Marriage License Requirements
Are you planning to tie the knot in Arkansas? Whether you’re a local resident or planning a destination wedding, understanding the marriage license process is essential. From application requirements to fees and important details, let’s dive into the specifics of obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Marriage License
Before you exchange your vows, there are a few key steps you’ll need to follow to obtain your marriage license in Arkansas:
Meet the Age and Identification Requirements
Both parties must be at least 18 years old to apply for a marriage license. A valid government-issued identification with your correct name and date of birth is required.
Handling Name Changes
If either party has undergone a name change due to divorce and the driver’s license does not reflect this change, a certified copy of the divorce decree is necessary.
Pay the Application Fee
To kickstart the process, an application fee of $60.00 is required. This fee covers the cost of processing your marriage license.
Return the License
After your wedding ceremony, whether you used the license or not, it must be returned to the County Clerk’s office within sixty (60) days of issuance for recording.
Meeting the Identification Requirements
To meet the identification requirements for obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas, you’ll need to present one of the following forms of identification:
- State-issued ID
- Valid driver’s license
- Indian card
- Passport or visa (not expired)
- Military ID
- Original birth certificate
The Waiting Period and Residency Requirement
There is no waiting period to obtain a marriage license in Arkansas. If both applicants are 18 or older, the license can be issued immediately. However, if one party is 16 or 17 and seeking a marriage license with parental consent, a 5-business day waiting period applies.
Arkansas does not have a residency requirement for obtaining a marriage license. The license is valid for use anywhere within the state.
Previous Marriages and Covenant Marriages
For individuals who have been previously married, providing a divorce decree or information about the previous spouse’s death is necessary. If there’s been a name change, a certified copy of the divorce decree is also required.
Arkansas offers the option of a Covenant Marriage, allowing couples to make a commitment to their marriage through a formal declaration and counseling process.
Marriage Officiants and Witnesses
Justices of the Peace in Arkansas are authorized to solemnize marriages. Ministers can also officiate, provided they have their credentials recorded in any county within the state. Witnesses are not required for marriages in Arkansas.
The Marriage License Expiration
Your marriage license is valid for a period of sixty (60) days. While you can use the license anywhere within Arkansas, it must be returned to the County Clerk’s office where you initially applied.
As you embark on your journey to wedded bliss in Arkansas, understanding the intricacies of obtaining a marriage license is crucial. From identification requirements to fees and waiting periods, these details pave the way for a seamless process. Make sure to adhere to the guidelines outlined above to ensure your special day is legally recognized.
FAQs About Marriage License in Arkansas
Q1: What is the cost of a marriage license in Arkansas? A1: The application fee for a marriage license in Arkansas is $60.00.
Q2: Is there a waiting period to obtain a marriage license in Arkansas? A2: There is no waiting period if both parties are 18 or older. A 5-business day waiting period applies for applicants aged 16 or 17 with parental consent.
Q3: Can I use my Arkansas marriage license anywhere in the state? A3: Yes, the marriage license is valid for use anywhere within Arkansas.
Q4: Are witnesses required for marriages in Arkansas? A4: No, witnesses are not required for marriages in Arkansas.
Q5: What is the validity period of a marriage license in Arkansas? A5: The marriage license is valid for sixty (60) days from the date of issuance.