Marriage License Requirements
Getting married is a significant milestone in anyone’s life, filled with joy and anticipation. However, before you say “I do,” there are practical aspects to consider, such as obtaining a marriage license. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of acquiring a marriage license in Arkansas, including requirements, fees, waiting periods, and much more.
Your journey toward marital bliss begins with obtaining a marriage license. This legal document grants you the authority to officially tie the knot. Let’s dive into the details.
Application for Marriage License
To apply for a marriage license in Arkansas, both parties must be 18 years or older and present a valid government-issued identification showing their correct name and date of birth. If you’ve undergone a divorce and your driver’s license doesn’t reflect the name change, bring a certified copy of your divorce decree. The application fee is $60.00, and it’s important to note that you must return the marriage license to the County Clerk’s office within sixty (60) days from the date of issuance, whether it’s used or unused.
Marriage ID Requirement
For a marriage license in Arkansas, both parties must have a valid form of identification. This can include a state-issued ID, a valid driver’s license, an Indian card, passport, visa, military ID, or an original birth certificate.
Marriage Waiting Period
Unlike some states, Arkansas does not have a waiting period for obtaining a marriage license. If both applicants are 18 or over, the license can be issued immediately.
Marriage Residency Requirement
Arkansas doesn’t require you to be a resident of the state to get married there. Your marriage license can be used anywhere within Arkansas.
If you’ve been previously married, you’ll need to show your divorce decree or provide information about the date, county, and state of death of your previous spouse. If your name has changed due to divorce, you’ll need a certified copy of your divorce decree.
Marriage License Fees
The fee for an Arkansas marriage license is $60.00. Payment in cash is accepted, and if you’re looking for alternative payment methods, it’s a good idea to call ahead for guidance.
Arkansas offers couples the option of a Covenant Marriage, which involves a declaration of intent to enter this type of marriage. It requires authorized counseling emphasizing the nature and responsibilities of marriage.
Proxy marriages are not permitted in Arkansas, meaning both parties must be present to obtain a marriage license.
Arkansas law does not allow marriages between cousins.
Common Law Marriages
Common law marriages are not recognized in Arkansas.
Marriage Blood Test
Arkansas does not require blood or medical tests for marriage.
While obtaining a marriage license with your new name doesn’t automatically change your name, you can use an online marriage name change kit to simplify the process.
Marriage Age Requirements
Males must be at least 17 years old, and females must be 16 or 17 years old. Parental consent and a mandatory 5-day waiting period are required.
Justices of the Peace and Ministers can solemnize marriages in Arkansas. Ministers must have their credentials recorded in any county in the state. The applicants must return the marriage license to the County Clerk’s office within 60 days.
Arkansas does not require witnesses for marriages.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Your marriage license is valid for sixty (60) days, and it must be returned to the County Clerk’s office where you initially applied.
Copy of Certificate of Marriage License
For a copy of your marriage license certificate, you can contact the Division of Vital Records.
Acquiring a marriage license in Arkansas involves a series of steps and considerations. By understanding the requirements, fees, waiting periods, and other aspects discussed in this article, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on your marital journey. Remember, legal processes are vital to ensure a smooth transition into wedded life.
- Can I get married immediately in Arkansas? Yes, if both applicants are 18 or over, a marriage license can be issued immediately.
- Do I have to be a resident of Arkansas to get married there? No, you don’t need to be a resident of Arkansas to get married there.
- What is a Covenant Marriage? A Covenant Marriage is an option in Arkansas that involves a declaration of intent to enter a specific type of marriage with authorized counseling.
- Are proxy marriages allowed in Arkansas? No, Arkansas does not permit proxy marriages.
- Is there a waiting period for obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas? There is no waiting period for applicants aged 18 or over. However, applicants under 18 with parental consent must fulfill a 5-day waiting period.