Marriage License Requirements
Are you planning to tie the knot in the beautiful state of Arkansas? Congratulations on taking this exciting step towards a lifelong journey of love and togetherness! Before you exchange your vows, it’s important to understand the process of obtaining a marriage license. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the essential details you need to know about the marriage license fee and requirements in Arkansas.
Getting married is a joyous occasion, but there are certain legal formalities that need to be addressed. One of the first steps in this process is obtaining a marriage license, which grants you the legal right to marry within the state of Arkansas. Let’s delve into the details of how to navigate this process smoothly.
Marriage License Application Process
The process of obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas is relatively straightforward. Both parties must apply in person at the County Clerk’s office. It’s recommended to complete the application together to ensure accuracy and avoid any delays.
Identification and Documentation
To complete the application, both parties must present valid government-issued identification that shows their correct names and dates of birth. If either party has undergone a name change due to divorce, a certified copy of the divorce decree is required.
Marriage License Fees
Before embarking on this journey, it’s important to be aware of the associated costs. The application fee for a marriage license in Arkansas is $60.00. This fee can typically be paid in cash, but it’s advisable to confirm acceptable methods of payment in advance.
Marriage Waiting Period
Arkansas has relatively lenient waiting period requirements. If both applicants are 18 years of age or older, a marriage license may be issued immediately. However, if one party is 17 and the other is 16 or 17 with parental consent, a waiting period of 5 business days is mandatory.
Marriage Residency Requirement
The good news is that you don’t have to be a resident of Arkansas to obtain a marriage license within the state. Your license will be valid for use anywhere within Arkansas.
If you’ve been previously married, you’ll need to provide relevant documentation, such as a divorce decree or information about the date, county, and state of death of your previous spouse.
Arkansas offers couples the option of entering into a Covenant Marriage, a special type of marriage that involves additional commitments and counseling. This option requires specific declarations of intent and authorized counseling.
Proxy Marriages, Cousin Marriages, and Common Law Marriages
Unfortunately, Arkansas does not allow proxy marriages, cousin marriages, or common law marriages. These are important considerations for those planning to marry in the state.
Marriage Blood Test
Unlike some states, Arkansas does not require blood or medical tests to obtain a marriage license.
Name Change After Marriage
Obtaining a marriage license with your new name on it does not automatically change your name. If you wish to change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirements
Arkansas has specific age requirements for marriage. Males must be 17 years of age, and females must be 16 or 17 with parental consent. “Parental Consent” is defined in various scenarios, including cases where one or both parties are under the minimum age but the female is pregnant.
Marriage Officiants and Witnesses
Marriage officiants in Arkansas include Justices of the Peace and ordained ministers who have recorded their credentials in the state. No witnesses are required for marriages in Arkansas.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Your marriage license is valid for 60 days and can be used anywhere within the state. It must be returned to the County Clerk’s office where you applied.
Obtaining a Copy of Your Marriage Certificate
After your marriage, you can obtain a copy of your marriage certificate from the Division of Vital Records. This is an important step for legal and personal record-keeping.
Congratulations! You’ve now been equipped with valuable information about obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas. From the application process to fees, waiting periods, and special marriage options, you’re well-prepared to take this exciting step towards your happily ever after.
- Can we apply for a marriage license online? Currently, Arkansas requires both parties to apply for a marriage license in person at the County Clerk’s office.
- What if I need to change my name after marriage? While your marriage license reflects your new name, it doesn’t automatically change your name on other documents. Consider using an online marriage name change kit for a smoother process.
- Are there any waiting periods for getting married in Arkansas? If both parties are 18 or older, there’s generally no waiting period. However, if one party is 17 and the other is 16 or 17 with parental consent, a 5-day waiting period applies.
- Can we have a proxy marriage in Arkansas? No, proxy marriages are not allowed in Arkansas.
- What is a Covenant Marriage? A Covenant Marriage is a special type of marriage in Arkansas that involves additional commitments and counseling, as outlined in the Declaration of Intent.