The Arkansas Code §9-11-214 requires that all wedding officiants must register with a County Clerk's office before performing marriage.
Successful registration with any County Clerk gives you the authority to officiate weddings anywhere in Arkansas. This means that as the wedding officiant, you do not have to register with same County Clerk's office that issues the marriage license to the couple. This is good to know in case you have to travel across Arkansas to officiate the wedding.
The County Clerk is also where the couple goes to file for their marriage license. Check out this website for contact information for all 75 County Clerk's Offices in Arkansas.
How to Register as a Wedding Officiant in Arkansas
The officiant registration procedure in Arkansas is handled on a county by county basis. This means that the application process and required documents can vary from county to county. That being said, all County Clerk's offices will ask for you to submit one or all of the following documents:
- A Completed County Application (if required by the county)
- Your Ordination Certificate
- Your Letter of Good Standing
The county may require you to complete a simple form that they provide. Or they may not. Once you have chosen which County Clerk's Office you will be registering with, you should know if there is a government issued form for you to complete.
Continue reading for step-by-step instructions on how to successfully register in Arkansas as a wedding officiant.
STEP 1ORDER YOUR REQUIRED MINISTRY CREDENTIALS
All Arkansas County Clerks will require you to submit some official documentation of your ministry credentials. This will either be in the form of your Ordination Certificate, Letter of Good Standing, or both.
A "Letter of Good Standing" is the document that carries more authority. This letter states that you are a minister in 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 order and submit your Letter of Good Standing.
The easiest way to register with an Arkansas County Clerk is to order your Arkansas Minister Ordination Package or Signature Wedding Officiant Package.
Both packages contain all the required ministry credentials you need to register with any County Clerk In Arkansas. This includes your Ordination Certificate and Letter of Good Standing as well as officiant training materials, such as our AMM Minister's Manual.
STEP 2CONTACT A COUNTY CLERK'S OFFICE
While you wait for your package to arrive, figure out which County Clerk's office you want to register with. For most people this will be the same Clerk's office that issues the marriage license to the couple. Remember, there are 75 County Clerk's Offices in Arkansas, so you have options.
Call or email them to find out exactly what documents you need to submit to register as a wedding officiant. You can ask them something like this:
"Hi, my name is [YOUR NAME].
I am a minister of American Marriage Ministries. One of my duties is officiating wedding ceremonies and I have been asked to officiate a wedding in your county. My understanding is that as a minister I am required to register with your office prior to performing any marriages. Can you tell me what I need to do to register with your office?"
STEP 3SUBMIT YOUR PAPERWORK TO THE COUNTY CLERK
After you have received your Ministry Credentials you can then submit them to the appropriate County Clerk. We strongly recommend that you do this well in advance of the wedding in case any complications arise with your paperwork.
Provided there are no complications, it should take no more than a day or two for the County Clerk's office to process your application. Once approved by the County Clerk, you will have the authority to officiate weddings anywhere in Arkansas!
APPROVAL OF YOUR OFFICIANT APPLICATION
Provided there are no complications, you should be authorized as soon as they receive your paperwork. If the Clerk's office is busy it may take them a few days to process your application.
Once successfully registered with the Clerk's office you will have the authority to perform marriage anywhere in Arkansas.
Start Preparing for the Wedding Ceremony
Your next step is to learn how to officiate a wedding ceremony. If you have no experience, you are in good hands. Our Arkansas Wedding Officiant Preparation Guide covers all aspects of how to prepare for a wedding ceremony.
PREPARE FOR THE ARKANSAS WEDDING CEREMONY
You will learn everything from the format for a wedding ceremony, the names of the ceremony parts, how to write a wedding ceremony, and more.
Use Our AMM Wedding Helper
If the process of planning, scripting, and performing a wedding is daunting, then you need our Wedding Helper suite of tools.
We have distilled years of experience into an easy-to-use platform with training materials, quizzes, a personalized ceremony script generator, and tips to prepare you for performing marriage, all accessible through your minister profile.
That’s only the beginning. After the wedding, you can share your wedding on the AMM Wedding Wall with our nationwide network of ministers.