Marriage License Requirements
If you’re planning a wedding or vow renewal ceremony in Arkansas, you’re in luck! The Natural State offers a wide range of options for couples seeking a memorable and meaningful experience. From finding the perfect officiant to understanding marriage license requirements, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know about Arkansas wedding officiants.
Your wedding day is one of the most important milestones in your life, and choosing the right officiant is crucial to ensure your ceremony is as special and unique as your love story. In Arkansas, couples have a variety of options when it comes to selecting an officiant for their wedding or vow renewal.
Marriage License Application Requirements
Before you say “I do,” you’ll need to obtain a marriage license. Both parties must be at least 18 years old and present a valid government-issued ID that displays their 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. The application fee is $60.00, and the marriage license must be returned to the County Clerk’s office within 60 days of issuance.
Marriage ID Requirements
To obtain a marriage license, you’ll need to provide a valid form of identification. Acceptable forms include a state-issued ID, driver’s license, Indian card, passport, visa, military ID, or original birth certificate.
Marriage Waiting Period Requirement
Arkansas does not have a waiting period for couples over the age of 18. However, if one party is 16 or 17 years old, a five-business-day waiting period applies with parental consent. There’s no waiting period for couples aged 18 and over.
Marriage Residency Requirement
You don’t have to be a resident of Arkansas to get married there. Your marriage license can be used anywhere within the state.
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. If your name has changed, a certified copy of your divorce decree is necessary.
Marriage License Fees
The fee for an Arkansas marriage license is $60.00, payable in cash. Other methods of payment may be available – it’s best to inquire ahead of time.
Couples in Arkansas have the option to choose a Covenant Marriage. This involves declaring your intent on the marriage license application and completing a Declaration of Intent to contract a Covenant Marriage. Authorized counseling is required, and the couple’s signatures must be witnessed by a notary.
Unfortunately, Arkansas does not permit proxy marriages. Both parties must be present to obtain a marriage license.
Cousin marriages are not allowed in Arkansas.
Common Law Marriages
Arkansas does not recognize common law marriages.
Marriage Blood Test
No blood or medical tests are required for marriage in Arkansas.
Name Change After Marriage
Obtaining 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
Males must be at least 17 years old, and females must be 16-17 years old. Parental consent is required, along with a mandatory five-day waiting period. Parental consent is defined broadly and includes various scenarios.
In Arkansas, Justices of the Peace (past and present), as well as registered ministers, can solemnize marriages. These officiants need to complete the necessary information on the marriage license, but they aren’t responsible for returning the license after the ceremony.
Unlike some states, Arkansas does not require witnesses for marriage ceremonies.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Your marriage license is valid for 60 days. It can be used anywhere in the state but must be returned to the County Clerk’s office where you applied.
Copy of Certificate of Marriage License
If you need a copy of your marriage certificate, you can contact the Division of Vital Records in Little Rock.
Planning your wedding in Arkansas doesn’t have to be daunting. Understanding the marriage license requirements, age restrictions, and officiant options will ensure that your special day goes off without a hitch. With the scenic beauty of Arkansas as your backdrop, your wedding will be a cherished memory for years to come.
- Can we get married immediately in Arkansas? Yes, there’s no waiting period for couples over 18.
- What is a Covenant Marriage? A Covenant Marriage is an option in Arkansas that involves authorized counseling and a declaration of intent.
- Are proxy marriages allowed in Arkansas? No, both parties must be present to obtain a marriage license.
- Is common law marriage recognized in Arkansas? No, Arkansas does not recognize common law marriages.
- Do we need witnesses for our marriage ceremony? No, witnesses are not required for marriages in Arkansas.