Marriage License Requirements
Getting married is a momentous occasion, and one of the first steps in the journey towards wedded bliss is obtaining a marriage license. If you’re planning to tie the knot in Arkansas, it’s crucial to understand the ins and outs of the marriage license process, requirements, and fees. This guide will walk you through all the essential information you need to know.
The Marriage License Application Process
When it comes to obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas, there are several key steps and requirements you must be aware of:
Identification and Age Verification
Both parties seeking a marriage license must be at least 18 years of age and provide a valid government-issued identification with their correct name and date of birth.
If either party has undergone a divorce and their driver’s license doesn’t reflect the name change, a certified copy of the divorce decree is required.
A non-refundable application fee of $60.00 is applicable for obtaining a marriage license.
Return of License
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.
Valid Forms of Identification
To meet the identification requirements, both parties must have one of the following:
- State-issued I.D.
- Valid Driver’s License
- Indian Card
- Passport or Visa (not expired)
- Military I.D.
- Original Birth Certificate
Waiting Periods and Residency
Fortunately, Arkansas does not enforce a waiting period for marriage licenses if both applicants are aged 18 or older. However, if one party is 16 or 17 years old, a waiting period of five business days is mandated if parental consent is provided.
Arkansas also does not impose residency requirements, meaning that the marriage license can be used anywhere within the state.
Previous Marriages and Additional Information
If either party was previously married, they need to present a divorce decree or provide details about the date, county, and state of the previous spouse’s death. This is essential for accurate record-keeping.
In Arkansas, couples have the option to enter into a Covenant Marriage. This involves a declaration of intent on the marriage license application and requires authorized counseling that emphasizes the responsibilities of marriage.
Proxy, Cousin, and Common Law Marriages
Proxy marriages, cousin marriages, and common law marriages are not recognized in Arkansas.
Marriage Blood Test and Name Change
Arkansas does not require blood or medical tests for marriage. If you plan to change your name after marriage, remember that obtaining a marriage license with your new name doesn’t automatically change your name; you’ll need to follow the appropriate legal procedures.
Marriage Age Requirements and Parental Consent
The minimum age for marriage in Arkansas is 17 for males and 16 for females. Parental consent is required for individuals under these ages. The consent of both parents is necessary, or the custodial parent if the parents are divorced. Paternity determinations and other circumstances are also taken into account.
Marriage Officiants and Witnesses
Marriages in Arkansas can be officiated by Justices of the Peace, ministers, or clergy members who meet specific criteria. Witnesses are not required for marriages in the state.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
A marriage license in Arkansas is valid for sixty (60) days. It can be used anywhere in the state but must be returned to the County Clerk’s office where it was initially obtained.
Contact Information for Certificate of Marriage License
For further inquiries or obtaining a copy of your marriage license, you can reach out to the Division of Vital Records at the following address:
Obtaining a marriage license is a pivotal step in the journey to matrimony. By understanding the requirements, fees, and processes associated with obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free transition into the exciting realm of marriage.
- How much does a marriage license cost in Arkansas? The application fee for a marriage license in Arkansas is $60.00.
- Is there a waiting period for marriage licenses in Arkansas? There is no waiting period for applicants aged 18 or older. However, applicants aged 16 or 17 with parental consent must wait five business days.
- Can I change my name through the marriage license in Arkansas? No, obtaining a marriage license with a new name doesn’t automatically change your name. You’ll need to follow the legal process for changing your name.
- Are proxy marriages allowed in Arkansas? No, proxy marriages are not recognized in Arkansas.
- Do I need witnesses for my marriage ceremony in Arkansas? No, witnesses are not required for marriages in Arkansas.