Marriage License Requirements
If you’re planning to tie the knot in Arkansas, understanding the marriage license requirements is crucial. From the necessary documentation to the application process, this comprehensive guide will walk you through all the essential details.
Marriage Application and Documentation
To begin the process of obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas, you must be at least 18 years old. Both parties involved need to present a valid government-issued identification that shows their correct name and date of birth. If one of you has changed your name through a divorce and your driver’s license doesn’t reflect this change, you’ll need to provide a certified copy of your divorce decree.
The application fee for a marriage license in Arkansas is $60.00 (Sixty Dollars). This fee is a one-time payment required to initiate the process.
For your application to be processed, both parties must have a valid form of identification. Accepted forms of ID include:
- State-issued ID
- Valid Driver’s License
- Indian Card
- Passport or Visa (not expired)
- Military ID
- Original Birth Certificate
Waiting Period and Residency Requirements
Arkansas doesn’t have a waiting period for obtaining a marriage license. If both applicants are 18 years or older, the license can be issued immediately. However, if one party is a male aged 17 or a female aged 16 or 17 seeking a marriage license with parental consent, there is a mandatory waiting period of 5 business days.
It’s important to note that you don’t have to be a resident of Arkansas to obtain a marriage license in the state. The license can be used for a wedding anywhere within Arkansas.
Previous Marriages and Name Changes
If either party has been previously married, you’ll need to provide relevant information such as the date, county, and state of death of a previous spouse. In case your name has changed due to divorce, a certified copy of the divorce decree will be required.
Arkansas offers an option for Covenant Marriages, which involves a higher level of commitment. This option requires couples to declare their intent to enter into a Covenant Marriage during the application process. Covenant Marriages involve additional counseling and a formal declaration of intent.
Proxy, Cousin, and Common Law Marriages
Proxy marriages, cousin marriages, and common law marriages are not allowed in Arkansas. The state strictly adheres to traditional marriage practices.
Marriage Blood Test and Name Change
Unlike some states, Arkansas doesn’t require any blood or medical tests for obtaining a marriage license. Additionally, obtaining a marriage license with your new name on it doesn’t automatically change your name. If you wish to change your last name, you’ll need to follow the appropriate legal procedures.
Marriage Age Requirements
For males, the minimum age for marriage is 17, while females can marry at the age of 16 or 17. Parental consent is required for individuals under 18 who wish to marry. In cases of pregnancy, both parties under the minimum age and expecting a child may petition the circuit court for consent to marry.
Marriage Officiants and Witnesses
In Arkansas, Justices of the Peace, along with former Justices of the Peace who have served at least two terms since 1977, are authorized to solemnize marriages. Additionally, ministers who wish to officiate marriages in the state must have their credentials recorded in an Arkansas county.
Witnesses are not required for marriages in Arkansas.
Expiration and Record Keeping
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 you initially applied. Copies of marriage certificates can be obtained from the Division of Vital Records.
Obtaining a marriage license is a crucial step in the journey of marriage. Understanding the requirements and procedures involved can help ensure a smooth process. Whether you’re planning a grand celebration or an intimate gathering, knowing the details about marriage licenses in Arkansas is essential to making your big day special.
- Is there a waiting period for obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas? No, there is no waiting period if both applicants are over 18 years old. However, there is a 5-day waiting period for males aged 17 and females aged 16 or 17 with parental consent.
- Can out-of-state couples obtain a marriage license in Arkansas? Yes, you do not have to be a resident of Arkansas to get a marriage license in the state. The license can be used for a wedding anywhere within Arkansas.
- Are proxy marriages allowed in Arkansas? No, Arkansas does not allow proxy marriages. Both parties must be present during the application process.
- Is counseling required for Covenant Marriages? Yes, couples opting for a Covenant Marriage must undergo authorized counseling emphasizing the nature, purposes, and responsibilities of marriage.
- Can ministers officiate marriages in Arkansas without proper credentials? No, ministers must have their credentials (Ordination Certificate or Minister’s License) recorded in an Arkansas county to officiate marriages in the state.