Marriage License Requirements
Marriage is a sacred and joyous occasion, a celebration of love and commitment between two individuals. If you’re planning to tie the knot in the beautiful state of Arkansas, understanding the legalities and requirements for obtaining a marriage license is essential. From the application process to age requirements, this article covers everything you need to know to ensure a smooth journey towards your marital bliss.
Before you say your vows and embark on the journey of marriage, it’s important to follow the legal process of obtaining a marriage license. Arkansas provides guidelines to ensure that marriages are conducted according to legal standards, ensuring the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved.
To begin the process of obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas, certain requirements must be met:
Both parties must be 18 years or older and present a valid government-issued identification that shows their correct name and date of birth. If one or both individuals have gone through a divorce and their driver’s license does not reflect the name change, a certified copy of the divorce decree is necessary.
A non-refundable application fee of $60.00 is required to process the marriage license application. This fee is payable in cash.
Returning the Marriage License
Whether the marriage license is used or unused, it must be returned to the County Clerk’s office within sixty (60) days from the date of issuance.
Acceptable forms of identification for obtaining a marriage license include:
- State-issued I.D.
- Valid Driver’s License
- Indian Card
- Passport or Visa (not expired)
- Military I.D.
- Original Birth Certificate
There is no waiting period required in Arkansas for couples both aged 18 or over. However, if one party is male and aged 17, or if one party is female and aged 16 or 17, a five-business-day waiting period applies when obtaining a marriage license with parental consent.
Arkansas does not impose residency requirements. The marriage license obtained in Arkansas is valid anywhere within the state.
If either party was previously married, they must provide a divorce decree or information about the date, county, and state of death of the previous spouse. A certified copy of the divorce decree is necessary if there has been a name change due to the divorce.
Marriage License Fees
The marriage license fee in Arkansas is $60.00, payable in cash. If you need information on alternative payment methods, it’s advisable to contact the relevant authorities in advance.
Arkansas offers the option of a Covenant Marriage. Couples can choose this option by declaring their intent on their Application for Marriage license and executing a Declaration of Intent. This requires authorized counseling and certain legal procedures.
Proxy, Cousin, and Common Law Marriages
Arkansas does not permit proxy marriages, cousin marriages, or common law marriages.
Marriage Blood Test
Arkansas does not require blood or medical tests to obtain a marriage license.
Obtaining a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your name. To change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirements
Males must be at least 17 years old, and females must be 16-17 years old, with parental consent. There’s a mandatory 5-day waiting period for parental consent cases.
“Parental Consent” is defined as the consent of various parties, including parents, guardians, and court-appointed figures, depending on the circumstances.
Pregnant Minors and Marriage
Minors under the prescribed age may obtain a marriage license if the female is pregnant. Judicial approval and certain procedures are involved in such cases.
Justices of the Peace and authorized ministers can solemnize marriages in Arkansas. Ministers must have their credentials recorded, and both parties are responsible for returning the marriage license to the County Clerk’s office.
No witnesses are required for marriages in Arkansas.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
The marriage license is valid for sixty (60) days and can be used anywhere in Arkansas.
Copy of Certificate of Marriage License
Inquiries about certificates of marriage licenses should be directed to the Division of Vital Records in Little Rock.
As you embark on this beautiful journey of marriage, it’s crucial to navigate the legal requirements with care and attention. Arkansas provides clear guidelines to ensure that your union is both legally sound and joyously celebrated.
- Can we get married immediately in Arkansas? Yes, there is no waiting period if both parties are 18 or older.
- Is counseling necessary for a Covenant Marriage? Yes, authorized counseling is required for a Covenant Marriage.
- Are witnesses required for marriage in Arkansas? No, witnesses are not required.
- Can minors get married in Arkansas? Yes, under certain circumstances and with parental consent.
- How long is the marriage license valid? The marriage license is valid for sixty (60) days.