Marriage License Requirements
Are you planning to tie the knot in the beautiful state of Arkansas? Getting a marriage license is a crucial step in making your union official. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas, from application requirements to fees and more. Let’s dive in!
Your journey towards marital bliss begins with obtaining a marriage license. This legal document is a prerequisite for getting married and is issued by the County Clerk’s office. Arkansas, with its serene landscapes and welcoming communities, is an ideal destination for couples looking to exchange their vows.
To start the process, both parties need to visit the County Clerk’s office together. This is where you’ll fill out the application for a marriage license. The application typically requires basic personal information and details about any previous marriages.
Both parties must be 18 years of age or older and present a valid government-issued identification that shows their correct name and date of birth. If your name has changed due to a divorce and your driver’s license doesn’t reflect this change, you’ll need to bring a certified copy of your divorce decree.
The cost of applying for a marriage license is $60.00. This fee is a standard requirement and is payable in cash. Make sure you’re prepared to cover this cost when you visit the County Clerk’s office.
Returning the License
After the wedding ceremony, whether you’ve used the license or not, it must be returned to the County Clerk’s office within sixty (60) days from the date of issuance. This step is crucial to ensure that your marriage is legally recorded.
In Arkansas, individuals who are 18 years or older can apply for a marriage license without parental consent. However, if either party is under 18, there are specific rules in place. Parental consent and a mandatory 5-day waiting period are required for couples where one or both parties are underage.
Arkansas offers couples the option of entering into a Covenant Marriage. This involves declaring your intent to do so on your Application for Marriage license and completing a Declaration of Intent. This is a unique feature of Arkansas law that emphasizes the commitment and counseling aspect of marriage.
Arkansas doesn’t have a waiting period for couples where both parties are 18 or older. However, if one party is 17 and the other is 16 or 17 with parental consent, a waiting period of 5 business days applies.
You don’t have to be a resident of Arkansas to obtain a marriage license in the state. The license is valid anywhere within the state’s borders.
If you’ve been previously married, you’ll need to provide your divorce decree or information about the date, county, and state of death of your previous spouse. This is important for ensuring accurate marital records.
Marriages in Arkansas can be solemnized by Justices of the Peace and ministers. These officials must complete the necessary information on the Marriage License’s Certificate of Marriage. Ministers must have their credentials recorded in an Arkansas county.
Unlike some states, Arkansas does not require witnesses for marriages. This simplifies the process, allowing you to focus on your special day.
Expiration Date of the License
Your marriage license is valid for sixty (60) days from the date of issuance. It can be used anywhere within Arkansas but must be returned to the County Clerk’s office where you first applied.
Getting Your Certificate
After the wedding, you can obtain a copy of your Certificate of Marriage License from the Division of Vital Records. This ensures you have an official record of your marriage for legal and personal purposes.
As you prepare for your wedding day, obtaining a marriage license is an essential step. Arkansas offers a straightforward process for couples to make their marriage official. Remember to gather all necessary documents, pay the application fee, and return the license to the County Clerk’s office after your ceremony. With the legalities taken care of, you can focus on celebrating your love and beginning a new chapter together.
- Is there a waiting period for getting married in Arkansas? No, there is no waiting period for couples aged 18 or older. However, couples with one party aged 16 or 17 and the other 17 must fulfill a 5-business-day waiting period with parental consent.
- Can I get married in Arkansas if I’m not a resident of the state? Yes, you don’t have to be an Arkansas resident to obtain a marriage license. The license is valid anywhere within the state.
- What is a Covenant Marriage? A Covenant Marriage is an option in Arkansas that emphasizes commitment and counseling. Couples can declare their intent to enter into a Covenant Marriage and complete a Declaration of Intent.
- Do I need witnesses for my wedding ceremony in Arkansas? No, witnesses are not required for marriages in Arkansas.
- How long is the marriage license valid? The marriage license is valid for sixty (60) days from the date of issuance. Remember to return it to the County Clerk’s office after your wedding ceremony.