Marriage in Arkansas

If you are planning on getting married in Arkansas, there are some precise details about weddings in this state that you need to know.  It isn’t difficult to plan your wedding here; however, there are some specifics about which you should be aware.

Marriage Age in Arkansas

This state has explicit rules for people of various ages.  Here are the regulations:

  • People over the age of 21 – A valid photo identification card (such as a driver’s license) is required for the marriage license.
  • People between the ages of 18 to 21 – In order to get a marriage license, both applicants need to be present and both need to have state certified copies of their birth certificates, valid passports, or active Military ID cards as a form of identification.
  • People under the age of 18 – In order to get a marriage license, any minor applicant needs to have parental consent.  Both applicants must have state certified copies of their birth certificates, valid passports, or active Military ID cards.  Additionally, any minor applicant must have a parent present to sign the marriage book with the applicants for the marriage license.  If a parent is not able to sign, certified papers must be shown to prove why the parent cannot sign.

Males under 17 and females under 16 cannot marry at all in Arkansas unless they have a court order to do so.  This is usually only given if the female is pregnant or if the couple already has a child together.

The Marriage License

The license fee varies from county to county, but it is usually less than $50.  Once the license is obtained, there is no waiting period for marriage in this state.  Also, it is not required for witnesses to be present at a wedding.  However, there is one unique twist. 

Arkansas marriage licenses are valid for only 60 days.  They must be either used during that time or returned to the County Clerk’s Office…if they aren’t, a $100 bond will be executed against all applicants.

Covenant Marriages

This type of marriage is an option in only three states—Arkansas, Arizona, and Louisiana.  A covenant marriage is different from a traditional marriage in that it is much more serious and binding.  Couples must sign a decree stating that their marriage will be forever, and they must attend premarital counseling about how marriage is a commitment for life.  It is more difficult to dissolve a covenant marriage.