Marriage License Requirements
Marriage is a significant step in a couple’s journey, and it all starts with obtaining a marriage license. If you’re planning to tie the knot in Arkansas, understanding the marriage license requirements, fees, and other essential details is crucial. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process, making your path to matrimony a smooth one.
Your journey towards a happily ever after begins with a marriage license. Whether you’re a resident or not, Arkansas offers a straightforward process to obtain this essential document. Let’s dive into the details step by step.
Application for a Marriage License
To initiate the process, both parties must apply for a marriage license in person at the County Clerk’s office. This application requires essential information about the couple and serves as the first step towards legalizing your union.
To ensure the validity of the application, both individuals need to provide a valid government-issued identification with their correct name and date of birth. If you’ve undergone a name change due to divorce, a certified copy of the divorce decree is necessary.
Marriage Waiting Period
Arkansas stands apart by not having a waiting period for obtaining a marriage license. This means that once your application is approved, you can get your hands on the license immediately, provided both parties are 18 years or older.
Arkansas welcomes couples from all corners of the world to exchange vows within its borders. You don’t need to be a resident to apply for a marriage license, and the license itself is valid throughout the state.
Previous Marriages and Name Changes
If you’ve been previously married, be ready to present your divorce decree or provide information about the date, county, and state of your previous spouse’s death. This information ensures that your marital status is accurately recorded.
Marriage License Fees and Payment Methods
Obtaining a marriage license comes with a fee of $60.00, payable in cash. It’s essential to plan ahead for the payment method, but don’t worry; Arkansas might offer additional payment options—just make sure to check in advance.
Covenant Marriages in Arkansas
Arkansas allows couples to choose a Covenant Marriage, a unique option that emphasizes commitment. By completing a Declaration of Intent, couples can opt for a Covenant Marriage, showcasing their dedication to this sacred bond.
Proxy, Cousin, and Common Law Marriages
While love knows no boundaries, Arkansas law does have boundaries when it comes to certain types of marriages. Proxy, cousin, and common law marriages are not recognized in this state.
Marriage Blood Test
Unlike some states, Arkansas doesn’t require a blood or medical test as a prerequisite for marriage. This simplifies the process and makes obtaining a marriage license hassle-free.
Name Change After Marriage
Getting a marriage license with your new name on it doesn’t automatically change your name. If you’re looking to change your last name after marriage, consider using an online marriage name change kit for a smooth transition.
Marriage Age Requirements and Parental Consent
For those under the age of 18, parental consent is crucial. The rules vary based on circumstances, including parental custody, pregnancy, and more. It’s essential to understand these requirements before proceeding.
Marriage Officiants and Witnesses
Who can officiate your wedding? Justices of the Peace, as well as ministers, can solemnize marriages in Arkansas. The minister’s credentials must be recorded in any Arkansas county, and both parties need to return the license to the County Clerk’s office within 60 days.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
A marriage license in Arkansas is valid for 60 days from the date of issuance. This gives couples ample time to plan their special day without the rush.
Obtaining a Copy of Certificate of Marriage License
Once your wedding is complete, you can obtain a copy of your marriage license certificate from the Division of Vital Records. This ensures you have an official record of your union for legal and sentimental purposes.
Embarking on a journey of love and commitment is a beautiful experience, and understanding the legal aspects is equally important. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can navigate the process of obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas with confidence.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Can I apply for a marriage license if I’m not an Arkansas resident? Yes, you can obtain a marriage license in Arkansas regardless of your residency.
- Is there a waiting period for obtaining a marriage license? No, Arkansas does not have a waiting period, making it easier to obtain your license.
- What forms of payment are accepted for the marriage license fee? Cash is the preferred payment method, but check with the County Clerk’s office for other options.
- Can I have a proxy, cousin, or common law marriage in Arkansas? No, Arkansas law does not recognize these types of marriages.
- Is a blood test required to get married in Arkansas? No, Arkansas does not require a blood or medical test for marriage.