Marriage License Requirements
Marriage is a sacred and joyous union, and obtaining a marriage license is an essential step in making it official. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of acquiring a marriage license in De Queen, Arkansas. From application requirements to fees, waiting periods to officiants, we’ll cover it all to ensure you’re well-prepared for your special day.
A Smooth Start: The Marriage License Application
Acquiring a marriage license involves a straightforward process that ensures the legality of your union. Here’s what you need to know:
Both parties, aged 18 or older, must present a valid government-issued identification reflecting their correct names and dates of birth.
If either party has undergone a divorce and their driver’s license hasn’t been updated to reflect the change, a certified copy of the divorce decree is necessary.
A non-refundable application fee of $60.00 (Sixty Dollars) is required upon submission.
Whether used or unused, the marriage license must be returned to the County Clerk’s office within SIXTY (60) days from the date of issuance.
Meeting the ID Requirements
To proceed with the application, you need to meet specific ID requirements:
- State-issued ID
- Valid Driver’s License
- Indian Card
- Passport or Visa (not expired)
- Military ID
- Original Birth Certificate
Skipping the Wait
Fortunately, there is no waiting period required in Arkansas for marriage licenses. If both applicants are 18 or older, the license may be issued immediately.
However, for males aged 17 and females aged 16 or 17 seeking a marriage license with parental consent, a waiting period of 5 business days is mandatory.
No Residency Restriction
Arkansas allows couples from any state to obtain a marriage license within its borders. The license is valid for use anywhere within the state.
If you were previously married, you’ll need to provide your divorce decree or details about the date, county, and state of death of your former spouse. If your name has changed due to the divorce, a certified copy of the divorce decree is necessary.
Additional Details About Fees
The marriage license fee in Arkansas is $60.00 (Sixty Dollars), payable in cash. For information about alternative payment methods, it’s recommended to contact the relevant authorities beforehand.
Covenant Marriages in Arkansas
Arkansas offers an intriguing option known as Covenant Marriage. This involves a couple declaring their intent on their marriage license application and signing a Declaration of Intent to contract a Covenant Marriage.
The Declaration of Intent includes:
- A Recitation signed by both parties
- An Affidavit confirming authorized counseling
- Signatures witnessed by a notary
Proxy, Cousin, and Common Law Marriages
Proxy marriages, cousin marriages, and common law marriages are not permitted in Arkansas.
No Blood Test Required
Arkansas does not mandate blood or medical tests as part of the marriage license application.
Managing Name Change
Getting a marriage license with your new name doesn’t automatically change your name. If you intend to change your last name, you can explore online marriage name change kits.
In Arkansas, the minimum marriage age is:
- Males: 17 years of age
- Females: 16-17 years of age
Parental consent is necessary for both parties under 18. Different scenarios, such as divorce and paternity determination, have varying requirements for consent.
Qualified Marriage Officiants
Justice of the Peace officials (including former officials with a history of service) are authorized to officiate marriages in Arkansas. Ministers must have their credentials recorded in any county in the state. The minister’s responsibility is to complete the Certificate of Marriage on the Marriage License.
Witnessing the Ceremony
Interestingly, Arkansas does not require witnesses for marriages.
Marriage License Expiration
The marriage license remains valid for sixty (60) days. It can be used throughout the state of Arkansas and should be returned to the County Clerk’s office where it was obtained.
For any copies of the Certificate of Marriage License, you can reach out to the Division of Vital Records in Little Rock.
In conclusion, obtaining a marriage license is an essential step on the journey to marriage. With this comprehensive guide, you’re equipped with the knowledge to navigate the process smoothly. Congratulations on your upcoming union!
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can we apply for a marriage license if we’re not Arkansas residents?Yes, you don’t need to be an Arkansas resident to apply for a marriage license in the state.
- Is a waiting period required for all applicants?No, there is no waiting period for applicants aged 18 or older. However, if one party is underage and parental consent is involved, a 5-day waiting period may apply.
- What’s the significance of Covenant Marriage in Arkansas?Covenant Marriage is an option for couples to commit to a more rigorous marital bond, requiring authorized counseling and a Declaration of Intent.
- Can we change our names immediately after obtaining the marriage license?No, obtaining a license with your new name doesn’t automatically change it. You’ll need to follow proper procedures to change your name legally.
- Who can officiate marriages in Arkansas?Justices of the Peace and authorized ministers can officiate marriages. Ministers must have their credentials recorded in the state.