Van Buren County
Marriage License Requirements
Marriage is a beautiful union that brings two people together in love and companionship. If you’re planning to tie the knot in Arkansas, understanding the process and requirements for obtaining a marriage license is crucial. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the marriage license fee, application process, required documents, waiting periods, and more. So, whether you’re a local resident or planning a destination wedding, let’s delve into the details to ensure your marriage journey starts off smoothly.
Marriage is a significant milestone in life, and obtaining a marriage license is the first step towards this lifelong journey. In the state of Arkansas, the marriage license fee is $60.00. This fee covers the administrative costs associated with processing your application and ensuring that all legal requirements are met for a valid marriage.
Marriage License Application Process
To apply for a marriage license in Arkansas, both parties must appear in person at the County Clerk’s office. This ensures that all necessary information is provided and that both individuals understand the responsibilities that come with marriage. Keep in mind that you’ll need to schedule an appointment during the office’s regular hours, which are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Required Identification and Documents
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 either party has undergone a name change due to divorce, a certified copy of the divorce decree is required. Additionally, if the name change is not reflected on the driver’s license, this document becomes essential.
Application Fee: $60.00
A non-refundable application fee of $60.00 is required to process your marriage license application. This fee can be paid in cash, and it covers the cost of issuing and recording the license. Be sure to have the exact amount ready when you visit the County Clerk’s office to avoid any delays in the process.
Return of Marriage License
Once you’ve received your marriage license, whether you use it or not, it must be returned to the County Clerk’s office within SIXTY (60) days from the date of issuance. This step is crucial to ensure that your marriage is legally recorded.
Marriage Age Requirements
In Arkansas, the legal marriage age is 18. Males aged 17 and females aged 16 or 17 can obtain a marriage license with parental consent. However, if the female is pregnant, additional legal steps may be taken to grant permission for marriage.
Waiting Periods in Arkansas
Unlike some states, Arkansas does not have a waiting period for obtaining a marriage license if both applicants are 18 or older. However, if one party is under 18 and wishes to marry with parental consent, a waiting period of 5 business days applies. This waiting period allows for careful consideration before entering into marriage.
Arkansas is welcoming to couples from both within and outside the state. You do not have to be a resident of Arkansas to obtain a marriage license here. Furthermore, the marriage license is valid for use anywhere within the state.
Previous Marriages and Name Changes
Individuals who were previously married must provide a divorce decree or information about the date, county, and state of death of the former spouse. If your name has changed due to divorce, a certified copy of the divorce decree is required.
Covenant marriages are a unique option for couples in Arkansas. By choosing a Covenant Marriage, couples declare their commitment to a higher standard of marriage. This involves authorized counseling and a formal Declaration of Intent.
Marriage officiants in Arkansas include Justices of the Peace and ministers. Ministers must have their credentials recorded in any Arkansas county. Both parties must return the marriage license to the County Clerk’s office within SIXTY (60) DAYS after the ceremony.
Marriage Witnesses and Expiration Date
Unlike some states, Arkansas does not require witnesses for marriages. The marriage license is valid for sixty (60) days and can be used anywhere in the state. It must be returned to the County Clerk’s office where it was originally obtained.
Copy of Certificate of Marriage License
If you need a copy of your marriage license, you can obtain one from the Division of Vital Records. This copy serves as an official record of your marriage and can be obtained by following the provided contact information.
Obtaining a marriage license is a vital step towards starting your marital journey. By understanding the marriage license fee, application process, required documents, waiting periods, and other important details, you can ensure a smooth and legal path to your wedding day. Remember, the commitment you make when obtaining a marriage license is a reflection of the love and dedication you have for each other.
- Is there a waiting period for obtaining a marriage license in Arkansas?No, there is no waiting period for applicants who are both 18 or older. However, a 5-day waiting period applies to applicants under 18 with parental consent.
- Can non-residents of Arkansas get married in the state?Yes, you do not have to be a resident of Arkansas to obtain a marriage license or have a marriage ceremony in the state.
- What is a Covenant Marriage?A Covenant Marriage is an option in Arkansas where couples commit to a higher standard of marriage, involving authorized counseling and a formal Declaration of Intent.
- Are witnesses required for marriages in Arkansas?No, witnesses are not required for marriages in the state of Arkansas.
- How long is the marriage license valid?The marriage license is valid for sixty (60) days and can be used anywhere in the state of Arkansas.