Marriage License Requirements
If you’re planning to tie the knot in Arkansas, understanding the marriage license process is crucial. From application requirements to fees and more, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to know about obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas.
The Basics of Marriage Licensing in Arkansas
Getting married is an exciting life event, but it comes with a bit of paperwork. Here’s what you need to know about the marriage license process in Arkansas:
Age and Identification
Both parties must be at least 18 years old and present a valid government-issued identification that shows their correct name and date of birth. If there has been a name change due to divorce, a certified copy of the divorce decree is necessary.
To apply for a marriage license, there is a fee of $60.00. This fee covers the processing and issuance of the license.
After obtaining the marriage license, the couple has sixty (60) days to use or return the license to the County Clerk’s office for recording.
Meeting Identification Requirements
Ensuring that you meet the identification requirements is a crucial step in the marriage license application process. You’ll need to have 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 and Residency Requirements
Arkansas has no waiting period for obtaining a marriage license. If both applicants are 18 or older, a marriage license can be issued immediately. However, if one party is 16 or 17 years old, a waiting period of 5 business days is required when parental consent is given.
It’s important to note that you don’t have to be a resident of Arkansas to obtain a marriage license within the state. The license is valid for use anywhere in Arkansas.
Special Cases: Previous Marriages and Covenant Marriages
If either party has been previously married, they must provide information about the date, county, and state of death of the previous spouse or show the divorce decree. For those considering a covenant marriage, there is an option in Arkansas. Covenant marriages require a declaration of intent to contract a covenant marriage, along with authorized counseling.
Additional Marriage License Information
Here are some additional points to keep in mind when obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas:
- Arkansas does not allow proxy marriages, cousin marriages, or common-law marriages.
- There are no blood or medical tests required to get married in the state.
- Getting a marriage license with your new name on it does not automatically change your name; you’ll need to follow the proper procedures for a name change.
- Parental consent is required for parties under 18 years of age, with specific conditions.
Marriage Officiants and Witnesses
Justices of the Peace in Arkansas, along with ministers who have their credentials recorded in the state, are authorized to solemnize marriages. No witnesses are required for marriages in Arkansas.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
The marriage license is valid for sixty (60) days and can be used anywhere in the state. However, it must be returned to the County Clerk’s office where it was initially obtained.
Need Further Assistance?
If you have questions or need assistance, the Division of Vital Records in Arkansas can help. You can reach them at:
Obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas involves meeting certain requirements, paying the necessary fees, and adhering to specific guidelines. Whether you’re planning a traditional wedding or a covenant marriage, understanding the process is essential. By following these steps, you can ensure that your marriage license journey in Arkansas goes smoothly.
- Can I get married immediately in Arkansas?If both parties are 18 or older, a marriage license can be issued immediately. For those aged 16 or 17 with parental consent, a waiting period of 5 business days is required.
- Is there a waiting period for covenant marriages?Covenant marriages in Arkansas require authorized counseling and a declaration of intent. There is no specific waiting period.
- What identification is required for a marriage license?You can use a state-issued I.D., valid driver’s license, passport, military I.D., or other acceptable forms of identification.
- Can I change my name on the marriage license?Getting a marriage license with your new name doesn’t automatically change your name. You need to follow the proper procedures for a name change.
- Are blood tests required for marriage in Arkansas?No, Arkansas does not require blood or medical tests for marriage.