Marriage License Requirements
Are you ready to take the plunge into marital bliss? If you’re considering tying the knot in the beautiful state of Arkansas, understanding the ins and outs of the marriage license process is essential. From application requirements to fees, waiting periods, and more, this guide has got you covered.
Getting married is a momentous occasion that marks the beginning of a new chapter in your life. However, before you exchange vows and say “I do,” there are important legal steps to follow. One of these steps is obtaining a marriage license, and in Arkansas, this process comes with specific requirements and details you should be aware of.
Marriage License Application
To embark on your marital journey, you’ll need to complete a marriage license application. This application serves as the initial step in the process and sets the stage for the other requirements to come.
Both parties involved in the marriage must be at least 18 years old and present valid government-issued identification that accurately displays their name and date of birth. If you’ve undergone a name change due to divorce, you’ll need to provide a certified copy of your divorce decree along with your application.
Marriage Waiting Period
Arkansas doesn’t impose a waiting period for obtaining a marriage license if both applicants are 18 or older. However, if one party is 17 and the other is 16 or 17 with parental consent, a waiting period of 5 business days is required.
Marriage Residency Requirement
Good news for non-residents: You don’t need to be an Arkansas resident to get married in the state. Your marriage license can be used anywhere within Arkansas.
If you were previously married, you’ll need to provide documentation of your divorce decree or information about the date, county, and state of your previous spouse’s death. This is crucial to ensure the accuracy of your marital status.
Marriage License Fees
Securing a marriage license comes with a fee of $60.00, which is payable in cash. Make sure to inquire about alternative payment methods before your visit.
Arkansas offers couples the option of a Covenant Marriage, a unique commitment that involves additional steps during the application process. Couples interested in this option need to declare their intent on their marriage license application and fulfill certain counseling requirements.
Unfortunately, Arkansas does not permit proxy marriages, which means both parties must be present to apply for and receive the marriage license.
Arkansas does not allow marriages between cousins, ensuring compliance with state laws and regulations.
Common Law Marriages
Unlike some states, Arkansas does not recognize common law marriages, emphasizing the importance of legalizing your union through the proper channels.
Marriage Blood Test
There’s no need for blood or medical tests before getting married in Arkansas, simplifying the process for couples.
Obtaining a marriage license with your new name doesn’t automatically change your name on official documents. If you wish to change your last name, consider using an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirements
Arkansas sets the minimum marriage age at 18 for males and 16-17 for females, with parental consent and a mandatory 5-day waiting period. Various scenarios involving parental consent are carefully considered.
Marriages can be solemnized by Justices of the Peace and registered ministers. Ensure that your officiant’s credentials are appropriately recorded to ensure the legality of your marriage.
Unlike some states, Arkansas does not require witnesses for marriages, streamlining the ceremony process.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
A marriage license is valid for 60 days and can be used anywhere in Arkansas. Remember to return the license to the County Clerk’s office where you applied after your ceremony.
Obtaining a Copy of the Marriage Certificate
Once you’ve tied the knot, you may need a copy of your marriage certificate for various purposes. To obtain a copy, contact the Division of Vital Records with the necessary details.
In conclusion, preparing for your marriage in Arkansas involves several essential steps, from the application process to identification requirements and more. By understanding and fulfilling these requirements, you’ll be well on your way to starting your journey as a legally wedded couple.
- Can non-residents get married in Arkansas? Absolutely, non-residents are welcome to get married in Arkansas.
- Is there a waiting period for obtaining a marriage license? While there’s no waiting period for those aged 18 and over, a 5-day waiting period applies to certain situations involving parental consent.
- Can I change my name on official documents with a marriage license? No, obtaining a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your name on other documents. You may consider using a marriage name change kit.
- What is a Covenant Marriage? A Covenant Marriage is an option for couples in Arkansas that involves additional counseling and commitments during the application process.
- Is a blood test required for marriage in Arkansas? No, Arkansas does not require a blood or medical test for marriage.