Marriage License Requirements
Getting married is a beautiful journey that starts with the exchange of vows and promises. One of the essential steps in this journey is obtaining a marriage license. In this guide, we’ll delve into the crucial details you need to know about the marriage license process in Arkansas. From application requirements to waiting periods and officiant options, we’ll cover it all. So, let’s embark on this informative journey together!
The journey to a joyful and lifelong marriage begins with obtaining a marriage license. This legal document is a prerequisite for your marriage ceremony to be recognized by the state of Arkansas. Let’s explore the steps you need to follow to acquire this important document.
To apply for a marriage license in Arkansas, both parties must visit the County Clerk’s office. It’s recommended to visit the office together to streamline the process. The application will require you to provide personal information and details about your intended marriage.
Both parties must be 18 years or older and present a valid government-issued identification with their correct name and date of birth. If your name has changed due to a divorce and your identification doesn’t reflect this change, a certified copy of your divorce decree will be needed.
There is a $60.00 application fee for a marriage license in Arkansas. This fee can be paid in cash, and it’s essential to consider this cost when planning for your marriage.
Returning the Marriage License
After your wedding ceremony, whether you use the license or not, it’s your responsibility to return the marriage license to the County Clerk’s office for recording within SIXTY (60) days from the date of issuance.
Marriage ID Requirement
To verify your identity, both parties must have one of the following documents:
- State-issued I.D.
- Valid Driver’s License
- Indian Card
- Passport or Visa (not expired)
- Military I.D.
- Original Birth Certificate
Marriage Waiting Period Requirement
In Arkansas, there is no waiting period for obtaining a marriage license if both applicants are 18 years or older. However, if a male is 17 or a female is 16 or 17 and they seek parental consent, a waiting period of 5 business days applies.
Marriage Residency Requirement
You do not need to be a resident of Arkansas to obtain a marriage license in the state. The license is valid anywhere within the state’s borders.
If you’ve been previously married, you’ll need to provide your divorce decree or information about the date, county, and state of death of your previous spouse. If your name has changed due to divorce, a certified copy of your divorce decree is required.
Marriage License Fees
The marriage license fee in Arkansas is $60.00. This fee can be paid in cash. If you have questions about alternative payment methods, it’s advisable to contact the County Clerk’s office in advance.
Arkansas offers the option of a Covenant Marriage, which involves additional steps and counseling. A Declaration of Intent to contract a Covenant Marriage must be filed along with your marriage license application.
Proxy marriages are not allowed in Arkansas. Both parties must be present during the application process.
Cousin marriages are not permitted 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.
Obtaining a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your name. If you wish to change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirements
The minimum age for marriage in Arkansas is 18. Males who are 17 and females who are 16 or 17 can marry with parental consent, which also comes with a mandatory 5-day waiting period.
Parental consent is required for individuals under 18 who wish to marry. This includes situations where custody has been awarded to one parent, paternity has been determined, or in cases of pregnancy.
If one or both parties are under the minimum age for marriage and the female is pregnant, there is a process in place to seek judicial approval for the marriage.
Justices of the Peace and ordained ministers can solemnize marriages in Arkansas. Ministers must have their credentials recorded in any county within the state. The minister is not responsible for returning the license; this duty falls on the applicants.
Witnesses are not required for marriages in Arkansas.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Your marriage license is valid for 60 days and can be used anywhere within Arkansas. After your wedding, you must return the license to the County Clerk’s office where you applied.
Copy of Certificate of Marriage License
For a copy of your marriage license certificate, you can contact the Division of Vital Records.
Obtaining a marriage license is an essential step on your journey to a legally recognized union. Understanding the requirements, fees, and procedures involved will help ensure a smooth process as you prepare for your special day.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I apply for a marriage license if I’m not an Arkansas resident? Yes, you do not need to be an Arkansas resident to obtain a marriage license in the state.
- What is the fee for a marriage license? The application fee for a marriage license is $60.00, payable in cash.
- Is there a waiting period for getting married in Arkansas? There is no waiting period if both parties are 18 years or older. For minors with parental consent, a 5-business-day waiting period applies.
- Can I change my name on the marriage license? Obtaining a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your name. You can use an online marriage name change kit if you wish to change your last name.
- Who can solemnize marriages in Arkansas? Justices of the Peace and ordained ministers can solemnize marriages in the state. Ministers must have their credentials recorded in an Arkansas county.