Marriage License Requirements
If you’re planning to tie the knot in Arkansas, understanding the process of obtaining a marriage license is essential. From the necessary documentation to the application fee, and even unique options like Covenant Marriages, this article will guide you through the details to ensure a smooth journey towards matrimony.
Getting married is a significant life event, and understanding the legal aspects of it is crucial. In Arkansas, the marriage license fee is $60.00, and there are certain requirements and processes you need to follow to ensure a successful application.
Age and Identification
To apply for a marriage license in Arkansas, both parties must be 18 years or older. You’ll need to present a valid government-issued identification that shows your correct name and date of birth. If you’ve gone through a divorce and your driver’s license doesn’t reflect the change, you must bring a certified copy of your divorce decree.
Obtaining a marriage license with your new name on it doesn’t automatically change your name. If you want to change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
If you were previously married, you’ll need to show your divorce decree. You should also have information about the date, county, and state of death of your previous spouse. If your name has changed due to divorce, a certified copy of the divorce decree is necessary.
The application process involves submitting a form for a marriage license. The application fee is $60.00, and payment is usually accepted in cash. It’s important to note that applicants are responsible for returning the marriage license to the County Clerk’s office, whether it’s used or unused, within sixty (60) days from the date of issuance.
Marriage Waiting Period
Arkansas does not have a waiting period for issuing marriage licenses. If both applicants are 18 years or older, a marriage license can be issued immediately. However, if one party is a male aged 17 or a female aged 16 or 17, obtaining a marriage license with parental consent requires a mandatory waiting period of 5 business days.
The great news is that you do not need to be a resident of Arkansas to obtain a marriage license there. The license is valid for use anywhere within the state of Arkansas.
Marriage License Fees
The marriage license fee in Arkansas is $60.00. Acceptable forms of payment include cash. If you need guidance on alternative payment methods, it’s advisable to call ahead to confirm.
Arkansas offers the option of Covenant Marriages. This is a unique type of marriage that involves a declaration of intent by both parties to contract a Covenant Marriage. Authorized counseling by various professionals is a requirement for this type of marriage.
Unfortunately, Arkansas does not allow proxy marriages. Both parties must be present to apply for and receive a marriage license.
Cousin marriages are not allowed in Arkansas. The state does not recognize marriages between cousins.
Common Law Marriages
Common law marriages are not recognized in Arkansas. To be legally married, you must obtain a valid marriage license.
Marriage Blood Test
There is no requirement for blood or medical tests to get married in Arkansas.
Marriage Age Requirements
In Arkansas, males must be at least 17 years old, and females must be at least 16-17 years old to marry. Parental consent is necessary for individuals under the age of 18. Different scenarios, such as pregnancy, might also affect the age requirements.
Marriage officiants in Arkansas include Justices of the Peace and registered ministers. Justices of the Peace must complete the Certificate of Marriage on the Marriage License, while ministers must have their credentials recorded in any county in Arkansas.
Unlike some states, witnesses are not required for marriages in Arkansas. The couple can solemnize their marriage without the need for witnesses.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
The marriage license in Arkansas is valid for sixty (60) days. While you can use the license anywhere in the state, it must be returned to the County Clerk’s office where you initially applied.
Getting married in Arkansas involves understanding the legal requirements and processes surrounding the marriage license. From age and identification to waiting periods and unique options like Covenant Marriages, it’s important to follow the guidelines to ensure a successful and legally recognized marriage.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is there a waiting period for marriage licenses in Arkansas? No, Arkansas does not have a waiting period for marriage licenses for applicants over 18. However, there’s a 5-day waiting period for applicants aged 16-17 with parental consent.
- Can I change my name on the marriage license? Obtaining a marriage license with a new name doesn’t automatically change your name. To change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
- Can I get a marriage license if I’ve been married before? Yes, if you’ve been previously married, you’ll need to show your divorce decree. Information about the date, county, and state of death of your previous spouse is also required.
- Are Covenant Marriages available in Arkansas? Yes, Arkansas offers the option of Covenant Marriages, which involve a declaration of intent and authorized counseling by various professionals.
- Do I need witnesses for my marriage in Arkansas? No, witnesses are not required for marriages in Arkansas.