Marriage License Requirements
If you’re planning to tie the knot in Arkansas, you’ll need to navigate through some important paperwork and procedures before saying “I do.” One of the most essential steps in this process is obtaining a marriage license. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about getting a marriage license in Arkansas.
When planning your dream wedding in Arkansas, securing a marriage license is a crucial step that must not be overlooked. This document not only legalizes your union but also ensures that your marriage is recognized by the state.
Eligibility and Identification
To apply for a marriage license, both parties must be 18 years or older and present valid government-issued identification that includes their correct name and date of birth.
Name Change and Divorce Decree
If either party has undergone a name change due to divorce and their driver’s license does not reflect this change, a certified copy of the divorce decree is required.
A non-refundable application fee of $60.00 (Sixty Dollars) is applicable.
Returning the Marriage License
Once obtained, the marriage license must be returned to the County Clerk’s office within SIXTY (60) days from the date of issuance, whether it is used or unused.
Accepted Forms of Identification
Both parties must provide one of the following forms of identification:
- State-issued I.D.
- Valid Driver’s License
- Indian Card
- Passport or Visa (not expired)
- Military I.D.
- Original Birth Certificate
Waiting Period and Residency
No Waiting Period
Arkansas does not require a waiting period for marriage licenses. If both applicants are 18 or older, the license may be issued immediately.
You do not need to be an Arkansas resident to obtain a marriage license, and the license can be used anywhere within the state.
If you were previously married, you’ll need to provide your divorce decree or information about the date, county, and state of death of your previous spouse. If your name has changed, a certified copy of your divorce decree is necessary.
Marriage License Fees
The marriage license fee is $60.00 and can be paid in cash. For alternative payment methods, it is advisable to contact the County Clerk’s office in advance.
Option for Covenant Marriages
Couples in Arkansas have the option to choose a Covenant Marriage, which emphasizes the commitment and responsibilities of marriage.
Authorized counseling, provided by various professionals including clergy members and licensed counselors, is mandatory for Covenant Marriages.
Proxy, Cousin, and Common Law Marriages
Prohibitions in Arkansas
Proxy, cousin, and common law marriages are not allowed in Arkansas.
Marriage Blood Test
No Medical Tests Required
Arkansas does not require blood or medical tests before getting married.
Name Change After Marriage
The Process Explained
Obtaining a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your name. For a name change, you may consider using an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirements
Minimum Age and Parental Consent
Males aged 17 and females aged 16-17 require parental consent, with a mandatory 5-day waiting period.
Minors who are pregnant and wish to marry may need to appear before a judge for approval.
Justices of the Peace and registered ministers can solemnize marriages in Arkansas.
Responsibilities of Ministers
Ministers must complete the Certificate of Marriage on the Marriage License but are not responsible for returning the license.
No witnesses are required for marriages in Arkansas.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Validity and Return Process
The marriage license is valid for 60 days and must be returned to the County Clerk’s office where it was obtained.
Copy of Certificate
Obtaining a Copy
To obtain a copy of the marriage certificate, contact the Division of Vital Records.
In conclusion, obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas is a straightforward process that involves fulfilling specific requirements and submitting necessary documents. By following these guidelines, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on your journey to marital bliss. If you have any further questions, read on for some commonly asked questions:
- Can I apply for a marriage license if I am not a resident of Arkansas? Yes, you do not need to be an Arkansas resident to apply for a marriage license in the state.
- Is counseling required for all marriages in Arkansas ? Counseling is required for Covenant Marriages, but it is not mandatory for regular marriages.
- Are blood tests necessary for marriage in Arkansas? No, Arkansas does not require blood tests for obtaining a marriage license.
- What is the validity period of a marriage license? A marriage license in Arkansas is valid for 60 days from the date of issuance.
- How do I change my name after getting married? Getting a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your name. You may consider using an online marriage name change kit for this purpose.