official sources.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Can I pay the application fee using a credit card?
As of now, the application fee is typically payable in cash. For alternative payment methods, it’s best to inquire with the relevant office.
2. Is a waiting period necessary for all couples?
Arkansas doesn’t require a waiting period for couples aged 18 and over. However, there’s a waiting period of 5 business days for males aged 17 and females aged 16-17 with parental consent.
3. Can I have a proxy marriage in Arkansas?
No, Arkansas does not allow proxy marriages. Both parties must be physically present for the marriage ceremony.
4. What is a Covenant Marriage?
A Covenant Marriage is an option in Arkansas where couples declare their intent to enter into such a marriage and receive authorized counseling.
5. How long is the marriage license valid?
The marriage license is valid for sixty (60) days. Be sure to return it to the County Clerk’s office within this period.