Marriage License Requirements
Marriage is a sacred union that brings two people together in a commitment to share their lives. Before you embark on this wonderful journey, there are legal requirements you must fulfill, and one of the crucial steps is obtaining a marriage license. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of acquiring a marriage license in Arkansas, covering everything from application requirements to fees and additional details you need to know.
Planning your wedding is an exciting time, but it’s important to ensure you meet all legal requirements. In Arkansas, obtaining a marriage license is an essential step before you can say “I do.” Let’s dive into the details.
Both parties must be 18 or older and provide a valid government-issued ID that shows their correct name and date of birth.
Name Change Considerations
If you’ve changed your name due to divorce and your driver’s license doesn’t reflect this change, bring a certified copy of your divorce decree.
The application fee for a marriage license is $60.00, payable in cash.
Return of Marriage License
After receiving the marriage license, it must be returned to the County Clerk’s office, whether used or unused, within SIXTY (60) days from the issuance date.
Acceptable Forms of Identification
You can present one of the following as valid identification:
- State-issued ID
- Valid driver’s license
- Indian card
- Passport or visa (not expired)
- Military ID
- Original birth certificate
Both parties must be 18 years or older to apply for a marriage license.
There is no waiting period required in Arkansas for couples aged 18 and above. However, if one party is aged 16-17 and obtaining a marriage license with parental consent, a waiting period of 5 business days applies.
You do not need to be a resident of Arkansas to obtain a marriage license, and the license can be used anywhere within the state.
If you were previously married, you’ll need to provide your divorce decree or information about the date, county, and state of your previous spouse’s death.
Marriage License Fees
The marriage license fee in Arkansas is $60.00. Cash is the accepted form of payment, but it’s advisable to inquire about other payment methods.
Arkansas offers the option of a Covenant Marriage. This involves a declaration of intent to contract a Covenant Marriage and requires authorized counseling.
Unfortunately, Arkansas does not allow proxy marriages.
Cousin marriages are not permitted in Arkansas.
Common Law Marriages
Arkansas does not recognize common law marriages.
Marriage Blood Test
No blood or medical tests are required to get married in Arkansas.
Obtaining a marriage license with your new name doesn’t automatically change your name. An online marriage name change kit can assist with this process.
Marriage Age Requirements
Males must be 17, and females aged 16-17 require parental consent, along with a mandatory 5-day waiting period.
Various officials can solemnize marriages in Arkansas, including Justices of the Peace and ministers. Ministers must have their credentials recorded in an Arkansas county.
Witnesses are not required for marriages in Arkansas.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
The marriage license is valid for sixty (60) days and must be returned to the County Clerk’s office where it was obtained.
Copy of Certificate of Marriage License
For additional information, you can contact the Division of Vital Records in Little Rock.
Obtaining a marriage license is a crucial step on your journey to marital bliss. By understanding the requirements and steps involved, you can ensure that your wedding day is a truly special occasion. Remember to stay informed and adhere to all regulations to make your union official.
- Can I pay the application fee with a credit card?
- Currently, the accepted form of payment is cash. It’s recommended to inquire about alternative payment methods.
- What if I’ve changed my name due to divorce?
- If your driver’s license doesn’t reflect the name change, bring a certified copy of your divorce decree.
- Is counseling required for a Covenant Marriage?
- Yes, authorized counseling is required for a Covenant Marriage.
- Can minors get married in Arkansas?
- Under certain circumstances and with proper consent, minors can marry. Refer to the section on Marriage Age Requirements for details.
- Do I need witnesses for my marriage ceremony?
- No, witnesses are not required for marriages in Arkansas.