Marriage License Requirements
Are you planning to tie the knot in the picturesque state of Arkansas? Whether you’re a local or considering a destination wedding, it’s essential to understand the marriage license requirements and procedures. From application details to necessary documentation, we’ve got you covered in this comprehensive guide.
Your Pathway to Marriage: Application and Requirements
When you decide to get married in Arkansas, there are specific steps you need to follow. Let’s walk you through the process step by step:
1. Required Identification
Both parties must be at least 18 years old and present a valid government-issued identification that includes their correct name and date of birth. If you’ve gone through a divorce and your driver’s license still bears your previous name, remember to bring a certified copy of your divorce decree.
2. Application Fee
A marriage license in Arkansas comes with an application fee of $60.00. This fee is payable in cash and is an essential part of the process.
3. Returning the License
Whether you use the license or not, it must be returned to the County Clerk’s office within sixty (60) days from the date of issuance. This requirement ensures that all records are properly documented.
Eligibility and Documentation
To further streamline the process, let’s delve into the eligibility criteria and required documentation:
To obtain a marriage license in Arkansas, both parties must be 18 years or older. They should have one of the following forms of identification:
- State-issued I.D.
- Valid Driver’s License
- Indian Card
- Passport or Visa (not expired)
- Military I.D.
- Original Birth Certificate
Arkansas has no waiting period for issuing marriage licenses. If both applicants are over 18 years old, the license can be issued immediately. However, if one of the parties is male and aged 17, or if one of the parties is female and aged 16 or 17 and obtaining the license with parental consent, a waiting period of five business days is required.
Beyond the Basics: Special Situations
Navigating the nuances of marriage license requirements can be complex, especially when dealing with specific circumstances. Let’s explore some scenarios:
Arkansas offers the option of a Covenant Marriage, where couples can declare their intent to enter into a Covenant Marriage on their Application for Marriage license. This involves undergoing authorized counseling to emphasize the nature, purposes, and responsibilities of marriage.
Proxy Marriages, Cousin Marriages, and Common Law Marriages
Unfortunately, Arkansas does not permit proxy marriages, cousin marriages, or common law marriages. The state’s regulations are clear in these areas.
Marriage Age Requirements
For males aged 17 and females aged 16-17, parental consent is required, along with a mandatory 5-day waiting period. The concept of “Parental Consent” is defined based on various situations, ensuring a safeguarded approach to marriage involving minors.
Who Can Officiate?
The individuals authorized to officiate marriages in Arkansas include Justices of the Peace and ministers. Ministers performing marriages in the state must have their credentials recorded in any Arkansas county. However, it’s important to note that the minister is not responsible for returning the license after the ceremony. This responsibility falls on the applicants, who must ensure that the license is recorded within sixty (60) days from the date of issuance.
Embarking on the journey of marriage in Arkansas involves understanding a series of requirements and procedures. From eligibility criteria to documentation and special circumstances, being well-informed is key to a smooth experience. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you’ll be better prepared to navigate the process and celebrate your union with peace of mind.
1. Can I apply for a marriage license in Arkansas if I’ve been previously married?
Yes, you can apply for a marriage license if you’ve been previously married. Ensure you have the necessary documentation, such as your divorce decree, to proceed.
2. Is there a waiting period for obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas?
There is no waiting period for couples over the age of 18. However, if one party is aged 17 or if one of the parties is aged 16 or 17 with parental consent, a waiting period of five business days applies.
3. Are proxy marriages allowed in Arkansas?
No, Arkansas does not allow proxy marriages. Both parties must be present to obtain a marriage license.
4. How long is the marriage license valid in Arkansas?
The marriage license is valid for sixty (60) days. It must be returned to the County Clerk’s office within this timeframe.
5. Can a minor under 18 get married in Arkansas?
Under certain circumstances, minors under 18 can get married with parental consent and under the supervision of a circuit court judge.