Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is known as the "Wedding Capitol of the South," hosting the second greatest number of weddings in the United States! There are also lovely options for a special wedding waiting for you in Eureka Springs West. Here are the facts you must know to be legally married in the state of Arkansas:
AGE: Both the bride and groom must be 18 years or older to obtain an Arkansas marriage license.
LICENSE: May be obtained at any county clerk's office in Arkansas. For our area, this is at the Carroll County Courthouse in downtown Eureka Springs: 44 South Main, 479-253-8646 or 888-592-8163 toll-free. Open Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Please call ahead as they are closed on holidays and some off-season Saturdays. Also, the County Clerk requests that you be in the building no later than 12:30 on Saturdays.
Both the bride and groom must be present to apply for a marriage license. You will need proof of identification and age to provide any information about previous marriages to pay a fee.
MARRIAGE LICENSE VALIDITY: Arkansas marriage licenses are valid for sixty (60) days. Within those 60 days, the license must be returned, whether used or unused, to the County Clerk's office where it was issued, where it will then be recorded. Failure to do this will result in a $100 Bond being executed against both applicants for the license.
The license may be used immediately (no waiting period) or anytime within the 60 days time limit. The license may be used any-where in the state of Arkansas, but it must be returned to the same County Clerk's Office where you applied for it. There is a drop box at the Eureka Springs Courthouse entrance to return completed licenses after hours.
The Arkansas Marriage License fee varies by county. The fee must be paid in cash only! No checks are accepted and no refunds are given. In Eureka Springs (Carroll County), the fee is around $60; please call the County Clerk to verify: 888-592-8163.
DOCUMENTS TO BRING: If you are between the ages of 18 - 21, you must provide a state-certified copy of your birth certificate. Applicants 21 years of age or older may simply present a valid driver's license showing their correct name and date of birth or any of the following documents: A state-certified copy of their birth certificate; or an active Military Identification Card; or a valid passport. All applicants should bring their Social Security card or some other legal document that shows their social security number.
NAME CHANGE: If you were previously married, you will need to show your divorce decree or have information regarding the date, county and state of the death of your previous spouse. 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.
WAITING PERIOD: There is no waiting period required in Arkansas after a divorce is final or after a marriage license is obtained.
MEDICAL/BLOOD TESTS: None required in Arkansas.
PROOF OF RESIDENCY: No such proof is required in Arkansas. You do not have to be a resident of Arkansas to be married here. A marriage license obtained in Arkansas can be used to marry anywhere in Arkansas, but remember that it must be returned to the same office where it was issued. ( See "Marriage License Validity" above.)
WITNESSES: Arkansas does not require witnesses at a wedding.
COVENANT MARRIAGE: is an option in Arkansas.
MARRIAGES NOT ALLOWED IN ARKANSAS: Proxy marriages; the marriage of cousins; common law marriages; same-sex marriages (banned by a constitutional amendment passed in November, 2004).
MINISTER/OFFICIANT'S CREDENTIALS: Ministers and officiants must have their credentials recorded in one of Arkansas' 75 coun-ties. Your own out-of-state minister can perform the wedding if he/she registers his credentials at a county courthouse in the state of Arkansas. This costs $5.
IMPORTANT NOTE: State and county marriage license requirements often change. The above information is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice. It is important that you verify all information with the local county clerk before making any wedding or travel plans (Carroll County Courthouse; phone 479-253-8646 or 888-592-8163 toll-free).