Marriage License Requirements
If you’re planning to tie the knot in the beautiful state of Arkansas, understanding the marriage license requirements and procedures is crucial. A marriage license is a legal document that grants you the authority to get married within the state. Let’s delve into the details to ensure you’re well-prepared for this important step in your journey of love.
Navigating the Application Process
Identification and Validity
When applying for a marriage license, both parties involved, who must be 18 years or older, need to present a valid government-issued identification showing their correct name and date of birth. If one’s name has changed due to a divorce and the driver’s license does not reflect this change, a certified copy of the divorce decree is required.
An application fee of $60.00 is applicable for obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas. This fee covers the processing and administrative costs associated with the issuance of the license.
Once the marriage license is obtained, it must be returned to the County Clerk’s office for recording within SIXTY (60) days from the date of issuance. Regardless of whether the license is used or unused, this step is crucial to ensuring the legal validity of your marriage.
Meeting Identification Requirements
Accepted Forms of Identification
To fulfill the identification requirement, both parties must be 18 years or older and present one of the following:
- State-issued I.D.
- Valid Driver’s License
- Indian Card
- Passport, Visa (not expired)
- Military I.D.
- Original Birth Certificate
Understanding Waiting Periods and Residency
In Arkansas, there is generally no waiting period required for obtaining a marriage license. If both applicants are 18 years of age or older, the license may be issued immediately. However, if one party is a male aged 17 or a female aged 16 or 17, and parental consent is provided, a mandatory waiting period of 5 business days applies.
Arkansas does not have a residency requirement for obtaining a marriage license. This means that couples from both within and outside the state can obtain a marriage license that is valid anywhere in Arkansas.
Dealing with Previous Marriages
Previous Marriage Documentation
If either party has been previously married, they need to provide documentation such as a divorce decree or information regarding the date, county, and state of death of the previous spouse. If a name change has occurred due to a divorce, a certified copy of the divorce decree is also required.
Marriage License Fees
The marriage license fee in Arkansas is $60.00, payable in cash. For information on alternative methods of payment, it’s recommended to contact the relevant authorities beforehand.
Exploring Covenant Marriages
Arkansas offers couples the option of entering into a Covenant Marriage, which involves a higher level of commitment. Couples can declare their intent to choose a Covenant Marriage during the application process for a marriage license.
Addressing Other Marriage-related Matters
Arkansas does not permit proxy marriages, requiring both parties to be present for the marriage ceremony.
Cousin marriages are not allowed in Arkansas.
Common Law Marriages
Arkansas does not recognize common law marriages.
Marriage Blood Test
Unlike some states, Arkansas does not require a blood or medical test to obtain a marriage license.
While obtaining a marriage license with a new name is possible, it’s important to note that it doesn’t automatically change your name. For a legal name change, an online marriage name change kit can be utilized.
Special Considerations for Age
Marriage Age Requirements
For individuals between the ages of 16 and 17 who wish to marry, parental consent is mandatory, along with a 5-day waiting period. Various scenarios and conditions are outlined for cases involving parental consent.
Selecting an Officiant
When it comes to officiating your marriage, several options are available:
- Justices of the Peace in Arkansas can solemnize marriages.
- Ministers performing marriages need to have their credentials recorded in any Arkansas county.
- Ministers are required to complete the Certificate of Marriage on the Marriage License.
Wrapping It Up
Planning a wedding is an exciting endeavor, and obtaining a marriage license is an essential step in the process. Understanding the requirements and procedures for acquiring a marriage license in Arkansas ensures that your marriage is recognized and valid. Remember to keep all necessary documentation handy, and if you have any further questions, feel free to reach out for clarification.
- Is there a waiting period for obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas? There is generally no waiting period if both parties are 18 years or older. However, a 5-day waiting period applies for individuals aged 16-17 with parental consent.
- Can I get married in Arkansas if I’m not a resident of the state? Yes, you do not need to be a resident of Arkansas to obtain a marriage license that is valid within the state.
- Are blood tests required for obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas? No, Arkansas does not require blood tests as part of the marriage license application process.
- What is a Covenant Marriage? A Covenant Marriage is an option in Arkansas that signifies a higher level of commitment. Couples must declare their intent to enter into a Covenant Marriage during the application process.
- Can I change my last name through a marriage license in Arkansas? Getting a marriage license with a new name does not automatically change your name. If you wish to change your last name, an online marriage name change kit can be used.