Marriage License Requirements
When it comes to tying the knot, there’s more to consider than just the venue and the dress. One crucial aspect that often gets overlooked in the whirlwind of wedding preparations is obtaining a marriage license. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the marriage license process in Arkansas. From the required documents to the application fee, and even some unique details about Arkansas marriage laws, we’ve got you covered.
Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials! Before you say “I do,” it’s important to secure a marriage license. This legal document allows you and your partner to officially marry in the eyes of the law. In Arkansas, the marriage license fee is $60.00, and it’s a straightforward process that involves a few key steps.
Marriage Application Requirements
To apply for a marriage license in Arkansas, both parties must be 18 years or older and present valid government-issued identification that shows their correct name and date of birth. If either party has undergone a name change due to divorce, a certified copy of the divorce decree is required. The application fee is $60.00, and it’s payable in cash.
Marriage ID Requirements
When applying for a marriage license, you must provide one of the following forms of identification:
- State-issued I.D.
- Valid Driver’s License
- Indian Card
- Passport or Visa (not expired)
- Military I.D.
- Original Birth Certificate
Marriage Waiting Period
In Arkansas, there is no waiting period required for obtaining a marriage license if both applicants are 18 years or older. However, if one party is male and 17 years old, or if one party is female and 16-17 years old with parental consent, a waiting period of 5 business days applies.
Marriage Residency Requirement
Good news for non-residents: you do not have to be a resident of Arkansas to obtain a marriage license in the state. The license is valid for use anywhere within Arkansas.
If either party has been previously married, they must provide their divorce decree or have information about the date, county, and state of death of the previous spouse. A certified copy of the divorce decree is required if there has been a name change.
Marriage License Fees
The marriage license fee in Arkansas is $60.00, payable in cash. If you’re curious about alternative payment methods, it’s best to call ahead to confirm.
Arkansas offers the option of a Covenant Marriage. This involves a declaration of intent to enter into a Covenant Marriage, along with authorized counseling emphasizing the nature and responsibilities of marriage.
Unfortunately, Arkansas does not allow proxy marriages, where one or both parties are not physically present during the ceremony.
Cousin marriages are not permitted in Arkansas.
Common Law Marriages
Common law marriages are not recognized in Arkansas.
Marriage Blood Test
Unlike some states, Arkansas does not require a blood or medical test to get married.
If you’re planning to change your last name after marriage, keep in mind that getting a marriage license with your new name on it doesn’t automatically change your name. You’ll need to follow the proper legal process.
Marriage Age Requirements
In Arkansas, males must be at least 17 years old, and females must be 16-17 years old to marry. Parental consent is required for those under the age of 18, with a mandatory 5-day waiting period.
Marriages can be officiated by Justices of the Peace or registered ministers. Ministers must have their credentials recorded in an Arkansas county. The minister’s responsibilities include completing the Marriage License’s Certificate of Marriage.
Surprisingly, no witnesses are required for marriages in Arkansas.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
A marriage license in Arkansas is valid for 60 days. While you can use it anywhere in the state, it must be returned to the County Clerk’s office where it was first obtained.
Getting Your Certificate of Marriage License
To obtain a copy of your marriage license certificate, you’ll need to contact the Division of Vital Records in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Securing a marriage license is a vital step on your journey to happily ever after. By understanding the requirements and steps involved, you can ensure a smooth and legal start to your married life. Remember, it’s essential to follow all guidelines and procedures to make your wedding day truly special.
- Can non-residents marry in Arkansas?Yes, non-residents can obtain a marriage license in Arkansas.
- Is counseling required for a Covenant Marriage?Yes, authorized counseling is required for couples opting for a Covenant Marriage.
- Are cousin marriages allowed in Arkansas?No, cousin marriages are not permitted.
- Is there a waiting period for obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas?For applicants aged 18 and over, there is no waiting period. However, for those under 18, a waiting period applies with parental consent.
- How long is a marriage license valid?A marriage license is valid for 60 days in Arkansas.