Marriage License Requirements
Marriage is a beautiful union, a commitment between two individuals embarking on a journey together. And before you can embark on that journey, there’s an important legal step you need to take: obtaining a marriage license. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through all the essential information about the marriage license process in Arkansas, ensuring that you’re well-prepared for your special day. From the necessary documentation to application fees and more, let’s delve into the details.
Before you say “I do,” let’s explore the necessary steps to obtain a marriage license in Arkansas. A marriage license is a legal document that grants you permission to marry and is an essential prerequisite for your wedding ceremony. Whether you’re planning an extravagant celebration or an intimate affair, this guide will equip you with the information you need.
Marriage License Application
To initiate the marriage license application process, both parties must appear in person at the designated county clerk’s office. Here are the key points to keep in mind during this step:
- Both parties must be 18 years of age or older.
- Valid government-issued identification showing correct names and birthdates is required.
- If either party has undergone a name change due to divorce, a certified copy of the divorce decree is necessary.
- An application fee of $60.00 is payable at the time of submission.
Marriage ID Requirements
Presenting the appropriate identification is crucial when applying for a marriage license. Acceptable forms of identification include:
- State-issued I.D.
- Valid Driver’s License
- Indian Card
- Passport or Visa (must not be expired)
- Military I.D.
- Original Birth Certificate
Marriage Waiting Period
Unlike some states, Arkansas does not impose a waiting period for couples seeking a marriage license. If both applicants are 18 years or older, the license may be issued immediately.
However, if either party is 16 or 17 years old and seeking parental consent, a waiting period of 5 business days applies.
Marriage Residency Requirements
The great news is that you don’t need to be a resident of Arkansas to obtain a marriage license in the state. Your license is valid anywhere within the state’s borders.
If you’ve been previously married, you’ll need to provide relevant documentation, such as your divorce decree or information about the date, county, and state of your previous spouse’s death.
Marriage License Fees
The cost of a marriage license in Arkansas is $60.00, payable in cash. For alternative payment methods, it’s advisable to contact the county clerk’s office in advance.
Couples in Arkansas have the unique option to choose a Covenant Marriage. This involves an official declaration of intent on the marriage license application and additional steps, including authorized counseling.
Arkansas does not permit proxy marriages, meaning both parties must be physically present during the application process.
Cousin marriages are not allowed in Arkansas.
Common Law Marriages
Common law marriages are not recognized in Arkansas.
Marriage Blood Test
No blood or medical tests are required for marriage in Arkansas.
It’s important to note that obtaining a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your name. For a name change, you may consider using an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirements
The minimum age for marriage in Arkansas is 18 for males and 16-17 for females, with parental consent. In cases where the female is pregnant, additional considerations come into play.
Marriages in Arkansas can be officiated by Justices of the Peace or ministers with recorded credentials. The applicants are responsible for returning the marriage license to the County Clerk’s office within 60 days.
Unlike some states, Arkansas does not require witnesses for a marriage ceremony.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
A marriage license is valid for 60 days and can be used anywhere in the state. After the wedding, the license must be returned to the County Clerk’s office where it was originally obtained.
Copy of Certificate of Marriage License
For a copy of your marriage license certificate, you can contact the Division of Vital Records in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Congratulations, you’re now well-versed in the process of obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas! From application requirements to fees and additional options, this guide has provided you with the knowledge to make informed decisions as you prepare for your special day.
- Can I apply for a marriage license online? Online application for a marriage license is currently not available in Arkansas. Both parties must appear in person at the county clerk’s office.
- Is parental consent mandatory for all applicants under 18? Yes, parental consent is required for individuals under 18 years of age who wish to marry, along with fulfilling other conditions.
- What is a Covenant Marriage? A Covenant Marriage is a distinct option in Arkansas that involves a declaration of intent and authorized counseling as part of the marriage license process.
- Are same-sex marriages legal in Arkansas? Yes, same-sex marriages are legally recognized in Arkansas, following the landmark Supreme Court decision in 2015.
- Can I change my name after marriage on the marriage license itself? No, obtaining a marriage license with a new name does not automatically change your name. You’ll need to follow the appropriate legal procedures for a name change.