Marriage License Requirements
If you’re planning to tie the knot in the beautiful state of Arkansas, there are a few important steps you need to know about. From obtaining a marriage license to understanding the requirements and regulations, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know to make your marriage legal and memorable.
The Marriage License Application Process
To begin the process of getting married in Arkansas, you’ll need to apply for a marriage license. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of what you need to do:
- Age and Identification: Both parties involved must be 18 years or older and present a valid government-issued identification that shows their correct name and date of birth.
- Name Change: If either party has undergone a name change due to divorce and their driver’s license doesn’t reflect the change, a certified copy of the divorce decree is required.
- Application Fee: The application fee for a marriage license is $60.00 (Sixty Dollars).
- Return of the License: Regardless of whether the license is used or not, it must be returned to the County Clerk’s office within sixty (60) days from the date of issuance.
Marriage ID Requirement in Arkansas
For the marriage license application, both parties must be 18 years or older and possess one of the following identification documents:
- State-issued ID
- Valid Driver’s License
- Indian Card
- Passport or Visa (not expired)
- Military ID
- Original Birth Certificate
Marriage Waiting Period and Residency
In Arkansas, there is no waiting period required for obtaining a marriage license. If both applicants are 18 or older, the license may be issued immediately. However, for males aged 17 and females aged 16 or 17 with parental consent, a waiting period of 5 business days applies.
It’s important to note that you don’t have to be a resident of Arkansas to obtain a marriage license. The license can be used anywhere within the state.
Previous Marriages and Covenant Marriages
If you’ve been previously married, you’ll need to provide your divorce decree or information about the date, county, and state of death of your previous spouse. If you’ve changed your name due to divorce, a certified copy of the divorce decree is necessary.
Arkansas also offers an option for couples to enter into a Covenant Marriage, where they declare their intent on their Application for Marriage license and go through authorized counseling emphasizing the nature, purposes, and responsibilities of marriage.
Marriage Officiants and Witnesses
Justices of the Peace in Arkansas, along with former Justices of the Peace who’ve served at least 2 terms since 1977, can solemnize marriages. Ministers performing marriages must have their credentials recorded in any county in Arkansas. The minister’s role includes completing the Certificate of Marriage on the Marriage License, but they are not responsible for returning the license after the ceremony.
Witnesses are not required for marriages in Arkansas, and the marriage license is valid for sixty (60) days. After the marriage, the license must be returned to the County Clerk’s office where it was originally obtained.
Getting married in Arkansas involves a straightforward process, from obtaining the marriage license to adhering to the state’s requirements and regulations. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your wedding day is legally recognized and memorable.
- Can we apply for a marriage license if we’re not residents of Arkansas?
- Yes, you don’t have to be a resident of Arkansas to apply for a marriage license. The license is valid anywhere within the state.
- What is a Covenant Marriage?
- A Covenant Marriage is an option for couples in Arkansas that involves declaring their intent to enter into a marriage and undergoing authorized counseling emphasizing the nature and responsibilities of marriage.
- Are witnesses required for marriages in Arkansas?
- No, witnesses are not required for marriages in Arkansas.
- What is the expiration period for a marriage license in Arkansas?
- The marriage license is valid for sixty (60) days from the date of issuance.
- Where should we return the marriage license after the ceremony?
- The marriage license must be returned to the County Clerk’s office where it was originally obtained.