State Arkansas Getting Married Inback to States

Who:

Arkansas recognizes only straight unions and the 400 marriage licenses that were issued to same-sex couples for the week following a state ruling.

Current Legislation:

On May 9, 2014 Judge Chris Piazza struck down the state’s anti-marriage amendment. For one week, same-sex couples had the freedom to marry until the Arkansas Supreme Court issued a stay in the ruling as it considers the case.

FAQs:

Do I have to reside in Arkansas to get married there?

You do not have to be a resident of Arkansas to get married there.

How can I apply for a marriage license?

Gay and Lesbian Couples: Currently, the state government does not recognize same-sex marriages, so unfortunately licenses are not available to gay and lesbian couples.

Straight Couples: Both parties must appear at the county clerk’s office to file a notice of intention to wed, signing a $100 bond which they must pay if they do not return the license, used or unused, to the county clerk’s office within 60 days from the day of issuance.

What are the fees?

The cost for a marriage license varies from county to county, averaging around $60, cash only.

Is there a waiting period?

There is no waiting period but the license will expire 60 days after it is issued.

What documentation do I need?

When you file for an intention to wed, you must provide legal identification such as a driver’s license, military ID, passport, birth certificate, or similar document, as well as your Social Security card. If you were previously married, you must show your certified decree or have information regarding date, county, and state of death of previous spouse.

Is a blood test required?

No.

Who can marry us and are witnesses required?

A minister, priest, or justice of the peace whose credentials are recorded in one of Arkansas’ 75 counties may perform the ceremony. No witnesses are required.

How can I change my name?

With a marriage license: Obtain several certified copies from the county clerk’s office where your license was filed, as you will need these throughout the name changing process. Fill out an application for a new Social Security card (which can be found here) and go to your local Social Security Administration office (be sure to get there before it opens) with a certified copy of your marriage license, photo proof of identity such as a driver’s license and original proof of citizenship, such as a passport or birth certificate. Be sure to change it with the DMV, your employer, your bank, etc.

Any adult Arkansas resident can formally change their name without a marriage license, but it must be done in your county of residence. Download the petition here and sign it in front of a notary. Take the petition and three copies to the court clerk and file, along with a Cover Sheet (filing fee is $140). You’ll also fill out and file an Order for Name Change. You will then be given a court hearing date, during which you will honestly state the reasons why you would like your name changed. The clerk will notify you when your order for name change has been signed by the Judge. Upon completion, you may be required to alert the public of your name change. You will then be issued a certified copy of your name change decree (be sure to buy a few extra copies) which you will then use to change your name at the Social Security Administration, DMV, your employer, etc.

**Disclaimer: Requirements and protocols are subject change. Please regard the above information as a guide only, not professional legal advice. It is important to confirm the information with your specific county and state of residence before the wedding.