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Arizona Wedding Laws

As far as wedding destinations go, Arizona offers some spectacular views. The Grand Canyon State may be picturesque, but there are still a number of important points a couple should be familiar with before tying the knot. From explaining the requirements for officiants to giving a clear picture of how to properly obtain a marriage license, this guide by the United Life Church Ministries covers all pertinent details related to the legal side of weddings in Arizona. Making a mistake when it comes to marriage license paperwork can cause some major setbacks for a couple. To feel confident that you’re covering all your bases, it can be wise to review the basics. Whether you’re an officiant with questions or a couple looking to be sure all of your affairs are in order, review this guide to learn more.

How to Become a Wedding Officiant in Arizona

Min. Age of Minister:
Age 18
Residency:
Not Required
Document(s) Required:
Varies by City/County
Online Ordination Recognized:
Yes
Relevant Office of Registration:
County Clerk
Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
After Ceremony
Minister I.D. # Issued:
No

In the state of Arizona, the specifics surrounding what an officiant must do varies between counties. The one restriction across all counties is that officiants must be at least 18 years of age in order to conduct the ceremony. To understand whether or not the county requires the minister to provide any official paperwork detailing his or her status, the officiant should reach out to the county clerk’s office. To guarantee you have all of the proper credentials handy, the Universal Life Church suggests taking a look at the Classic Wedding Package. This package includes everything an officiant needs to prove officiant status.

Getting Married in Arizona

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
No
Minister Required to be Present:
Yes
Number of Witnesses Required:
2
Min. Age of Witnesses:
18 Years
Couple's Consent Required:
Yes
Pronouncement Required:
Yes

Arizona does not place any major restrictions on the wedding ceremony itself. This allows the couple to plan their event based on whatever personal rituals they’d like. However, it is mandatory that both members of the couple be physically present during the ceremony itself. The one major requirement in Arizona is that the couple must make a declaration of consent to the union. This must take place before the officiant and at least two other witnesses. The officiant and witnesses must then sign the marriage license along with the couple.

In most cases, the official declaration of consent occurs when both members of the couple state “I do” during the ceremony. If the couple is not having a traditional ceremony, it is important to remember to clearly consent in order for the marriage to be considered valid.

How to Get an Arizona Marriage License

Who Picks Up License:
The Couple
Where License is Valid:
Any County in Arizona
Marriage License Pick-Up:
In Person Only
Cost of License:
$83.00
Accepted I.D. Types:
Photo ID
Proof of Divorce Required (If Applicable):
No
Blood Test Required:
No

To obtain an application for a marriage license in AZ, the couple is required to be physically present at the county clerk’s office. The couple must bring along documentation confirming their identities, including a photo ID or passport. Though an in-person request is preferred, certain counties will allow couples to apply by mail. Review the guidelines of the county in which you reside to confirm current protocols.

If you have been married before, the state does not require you bring along any paperwork proving that you are legally separated from your previous spouse. The current fee for a marriage license in Arizona is $83.

Applying For a Marriage License in Arizona

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Religious
Mandatory Waiting Period:
None
License Valid For:
1 Year
License Must Be Submitted:
Within 30 Days of Ceremony

In certain counties in Arizona, couples might be required to confirm whether the marriage license is for a religious or civil ceremony. The difference between the two comes down to the officiant. If you are using a priest, rabbi, or other officiant of a larger religious institution, then you will select religious ceremony. Similarly, using an officiant who has been registered through the Universal Life Church falls under the category of religious ceremony.

After receiving the license, the couple has a year to conduct the ceremony. There is no waiting period, either. This means the couple can get married as soon as they’d like once the license has been granted. As soon as the ceremony is conducted, there are 30 days until the license must be delivered back to the clerk’s office.

Arizona Marriage Requirements

Min. Age of Couple:
Age 18 or Age 16 with Guardian Consent
Residency:
Not Required
Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
Second Cousins
Marriage Equality:
Yes

In order to marry in the state of Arizona, both members of the couple must be at least 18 years of age. However, individuals who are at least 16 may be allowed to wed as long as they are able to produce confirmation of consent from a legal guardian and provide all appropriate legal paperwork. Under no circumstances can anyone under the age of 16 marry in Arizona.

Same-sex couples are legally allowed to marry in the state. Additionally, the state does not have residency restrictions when it comes to weddings. Whether the couple is from AZ, another state, or another country, they are more than welcome to tie the knot anywhere in Arizona.

While relatives are not allowed to marry in Arizona, there are some exceptions to this law in the case of first cousins. Though the degree of kinship normally prevents first cousins from marrying, the couple can request permission from the Arizona Superior Court Judge. The restriction can also be waived when both members of the couple are older than 65.

Finalizing the Union

Officiant's Title on Marriage License:
Minister
Church/Ordaining Body:
Universal Life Church Ministries
Address of Church:
Minister's Home Address

As mentioned, there are a few points the couple needs to hit before the marriage license can be considered complete. Once the ceremony has come to a close, the paperwork requires the signatures of the couple, the witnesses, and the officiant. The couple should review the license a final time to ensure all lines have been completed. The license must then be returned to the clerk’s office within 30 days of the wedding. Late or incomplete paperwork could be considered invalid and require the couple to apply for a new license.

Officiants from the Universal Life Church should state their titles as “minister,” if required. In some counties, the officiant might need to provide additional information, such as an address, in the event that the clerk needs to contact the minister to fix a discrepancy or verify information.

The best way to guarantee you have all proper paperwork ready to produce is by looking over the Classic Wedding Package offered through the ULC. This package provides an officiant with all of the documents a county clerk might require. As long as you have all of the right documents ready to go, you can rest easy and enjoy the beauty of a wedding conducted in the Grand Canyon State.