Universal Life Church

Arizona Wedding Laws

This guide details all the legalities of a wedding in the state of Arizona. All aspects will be covered, including the legal requirements for both the couple and the minister, the specifics of the marriage license, and the needed steps of the actual wedding ceremony. If you are planning a wedding in Arizona or planning to officiate one, this guide will provide you with all the necessary information.

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

The legal age requirement for marriage in Arizona is 18 years or older. However, an exception is allowed for people who are under 18 years of age if they meet the following criteria: They must be at least 16 years of age, they must submit a signed parental consent form, and they must provide a photo ID and a birth certificate.

In addition to an age requirement, Arizona state law also includes a degree of kinship rule. An exception to this rule is allowed only if first cousins have the approval of the Superior Court Judge of Arizona or if both parties are over the age of 65.

There is no requirement with regard to residency if you want to marry in Arizona. You can be legally wed in Arizona whether you are from Arizona, from out of state or even from another country. Additionally, same-sex weddings are allowed under the marital laws of Arizona because all US states now honor marriage equality.

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    Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 25-102. Consent required for marriage of minors

    A. A person who is at least sixteen years of age and who is under eighteen years of age may marry only if one of the following is true:

    1. The person has received an emancipation order pursuant to title 12, chapter 15 or from a court in another state and the person's prospective spouse is not more than three years older than the person.

    2. The parent or guardian who has custody of the person consents to the marriage and the person's prospective spouse is not more than three years older than the person.

    B. Persons who are under sixteen years of age shall not marry.

    C. The clerk of the superior court may not issue a license to a person who is under eighteen years of age and who does not meet the requirements of subsection A of this section.

    25-101. Void and prohibited marriages

    A. Marriage between parents and children, including grandparents and grandchildren of every degree, between brothers and sisters of the one-half as well as the whole blood, and between uncles and nieces, aunts and nephews and between first cousins, is prohibited and void.

    B. Notwithstanding subsection A, first cousins may marry if both are sixty-five years of age or older or if one or both first cousins are under sixty-five years of age, upon approval of any superior court judge in the state if proof has been presented to the judge that one of the cousins is unable to reproduce.

    C. Marriage between persons of the same sex is void and prohibited.

How to Get a Arizona Marriage License

Min. Age of Witnesses:
18 Years
Couple's Consent Required:
Yes
Pronouncement Required:
Yes

To acquire a marriage license, the couple must go to the Office of the County Clerk. They will each need to bring legal proof of identity, which can include any standard government-issued ID such as a passport or a driver's license. They will also be required to pay a fee of $83 when they apply.

There are some counties in Arizona that allow the license application to be sent by mail, but because this isn't a statewide policy, it's important to check directly with the county office in question. If it is permitted, there may be additional verification requirements or extra steps, so reach out to the county office to ensure that you have met all the legal requirements.

Whether you apply by mail or in person, you will not need to provide blood test results. There is also no requirement for proof of divorce, even if one or both of you have been previously married.

Once obtained, the marriage license is valid throughout the state of Arizona.

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    25-121. Marriage license; application; affidavit

    A. Persons shall not be joined in marriage in this state until a license has been obtained for that purpose from the clerk of the superior court in any county of this state. This subsection does not apply to the conversion of an existing marriage that is valid in this state to a covenant marriage pursuant to section 25-902.

    B. Persons who wish to marry shall apply to the clerk of the superior court for a license and shall complete and sign under oath an affidavit provided by the clerk that states each applicant's name, age and residential address. The affidavit shall include a statement by the applicants that they understand that information on sexually transmitted diseases is available from the county health department on request and that these diseases may be transmitted to their unborn children. The applicants shall provide their social security numbers to the clerk separately from the affidavit. The affidavit shall be filed by the clerk who shall then issue to the applicants a license directed to the persons authorized by law to solemnize marriage and shall collect the fee prescribed by section 12-284. The license is sufficient authority for any authorized person to solemnize the marriage. The marriage license shall state that the marriage license expires one year from the date of issuance of the license.

    C. Except for release to the department of economic security for the purpose of child support enforcement, the social security number provided to the clerk of the superior court pursuant to subsection B of this section for an applicant's marriage license shall not be released to any person or entity unless the applicant requests in writing that the information be released. The provisions of this subsection shall appear in each application for a marriage license.

    25-127. Issuance of marriage license by a city or town; transfer of fees; handling fee

    D. The local clerk shall collect the fee prescribed under section 12-284 and transmit it to the clerk of the superior court. The local clerk may retain one dollar fifty cents from the fee prescribed under section 12-284.

    12-284. Fees

    (L18, Ch. 232, sec. 1)

    A. Except as otherwise provided by law, the clerk of the superior court shall receive fees classified as follows:

    G Special fees

    Marriage license and return of a marriage license $ 83.00

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

When applying for the marriage license, the couple should specify that they want a religious ceremony license rather than a civil ceremony license, if offered the choice. An ordained minister from the Universal Life Church has the legal authority to conduct a "religious ceremony" even if the wedding ceremony itself contains no religious vows or elements.

Once the Arizona marriage license is obtained, the ceremony can take place on any day within one year of issuance. In other words, the license is valid from the day it is issued and does not expire until one year has passed. However, once the wedding ceremony is over, the couple has only 30 days to return the completed license to the appropriate Office of the County Clerk in order to ensure that it is legally recorded.

