Common-law marriage has diverse names, from "marriage in fact", "marriage by repute and habit", "informal…
Where to Apply
How can I get married in Arkansas?
The first requirement to get married in Arkansas is to apply for an Arkansas marriage license at any county clerk's office.
Does where I live affect getting a marriage license?
Your residency has no affect on obtaining a marriage license. You do not have to be a resident of Arkansas to apply.
How much is the marriage license fee?
An Arkansas marriage license costs between $55 and $60, depending on the county.
Does the license fee include a marriage certificate?
The marriage license fee does not include a certified copy of your marriage certificate. It must be paid for separately.
Where can I use my marriage license?
Your Arkansas marriage license can be used anywhere in the state, but only in Arkansas.
Can I use another state's marriage license in Arkansas?
Only Arkansas-issued marriage license are valid for use in Arkansas.
What information will the marriage application ask for?
The "notice of intention to wed" marriage license application requires your name, age, residence, and social security number.
Can we apply for a covenant marriage license?
You can declare your intent to contract a covenant marriage on the regular marriage license application.
What if I can't apply in person?
You must apply together and submit your application in person. Applying absentee or by power of attorney is not allowed.
How old must I to be to get married?
Aged 18 and over?
If you're 18 years old or older, you do not need parental consent to marry.
Aged 17 and under?
Males aged 17 and females aged 16 or 17 can marry with consent from their custodial parents or guardian. There is no minimum age in cases of pregnancy.
What are the parental consent requirements?
How must consent be granted?
If you're a minor, your custodial parents or guardian must grant consent to your marriage face-to-face with the county clerk.
What if consenting parents can't attend?
Consenting parents and guardians absolutely must attend the making of the application and sign the marriage book.
What if the parents are separated or divorced?
If both parents have equal custody over their underage child, both must consent. Otherwise, the sole custodial parent grants consent.
What's the pregnancy provision for minors to marry?
A circuit court judge can waive the minimum age to marry if you or your partner is pregnant or has given birth to a child.
Must it be my child?
For men, you must be the biological father of the child in question.
Must pregnancy be proven?
Pregnancy must be proven with a certified statement from a practicing, licensed Arkansas physician.
Must prior childbirth be proven?
Some county clerks do require documentary proof that you've given birth to a child.
Do I apply first or go to the judge first?
Before applying, obtain a court order from a circuit court judge in the county you plan to apply in.
Is parental consent still required if pregnant?
Parental consent for a minor to marry is still required, even in cases of pregnancy.
When will I get my marriage license?
Legal adults will be issued a license to marry immediately. Minors must wait five business days, except in cases of pregnancy.
How soon can I marry after my license is issued?
You can get married immediately after your marriage license is issued.
How long will my marriage license remain valid?
Your marriage license will expire 60 days after issuance.
What if my marriage license expires?
Used or unused, the marriage license must be returned to the county clerk within 60 days to avoid execution of a $100 penalty bond.
Do I have to show ID?
Bring valid government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, passport, state-issued ID card, military ID card, green card, or visa.
Is non-English ID acceptable?
Non-English identification must translated by a certified translator.
Do I have to show my birth certificate?
Minors must bring a certified copy of their birth certificate. If you're 18 to 21 years old, it may be asked for as well.
Do I have to show my social security card?
You may be asked to show your social security card or a document containing your social security number, such as a recent W-2, tax return, or paystub.
Must consenting parents and guardians bring ID?
Custodial parents or guardians consenting to their child's marriage must bring photo ID and proof of custody if divorced or widowed.
Do I have to get a blood test?
You are not required to obtain a premarital blood test or show a health certificate.
Must I show proof of divorce?
If you changed your name after divorce and it is not reflected on your ID, a certified copy of your divorce decree may be requested.
If recently divorced, must I wait to remarry?
There is no waiting period between a finalized divorce and remarriage.
Must I show proof of being widowed?
If your prior spouse died, you do not need to show proof of death.
Can I change my name after marriage?
Use your marriage certificate to change your name after marriage. An online name change application can help you prepare the forms.
Are witnesses required?
Witnesses are not required to be at your marriage ceremony.
Who can preside over my marriage?
Your marriage can be solemnized by a judge, justice, religious society, or minister or priest who has registered their credentials with a county clerk's office.
Can I apply and get married at the same time?
County clerks are not authorized to perform civil ceremonies. However, they can typically provide a list of local justices of the peace.
Can we self-solemnize our own marriage ceremony?
Arkansas law does not permit marriage by self-solemnization, where you and your partner perform the duties of an officiant.
When must the marriage license go back?
You—not the officiant—are responsible for returning the completed marriage license to the issuing county clerk for recording within 60 days of issuance.
How do I get a certified copy of my marriage record?
Certified copies of anyone's marriage certificate can be ordered from the county clerk's office that issued it or Arkansas' Department of Health.
How much are certified copies?
Buying from the county clerk?
County clerks charge $5 per certified copy. You must provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
Buying from the state's vital records office?
Arkansas' vital records portal sells certified copies for $10 apiece. There's also a $6.85 processing and identity verification fee.
Can I get married by proxy?
You must physically attend your marriage ceremony. You cannot have a stand-in act as your proxy.
Can I marry my cousin?
You cannot marry your first cousin. However, marriage among second cousins is allowed.
Can I marry a member of my family?
You cannot marry an ascendant or descendant of any degree, nor can you marry a sibling of the half or whole blood, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or first cousin.
Can I get married if I'm already married?
Marrying someone else while still married will not be considered bigamy if your spouse has been AWOL the past five years and is presumed dead.
Can I enter into a common-law marriage?
Arkansas does not nor has it ever allowed common-law marriage.
Will Arkansas recognize my out-of-state common-law marriage?
Arkansas does recognize common-law marriages validly established outside the state.