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  • Steven Robinson
    Steven Robinson

    5 Steps to Nailing Your Marriage License in Arizona

    The Arizona Nuptial Adventure

    Arizona, renowned for its mesmerizing sunsets and cacti landscapes, is also a cherished destination for many couples looking to tie the knot. Yet, behind the romance and picturesque backdrops, there's a legal dance that must be performed - acquiring a marriage license.

    Ensuring that your union is recognized by the state requires an understanding of the steps involved. These steps might appear intimidating, but with the right knowledge, they're quite manageable.

    In this guide, we delve into the crucial stages to guarantee your marriage in Arizona starts without a hitch.

    1. Understanding the Legal Requirements

    Arizona's statutes clearly define the requirements for eligibility. This isn't just a bureaucratic exercise; it's an essential procedure to safeguard the sanctity and legality of unions.

    Age: You need to be at least 18 years old. For those aged 16-17, parental consent is obligatory. For anyone younger, court consent in addition to parental approval is required.

    Relationships: Interestingly, Arizona is one of the states that prohibits marriage between first cousins unless both are 65 or older, or one can provide a doctor's note stating they're sterile.

    Previous Marriages: If you or your partner was previously married, a copy of the divorce decree is necessary.

    2. The Application Process (It's Easier Than It Sounds!)

    With the eligibility boxes ticked, the next stage is the application process. This involves visiting the Clerk of the Superior Court's office in any of Arizona's counties. Here's what to expect:

    Documents Needed: Bring government-issued identification, such as a driver's license, passport, or birth certificate. Social Security numbers are also usually requested, so come prepared.

    Fees: As of my last update in 2021, the fee for a marriage license in Arizona is $83, but it's prudent to check for any changes.

    Waiting Period: Here's some delightful news—Arizona has no waiting period! Once issued, you can marry immediately.

    3. The Ceremony: Making It Official

    With the license in hand, the next step is the ceremony. Any ordained or licensed clergymen, judges, justices of the peace, and specific other officials can officiate your marriage in Arizona. However, ensure they have the legal authority to do so in this state.

    Witnesses are a requisite in Arizona, so you'll need at least two present during the ceremony. They must be of a minimum age, typically 18, to legally act as witnesses.

    4. Returning the License: Seal the Deal

    After the wedding bells chime, there's still one vital step left. The officiant and witnesses must sign the marriage license. It's then your responsibility (or that of the officiant) to ensure the license is returned to the Clerk's office from where it was issued, typically within 30 days of the ceremony.

    Only after the license is recorded will the marriage be legally recognized. You can then request certified copies for personal records or name change purposes.

    5. Pitfalls to Avoid: Don't Let These Trip You Up

    Arizona's marriage license process might seem straightforward, but it's not without potential pitfalls. Here are some to sidestep:

    Expiration of License: An Arizona marriage license expires one year from issuance. Ensure you hold the ceremony within this timeframe.

    Forgetting the License: It might sound obvious, but many couples get caught up in wedding preparations and forget the physical license on the day. Designate someone responsible for this!

    Lack of Proper Identification: Without the correct IDs, the Clerk's office might refuse your application. Always double-check what's needed.

    Getting hitched in the Grand Canyon State is a dream for many. By understanding and following the legal requisites, you can ensure that dream becomes a beautiful reality.


    • "Marriage Laws in the US, by State". FindLaw, 2021.
    • "Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 25 – Marital and Domestic Relations". Arizona State Legislature, 2021.
    • Smith, L. "Wedding Planning 101: Understanding Legal Requirements". Wedding Bells Publishing, 2020.

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