Applying for a Marriage / Wedding License in Arkansas

Wedding Cake
••• A bride and groom cake topper. Hero Images/Getty Images

Where to go:

Marriage licenses can be obtained at any County Clerk's office. These are found in the county's courthouse. You can locate a County Clerk's Office here. The County Clerk should be called to confirm this information and for any questions you have about obtaining your marriage license.

Requirements:

You must be at least 18 years of age to apply for marriage in Arkansas. Males age 17 or females ages 16 or 17 may be married with parental consent.

A parent must be present to sign the marriage book with the applicants when the license is issued. If a parent is unable to sign, due to death, separation, divorce or other circumstances, you must produce certified papers for verification of those circumstances. Males under the age of 17 and females under 16 cannot marry without an Arkansas court order. This is usually given only in extreme circumstances, such as if the female is pregnant or the couple already has a child together.

Arkansas marriage licenses are valid for sixty days. License must be returned used or unused, within 60 days for recording or a $100 Bond will be executed against all applicants for license.

A license obtained at a County Clerk's Office can be used anywhere in Arkansas, not just in that county, but must be returned to the County Clerk's Office where you first applied.

What to bring:

Arkansas Marriage Licenses cost approximately $58.00.

You must bring cash, because no checks or credit cards are accepted. There are no refunds, and the actual price is determined by county.

Applications for marriage licenses must be filed in person by both the bride and groom.

Males and females 21 or older may present a valid driver's license showing their correct name and date of birth or a state-certified copy of their birth certificates or an active Military Identification Card or valid passport.

Males and females 21 or under must present a state-certified copy of their birth certificates or an active Military Identification Card or valid passport. If your name has changed through a divorce and your driver's license does not reflect this change, you will need to bring a certified copy of your divorce decree. How to obtain divorce records and birth certificates.

Not required:

Witnesses or medical/blood tests are not required to apply for marriage in Arkansas. You do not have to be a resident of Arkansas to apply for marriage. Arkansas does not have a waiting period for marriages.

Who can preside over a legal marriage:

In order to legally marry couples in Arkansas, ministers or officiants must have their credentials recorded in one of Arkansas' 75 counties.

Other officials who can solemnize and legally marry couples include: the governor of Arkansas, any mayor of a city or town in Arkansas, retired justices of the Supreme Court of Arkansas, any justice of the peace, including retired justices who served at least two terms, any regularly ordained minister or priest of a religious denomination, any official appointed for that purpose by a court in the country where the marriage is performed, any elected district court judge and retired municipal or district court judges who served at least four years in that office.

Special situations:

Arkansas does not allow proxy marriages, cousin marriages or common law marriages. Arkansas does allow covenant marriages and same sex marriages.  Same sex marriages became legal under the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015.