Marriage License Requirements
Planning a wedding is an exciting journey that involves various decisions, and one of the most important choices you’ll make is selecting a wedding officiant. Whether you’re getting married for the first time or renewing your vows, finding the right wedding officiant is crucial to ensure that your special day is memorable and meaningful. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Arkansas wedding officiants, from marriage license requirements to choosing the perfect officiant for your ceremony.
Your wedding day is a celebration of love and commitment, and choosing the right wedding officiant plays a pivotal role in making it a memorable occasion. Arkansas offers a variety of options for officiants, and understanding the legal requirements and available choices is essential for a smooth wedding planning process.
Marriage License Requirements
Getting a Marriage License
Before your wedding ceremony can take place, you’ll need to obtain a marriage license. Both parties must be 18 or older and present valid government-issued identification with correct names and birthdates. If a divorce has changed your name and your driver’s license doesn’t reflect this, bring a certified copy of your divorce decree. The application fee is $60.00.
Marriage ID Requirements
Valid forms of identification include state-issued IDs, driver’s licenses, Indian cards, passports, visas, military IDs, and original birth certificates.
Marriage Waiting Period Requirement
Arkansas has no waiting period for couples over 18. However, if one party is 16 or 17, a waiting period of 5 business days is required with parental consent.
Marriage Residency Requirement
You don’t have to be an Arkansas resident to obtain a marriage license. The license is valid anywhere within the state.
Previous Marriages and Name Changes
If you were previously married, provide divorce details. If your name changed due to divorce, bring a certified copy of the divorce decree.
Marriage License Fees
The marriage license fee is $60.00, payable in cash.
Covenant Marriages in Arkansas
Act 1486 of 2001 introduced Covenant Marriages, allowing couples to declare their intent to choose this option on their marriage license application.
Proxy, Cousin, and Common Law Marriages
Arkansas does not permit proxy, cousin, or common law marriages.
Marriage Blood Test and Name Change
No blood or medical tests are required for marriage in Arkansas. Changing your name after obtaining a marriage license doesn’t automatically change your name legally.
Marriage Age Requirements and Parental Consent
Males 17 and females 16-17 require parental consent and a 5-day waiting period. The term “Parental Consent” is defined precisely.
Marriage Officiants in Arkansas
Justices of the Peace
Justices of the Peace, including former JPs who served 2 terms since 1977, can solemnize marriages.
Ministers need recorded credentials in any Arkansas county. The minister’s responsibility includes completing the Marriage License’s Certificate of Marriage.
Witnesses are not required for Arkansas marriages.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
The marriage license is valid for 60 days and can be used anywhere in Arkansas.
Getting Married in Arkansas: Step by Step
Here’s a brief overview of the steps involved in getting married in Arkansas:
- Gather required documents.
- Apply for a marriage license.
- Choose your wedding officiant.
- Plan and conduct the ceremony.
- Return the marriage license to the County Clerk’s office.
Your wedding day is a cherished memory that starts with the right officiant. Understanding Arkansas’s marriage laws and options for officiants ensures a seamless and joyous celebration of your love. Remember to plan ahead, choose wisely, and make your wedding day a true reflection of your journey together.
FAQs About Arkansas Wedding Officiants
Can I have a friend or family member officiate my wedding in Arkansas?
Yes, if they’re a Justice of the Peace or a licensed minister.
How far in advance should I book a wedding officiant?
It’s recommended to book at least a few months before your wedding date.
Are there any restrictions on who can perform a marriage ceremony in Arkansas?
Officiants must be authorized by the state, such as Justices of the Peace and licensed ministers.
What should I consider when choosing a wedding officiant?
Consider their availability, personality, and alignment with your wedding vision.
How do I obtain a copy of my marriage certificate?
You can request a copy from the Division of Vital Records.