Marriage License Requirements
Planning a wedding involves more than just selecting the perfect venue and designing the ideal cake. One crucial aspect that often gets overlooked until the last moment is obtaining a marriage license. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of acquiring a marriage license in Arkansas, highlighting the necessary requirements, fees, and other essential details.
A marriage license is a legal document that permits a couple to marry. Before exchanging vows and beginning a lifelong journey together, it’s crucial to understand the requirements and procedures involved in obtaining a marriage license.
Marriage License Application
To apply for a marriage license in Arkansas, both parties must be 18 years of age or older. They must present valid government-issued identification documents that display their correct names and dates of birth.
Name Change Considerations
If either party has undergone a name change due to divorce and their driver’s license does not reflect this change, a certified copy of the divorce decree must be provided.
A non-refundable application fee of $60.00 is required. This fee covers the processing and issuance of the marriage license.
Marriage License ID Requirements
Both parties must possess one of the following forms of identification:
- State-issued ID
- Valid Driver’s License
- Indian Card
- Passport or Visa (not expired)
- Military ID
- Original Birth Certificate
Marriage Waiting Period
Arkansas does not enforce a waiting period for marriage licenses. If both applicants are 18 years or older, the license can be obtained immediately. However, if a male is 17 or a female is 16 or 17 and they seek a marriage license with parental consent, a waiting period of 5 business days applies.
Marriage Residency Requirements
You don’t need to be an Arkansas resident to apply for a marriage license in the state. The license is valid anywhere within Arkansas.
Previous Marriages and Documentation
Individuals with previous marriages must provide the divorce decree or information about the date, county, and state of death of their former spouse. A certified copy of the divorce decree is necessary if there’s been a name change.
Marriage License Fees
The fee for an Arkansas marriage license is $60.00, payable in cash. For alternative payment methods, it’s advisable to contact the relevant authorities in advance.
Arkansas offers the option of a Covenant Marriage, which involves additional steps, including counseling and a Declaration of Intent.
Proxy marriages are not permitted in Arkansas.
Cousin marriages are not allowed in Arkansas.
Common Law Marriages
Common law marriages are not recognized in Arkansas.
Marriage Blood Test
No blood or medical tests are required to obtain a marriage license in Arkansas.
Name Change After Marriage
Obtaining a marriage license with a new name does not automatically change your name. An online marriage name change kit can assist with this process.
Marriage Age Requirements
Males must be 17 years of age, and females must be 16-17 years of age. Parental consent is necessary, and a mandatory 5-day waiting period applies.
Justices of the Peace and registered ministers can solemnize marriages in Arkansas. Ministers must complete required information on the marriage license.
Witnesses are not required for Arkansas marriages.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
The marriage license is valid for 60 days. While it can be used anywhere in Arkansas, it must be returned to the County Clerk’s office where it was obtained.
Obtaining a Copy of Marriage Certificate
For a copy of your marriage certificate, contact the Division of Vital Records in Arkansas.
In conclusion, obtaining a marriage license is a pivotal step in your wedding journey. Ensuring you meet all the requirements and understanding the process will help you start your married life on the right foot. Remember, a successful marriage begins with a well-prepared foundation.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I get married immediately after obtaining the marriage license in Arkansas? Yes, if both parties are 18 years or older, you can get married immediately after obtaining the license.
- Are proxy marriages allowed in Arkansas? No, Arkansas does not permit proxy marriages.
- Is counseling required for Covenant Marriages in Arkansas? Yes, couples opting for a Covenant Marriage must undergo authorized counseling.
- Can I change my name immediately after obtaining a marriage license? No, obtaining a marriage license with a new name does not automatically change your name. You’ll need to follow the proper legal procedures.
- Do I need witnesses for my Arkansas marriage ceremony? No, witnesses are not required for marriages in Arkansas.