Is eloping legal in arkansas

Although elopements are a marvelous thing but there are concerns if it is a legally binding cermony so let’s talk about the legality of Elopement in Arkansas. Are you curious about how to elope? GOOD NEWS!!! It’s actually easier than you might think! It’s much less stressful than planning a traditional wedding. The goal of this blog post is to break down the information you need in an easy-to-understand way in hopes of removing your stress and allowing you to plan your perfect elopement in Arkansas.

Is elopement legal?

Yes, elopements are legal. There are certain requirements that need to be met which we’ll cover in a minute. However, it is as legal as a traditional wedding. 

 What is Required to Elope?

Officiant requirements

In Arkansas, an officiant is required for your ceremony. Ministers and officiants must have their credentials recorded in one of Arkansas. An out-of-state minister can perform the wedding if he/she registers credentials at a county courthouse in the state of Arkansas. This costs $5.

Although an officiant is needed there are ways around this. Your photographer can be your registered officiant or you can legally have the ceremony a day before with an officiant then on your elopement day you recite your vows and such alone.


In Arkansas, a witness is not required.

Marriage License

You will need to get a marriage license from the county clerk in any Arkansas county. Because it’s more convenient, people typically get their license from the county clerk in their county of residence. Both parties are required to go together to obtain a marriage license. Documentation you need to bring to recieve a marriage license:

Is Eloping Legal in Arkansas

– Proof of identification and age. If you are between the ages of 18 – 21, you must provide a copy of your birth certificate. Applicants 21 years of age or older may 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.

– Any information about previous marriages. 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. 

– Cash for License fee. The Arkansas Marriage License fee varies by county but typically around $60. 

During your elopement, your officiant will sign your marriage license and deliver it to the county clerk’s office to be recorded. The officiant will then return the marriage license back to the couple and it will be theirs to keep forever!!! Rules and regulations change from time to time and in every county. To get the most up to date rules and requirements always check with the county clerk. 

You’ll then need to get married within 60 days of the issue date.



It’s not uncommon to need permits to get married in certain areas. Don’t forget to reach out to your local park service, in advance about permits, as most of these locations require permits for elopements or other gatherings. 

Curious about eloping?

Let’s talk about your options, what an elopement is, and if it’s right for you here, or feel free to send me a message below with questions you may have. I’m happy to help in any way I can.

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