Arkansas Marriage Records
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. When did Arkansas start recording marriages?
A. In Arkansas official recording of vital records like marriage records was not required until 1917 although most counties started recording as soon as they were formed (as early as 1820).
Q. Are there restrictions on getting copies of Arkansas marriage records?
A. Arkansas Vital Records Statute 20-18-305 only allows the Arkansas Department of Health to release marriage and divorce coupons to the bride and groom, their designated representatives, specific persons who are related to the registrants, to academic research groups, and to persons who can demonstrate a right to the record. County officials may operate under different rules about public access. Arkansas marriage records 50 years old and older are public records.
Q. How do I verify a marriage took place in Arkansas?
A. The Arkansas Department of Health (4815 West Markham Street, Little Rock, Arkansas 72205) Vital Records Division, maintains marriage records beginning in January 1917 and divorce records that begin in January 1923. (They do not have records prior to those dates.)
The Division of Vital Records does not have the actual marriage license or divorce decree but will issue a certified copy of the coupon of marriage or divorce in paper form. The cost of a marriage or divorce coupon is $10.00 for each copy. For a copy of the actual marriage license, contact the County Clerk or Circuit Clerk where the record was recorded.
Q. What information is found on an Arkansas marriage record?
A. Although early marriage records may contain only the bride and grooms names and ages, date and place of marriage and officiant, modern marriage records contain much more information:
- County where the wedding took place
- Bride's maiden name, birth date, and age
- Groom's full name, birth date, and age
- Residences and parents names
- Any previous marriages and/or divorces
- Name of the marriage officiate
- Names of witnesses
Q. Where can I find genealogy vital records from Arkansas?
A. You can request copies of vital records from the Arkansas Department of Health which has marriage records from January 1917, divorce records from January 1923, birth and death records from February 1914. For earlier vital records you must contact the County Clerk in the county where the event took place. (County Clerk addresses)