Information on How to Get Ordained and Register as a Minister
How to get ordained and perform a wedding or ceremony in Arkansas.
Since 2010, Open Ministry has been ordaining and helping people all over the world perform weddings, ceremony and other sacerdotal duties. This page focuses on requirements and information for Arkansas, if you don't need the States Statues or ordination information for Arkansas scroll down to the bottom of the page for links to other states.
Let's get started with the information for Arkansas
If you are planning to get ordained in Arkansas or you have been asked to perform a wedding ceremony in Arkansas, or simply need to to find a minister in Arkansas to perform your wedding ceremony the information on this page will assist you. If you still have questions we invite you to visit our FAQ or contact us for more detailed information. We are here to help and support our ministers and congregation.
Registered Ministers with Open Ministry have successfully performed thousands of marriages in Arkansas and around the world!
The Ordination and Officiant information is provided below in an easy five step layout which is designed help walk you through the most common steps on registering to become a minister for Arkansas and how perform a wedding ceremony in Arkansas.
Step 1 - How to Become Ordained
How to get Ordained in Arkansas and become a minister to perform weddings and marriage ceremonies in Arkansas
Ordinations for Arkansas are completely free and can normally be completed in less than a day. Thousands of people have registered and became licensed ministers in Arkansas. Once you have completed the ordination process you are able perform marriages through Open Ministry in and for the state of Arkansas!
Become Ordained for free and start your journey as an authorized minister in Arkansas with Open Ministry.
Get started today by clicking on the link below!
Step 2 - Contact The County Clerk
How to Register to Officiate a Marriage in Arkansas
Next, contact the office of your local marriage authority (typically your county clerk in Arkansas). Let them know that you are a ordained minister with Open Ministry in California, and ask them what information the will require of you, to officiate a marriage in Arkansas. Most clerks and governing agencies may require that you present them with a physical copy of your ordination record.
When speaking with the county clerk; it can be helpful to use the following phrases.
- What agency or department issues marriage licenses in your county and how may I contact them?
- I am an ordained minister with a church in California and I would like to register as a wedding Officiant in your county to perform and solemnize weddings.
- I have my Letter of Good Standing and/or Ordination Credential as proof of my ministry and ordination.
- What additional documentation is required for me to register as a wedding Officiant in your county or state?
Step 3 - Getting Licensed to Perform the Marriage
License to perform a wedding in Arkansas
After you've contacted your marriage authority, you will want to visit our bookstore to get physical copies official credentials for presentation and your records. (See Arkansas State Statutes for More Specific Requirements )
When registering in Arkansas you may be asked to display proof of your ordination to the county clerk's before they will accept the marriage license as having been legally solemnized. We typically advise ministers of Arkansas to get a Complete Minister Package for Arkansas which includes your Letter of Good Standing (the live signed and notarized physical copy of your standing with our ministry).
Having your physical copies credentials provides peace-of-mind to couples and others that you intend to marry. Additionally, we recommend at least 4 weeks between the date of the wedding ceremony and your order, to ensure that you receive all of your materials and are able to register in time. Please note that every state and county can impose different requirements. This may include other nominal fees and additional paperwork that may need to be completed before the ceremony can take place.
It is important to note that some county clerks in Arkansas may require wedding officiants to attach a statement which asserts some of the elements in the marriage license upon submission, including the following:
- The time and location at which the wedding took place
- The names and places of residence of all official witnesses
- The religious organization in which the officiant is ordained
- The printed name and address of the officiant
Please note that, when filling out a marriage license, that Arkansas State may request you use the title "Minister" or "Reverend". The County Clerks may also require you enter your denomination, you can use "Non-Denominational". Failing to state a denomination may result in rejection and could require a duplicate marriage license.
Step 4 - How to Perform the Wedding
How to perform a wedding in Arkansas
Once you have completed of the above, you are ready to perform the wedding! Be sure that the couple has picked up their Arkansas state issued marriage license from the appropriate office. Arkansas marriage licenses valid for a set number of days, and there may be a waiting period between when the couple receives the marriage license in Arkansas and when the ceremony may be legally performed in Arkansas. This information should be written on the license and followed to ensure the ceremony is recorded properly.
Please be aware that the signed license must be returned to the issuing office in Arkansas before the time limit is reached. Check the marriage license for the exact dates. Once the the previous matters have been addressed, officiating a wedding in Arkansas can be a great and wonderful experience.
If you have any comments or issues as a wedding officiant in Arkansas, or after you have been ordained, or would like to just asking for guidance on how to perform a wedding ceremony in Arkansas. We recommend that all new Arkansas wedding ministers who have issues or concerns about the ceremony read over our helpful guides.
9-11-213 Persons who may solemnize marriages
(a) For the purpose of being registered and perpetuating the evidence thereof, marriage shall be solemnized only by the following persons:
(1) The Governor;
(2) Any former justice of the Supreme Court;
(3) 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;
(4) 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, Amendment 55;
(5) Any regularly ordained minister or priest of any religious sect or denomination;
(6) The mayor of any city or town;
(7) Any official appointed for that purpose by the quorum court of the county where the marriage is to be solemnized; or
(8) Any elected district court judge and any former municipal or district court judge who served at least four (4) years.
(b) (1) Marriages solemnized through the traditional rite of the Religious Society of Friends, more commonly known as Quakers, are recognized as valid to all intents and purposes the same as marriages otherwise contracted and solemnized in accordance with law.
(2) The functions, duties, and liabilities of a party solemnizing marriage, as set forth in the marriage laws of this state, in the case of marriages solemnized through the traditional marriage rite of the Religious Society of Friends shall be incumbent upon the clerk of the congregation or, in his or her absence, his or her duly designated alternate.
Title 9: Family Law - Subtitle 2: Domestic Relations - Chapter 11: Marriage - Subchapter 2: License and Ceremony
Rev. Stat., ch. 94, Â§ 10; Acts 1873, No. 2, Â§ 1, p. 2; C. & M. Dig., Â§ 7046; Pope's Dig., Â§ 9026; Acts 1947, No. 231, Â§ 1; 1977, No. 95, Â§ 2; 1979, No. 693, Â§ 1; 1983, No. 850, Â§ 1; A.S.A. 1947, Â§ 55-216; Acts 1987, No. 394, Â§ 1; 1997, No. 862, Â§ 1; 2001, No. 1068, Â§ 1; 2003, No. 1185, Â§ 16; 2007, No. 98, Â§ 1.
Minister Required to Register with County