Marriage License Requirements
Planning a wedding is an exciting journey, filled with decisions and preparations. One essential step in the process is obtaining a marriage license, which legalizes your union. If you’re considering tying the knot in Arkansas, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about getting your marriage license in the Natural State.
Congratulations on your decision to get married! Before you embark on this wonderful journey, it’s important to understand the legal aspects of marriage. In Arkansas, obtaining a marriage license is a straightforward process that involves certain requirements and steps.
Marriage License Application Process
To apply for a marriage license in Arkansas, both parties must visit the County Clerk’s office in person. The office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Keep in mind that the office is closed on Court Approved Holidays.
Both parties must be at least 18 years old and present a valid government-issued identification that displays their correct name and date of birth. If either party has changed their name due to divorce and their driver’s license doesn’t reflect this change, a certified copy of the divorce decree is required.
Application Fee and Return
The application fee for a marriage license is $60.00 (Sixty Dollars). This fee must be paid in cash. After the marriage ceremony, whether used or unused, the marriage license must be returned to the County Clerk’s office for recording within SIXTY (60) days from the date of issuance.
Marriage ID Requirement
When applying for a marriage license, both parties must present a valid form of identification. Accepted forms of ID include a state-issued ID, a valid driver’s license, Indian Card, passport, visa (not expired), military ID, or original birth certificate.
There is no waiting period required for obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas if both applicants are 18 or older. However, if one party is male and 17 years old, or if one party is female and 16-17 years old and obtaining parental consent, a waiting period of 5 business days applies.
Arkansas doesn’t have a residency requirement for obtaining a marriage license. The license can be used anywhere within the state.
If you or your partner 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 in Arkansas is $60.00 (Sixty Dollars). Payment must be made in cash. For alternative payment methods, it’s recommended to inquire with the County Clerk’s office beforehand.
Covenant marriages are an option in Arkansas. This type of marriage involves a declaration of intent to contract a Covenant Marriage and requires authorized counseling from qualified professionals.
Proxy marriages are not allowed in Arkansas. Both parties must be physically present to obtain a marriage license.
Cousin marriages are not permitted in Arkansas.
Common Law Marriages
Common law marriages are not recognized in Arkansas.
Marriage Blood Test
Arkansas does not require blood or medical tests to get married.
Getting a marriage license with your new name on it doesn’t automatically change your name. If you want to change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirements
In Arkansas, males must be at least 17 years old, and females must be 16-17 years old to marry. Parental consent and a mandatory 5-day waiting period are required for minors. Different scenarios of parental consent are defined.
Justices of the Peace and registered ministers can solemnize marriages in Arkansas. Ministers must have their credentials recorded in any county in the state. The minister’s responsibility ends after the ceremony, and the marriage license must be returned to the County Clerk’s office within SIXTY (60) DAYS.
Witnesses are not required for marriages in Arkansas.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
A marriage license in Arkansas is valid for sixty (60) days. It can be used anywhere in the state but must be returned to the County Clerk’s office where it was initially obtained.
Contact Information for Vital Records
If you need a copy of your marriage certificate, you can contact the Division of Vital Records in Little Rock, AR.
Obtaining a marriage license is a crucial step in making your union legally recognized. Arkansas provides a straightforward process for obtaining a marriage license, with various requirements to keep in mind. By adhering to these guidelines, you can ensure that your wedding plans proceed smoothly and that your marriage is legally valid.
- Is there a waiting period for getting a marriage license in Arkansas? No, there is no waiting period if both parties are 18 or older. However, minors with parental consent have a waiting period of 5 business days.
- Can I apply for a marriage license if I’m not a resident of Arkansas? Yes, you do not need to be an Arkansas resident to apply for a marriage license. The license is valid anywhere within the state.
- Can I have a proxy marriage in Arkansas? No, Arkansas does not allow proxy marriages. Both parties must be physically present.
- What is a Covenant Marriage? Covenant marriages involve a declaration of intent and authorized counseling. They are an option in Arkansas.
- Do I need witnesses for my marriage ceremony in Arkansas? No, witnesses are not required for marriages in Arkansas.