How To Perform Marriage in Arkansas

A Step-by-Step Guide to Officiating Weddings

Ministers in Arkansas : 5,684


Minister Registration Summary

Who Can Perform Marriage?
The Governor, Any former justice of the Supreme Court, Any judges of the courts of record within this state, including any former judge of a court of record who served at least four (4) years or more, Any justice of the peace, including any former justice of the peace who served at least two (2) terms since the passage of Arkansas Constitution, Any regularly ordained minister or priest of any religious sect or denomination, The mayor of any city or town, Any official appointed for that purpose by the quorum court of the county where the marriage is to be solemnized, Any elected district court judge and any former municipal or district court judge who served at least four (4) years, Marriages solemnized through the traditional rite of the Religious Society of Friends, more commonly known as Quakers
Are AMM Ministry Credentials Recognized?
Yes | Order Your Ministry Credentials
Is government registration required?
Yes | Arkansas Code 9-11-213
With what office do I need to register?
County Clerk
Does my residency affect registration?
No
What is the minimum age for an officiant?
18
Do I need to complete a Gov. application?
Depends on County
Do I need to provide Gov. ID?
Depends on County
Do I need to submit my Ministry Credentials?
Yes - Ordination Certificate and/or Letter of Good Standing
How much does registration cost?
Depends on County
BECOME AN AMM MINISTER

4 Steps to Performing Marriage in Arkansas




Step 1 GET ORDAINED WITH AMERICAN MARRIAGE MINISTRIES

Getting Ordained with American Marriage Ministries is your first step towards performing marriage in Arkansas. American Marriage Ministries is the only IRS Certified 501c3 Non-Profit that offers online ordinations. Getting ordained with AMM is free, quick, and easy!

Beyond ordination we provide all the information and resources you need to learn how to prepare for and officiate weddings. Whether it is your minister registration requirements, learning how to write a wedding ceremony script, or making sure you understand your legal responsibilities when completing the marriage license, we have you covered!

We welcome people of all walks of life. As long as you have a sincere desire to bring communities together through marriage, it is not important to us if you are religious or non-religious, gay or straight, black or white, rich or poor. Ordination as an AMM minister is about celebrating our commonalities.

As a Minister of American Marriage Ministries we encourage you to officiate weddings that reflect the values and beliefs of you and the couple. With over 636,714 Ordained Ministers and hundreds of thousands of successful weddings, what are you waiting for?

Apply For Ordination!


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Step 2 ARKANSAS MINISTER REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS

ALL MINISTERS ARE REQUIRED TO REGISTER WITH A COUNTY CLERK

The Arkansas Code requires that all ministers must register with with a County Clerk's office before performing marriage. The County Clerk is also where the couple goes to file for their marriage license. This link provides information on the 75 County Clerk's Offices in Arkansas.

Successful registration with any County Clerk gives you the authority to perform marriages statewide. This means that you do not have to register with same County Clerk's office that issues the marriage license to the couple. This can simplify your plans if you need to travel across the state to perform the marriage.

HOW TO REGISTER WITH THE ARKANSAS COUNTY CLERK

Minister registration is handled at a county level in Arkansas. This means that the application procedure and required documents varies from county to county.

That being said, all County Clerk's offices will ask for some form of your Official Ministry Credentials. This usually boils down to submitting one or both of two documents:

  • ● Your Ordination Certificate
  • ● Your Letter of Good Standing


The "Letter of Good Standing" is the document that carries more authority. This letter states that you as the minister are Good Standing with American Marriage Ministries and that we recognize your authority to perform marriage. Your Letter of Good Standing is signed by a church officer, dated, and notarized.

If the Clerk requests a document with a live signature, then you will need to submit your Letter of Good Standing. Some Clerk's will also request to see your Ordination Certificate and may also require you to complete a government form.

ORDER YOUR MINISTER ORDINATION PACKAGE

The easiest and most cost effective way to obtain your Ministry Credentials to register with the County Clerk is to order your Minister Ordination Package. Your Minister Ordination Package contains everything your need to register with any County Clerk In Arkansas. This includes your Ordination Certificate and Letter of Good Standing as well as wedding training materials, such as the AMM Minister's Manual.

FILING YOUR MINISTRY CREDENTIALS WITH THE COUNTY CLERK

After you have received your Ministry Credentials you need to the required documents to the County Clerk. We strongly recommend that you do this well in advance of the wedding in case any complications arise with your paperwork.

Most County Clerk's will allow you to submit your application through the mail. Once you have chosen which County Clerk's office you will be registering with, you can work with them to figure out the best delivery method.

Provided there are no complications, it should take no more than a day or two for the Clerk's office to process your application.

Once approved by the County Clerk, you will have the authority to perform marriage anywhere in Arkansas!


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Step 3 LEARN HOW TO OFFICIATE WEDDINGS

Chances are good this will be the first wedding you officiate. This undertaking may seem daunting and we are here to guide you through the process. The Wedding Training section of our site will teach you how to officiate weddings like a pro.

We break down the process of preparing for officiating a wedding into simple, easy-to-follow steps. We start with explaining the structure of a wedding ceremony and provide sample wedding ceremonies to help you get an idea of what other people have written.

Once you have the first draft of your wedding ceremony script written, you can follow our guide on officiant best practices for advice on how to polish and practice reading your ceremony script.

ASKED TO OFFICIATE | OFFICIANT TRAINING MANUAL

If you are interested in a thorough resource that covers everything you could ever possibly want to know about officiating a wedding ceremony, we recommend purchasing a copy of our book Asked To Officiate. Originally written by two career wedding officiants, Asked To Officiate draws on their decades of experience officiating hundreds of wedding ceremonies.

Asked To Officiate is also included in our Signature Wedding Officiant Package. This package covers all the bases, including your Ministry Credentials, a Wedding Stole, Asked To Officiate, and your Minister's Manual.


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Step 4 OFFICIATE THE WEDDING!

By this point you should be fully prepared to officiate the wedding. Have a fun and memorable wedding ceremony! After you have conducted the wedding you have one last and very important job… to complete the marriage license for the couple.

COMPLETING THE MARRIAGE LICENSE

This is your one legal responsibility. Fortunately, it is also an easy task to fulfill. Completing the marriage license simply involves completing your portion of the license and signing it with the couple in the presence of any required witnesses. That's it!

We understand that you want to do everything correctly. That’s why you are the officiant! If you want to know more about what fields you may have to complete on the marriage license and what you should write, check out our Wedding Officiant Guidelines for Completing Marriage Licenses.

RETURNING THE MARRIAGE LICENSE

After the marriage license is completed it must be returned to its issuance office. This is usually the responsibility of the couple though some states require this to be done by the minister. When the couple receives their marriage license it should also come with instructions as to who must return it and how.

Different states have different deadlines that dictate when the completed marriage license must be returned, so make sure that this duty be done as soon as possible. In most states this is as easy as mailing the marriage license back to the county clerk. Below is more information about Arkansas marriage licenses.




ARKANSAS MARRIAGE LICENSE INFORMATION

Prior to the wedding ceremony it is the couple’s responsibility to file for their marriage license. The marriage license issuance office is usually located at the county courthouse. Your job as the wedding officiant is to sign and complete your section of the license. Once the marriage license is completed and returned to the office where it was issued, the marriage is recorded and made legal.

Marriage License Issuance Office

County Clerk

Marriage License Fee

$58-$60

Marriage License Waiting Period

None

Marriage License Expiration

60 Days

Marriage License Return

Before Expiration

What Does Marriage License Waiting Period, Expiration, and Return Mean?


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