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    25-121. Marriage license; application; affidavit

    A. Persons shall not be joined in marriage in this state until a license has been obtained for that purpose from the clerk of the superior court in any county of this state. This subsection does not apply to the conversion of an existing marriage that is valid in this state to a covenant marriage pursuant to section 25-902.

    B. Persons who wish to marry shall apply to the clerk of the superior court for a license and shall complete and sign under oath an affidavit provided by the clerk that states each applicant's name, age and residential address. The affidavit shall include a statement by the applicants that they understand that information on sexually transmitted diseases is available from the county health department on request and that these diseases may be transmitted to their unborn children. The applicants shall provide their social security numbers to the clerk separately from the affidavit. The affidavit shall be filed by the clerk who shall then issue to the applicants a license directed to the persons authorized by law to solemnize marriage and shall collect the fee prescribed by section 12-284. The license is sufficient authority for any authorized person to solemnize the marriage. The marriage license shall state that the marriage license expires one year from the date of issuance of the license.

    C. Except for release to the department of economic security for the purpose of child support enforcement, the social security number provided to the clerk of the superior court pursuant to subsection B of this section for an applicant's marriage license shall not be released to any person or entity unless the applicant requests in writing that the information be released. The provisions of this subsection shall appear in each application for a marriage license.

    25-123. Recording licenses; endorsement of solemnization; recording return; lost licenses

    A. The clerk of the superior court shall maintain a record of all marriage licenses issued.

    B. The person solemnizing the rites of matrimony shall endorse the act of solemnization on the license and shall return the license to the clerk within thirty days after the solemnization. The returned marriage license shall be recorded by the clerk.

    C. If a marriage license is lost before the endorsement of solemnization, the persons who wish to marry shall reapply to the clerk for a marriage license pursuant to section 25-121 and pay a fee pursuant to section 12-284.

    D. If the license that bears the endorsement of solemnization is lost, the clerk shall issue a replacement license that must be signed by the person who solemnized the marriage, the persons married and two of the witnesses to the marriage ceremony. The signed replacement license shall be returned to the clerk who shall record the license. If the persons married are unable to obtain all of the required signatures, either of them or their representative may apply to the superior court for an order to authorize the issuance of a duplicate endorsed marriage license. The application shall be by a sworn statement that describes the circumstances of the marriage ceremony and that contains the notarized signatures of the applicant and, if possible, both persons married, the person who solemnized the marriage and at least two witnesses to the marriage ceremony. If the application is submitted by a representative, the court shall determine if the representative is an appropriate requesting party. Pursuant to a court order, the clerk shall issue and record a duplicate endorsed marriage license. The court shall not charge a fee for the application or for issuing or recording the duplicate endorsed marriage license.

    25-125. Marriage ceremony; official; witnesses; marriage license; covenant marriages

    A. A valid marriage is contracted by a male person and a female person with a proper marriage license who participate in a ceremony conducted by and in the presence of a person who is authorized to solemnize marriages and at which at least two witnesses who are at least eighteen years of age participate.

    B. A marriage license shall be signed by both persons married, two of the witnesses to the marriage ceremony and the person who solemnized the marriage, who shall return the signed marriage license to the clerk of the superior court for recording.

    C. This section does not apply to the conversion of an existing marriage that is valid in this state to a covenant marriage that complies with the requirements of section 25-902.

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

According to state law, ministers officiating a wedding in Arizona must be at least 18 years old, but they are not subject to any residency requirements. Because some counties also have specific requirements of their own, the minister should check with the same Office of the County Clerk where the couple obtained their marriage license to ensure that all the legal rules of the county are met. The office should be able to provide information on any additional forms or procedures that are required by the county in question.

Officiants should also have their Universal Life Church ministry credentials or other credentials at the wedding ceremony in case proof is needed. Additionally, many ministers report that the Classic Wedding Package best meets their needs because it contains everything they need for a beautiful and legal ceremony.

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    25-124. Persons authorized to perform marriage ceremony; definition

    A. The following are authorized to solemnize marriages between persons who are authorized to marry:

    1. Duly licensed or ordained clergymen.

    2. Judges of courts of record.

    3. Municipal court judges.

    4. Justices of the peace.

    5. Justices of the United States supreme court.

    6. Judges of courts of appeals, district courts and courts that are created by an act of Congress if the judges are entitled to hold office during good behavior.

    7. Bankruptcy court and tax court judges.

    8. United States magistrate judges.

    9. Judges of the Arizona court of military appeals.

    B. For the purposes of this section, "licensed or ordained clergymen" includes ministers, elders or other persons who by the customs, rules and regulations of a religious society or sect are authorized or permitted to solemnize marriages or to officiate at marriage ceremonies.

Getting Married in Arizona

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
No
Minister Required to be Present:
Yes

Couples getting married in Arizona are allowed to determine the type of wedding ceremony they would like. They can choose the style, the vows, and the mood of the ceremony. Legally they both need to include "I Do" as part of their vows, and the minister needs to pronounce them as "Married" before ending the ceremony.

The couple, the minister and two witnesses must be in attendance at the wedding ceremony and must also sign the marriage license. Arizona law does not permit proxy marriages; therefore, all parties must be physically present at the ceremony.

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    25-125. Marriage ceremony; official; witnesses; marriage license; covenant marriages

    A. A valid marriage is contracted by a male person and a female person with a proper marriage license who participate in a ceremony conducted by and in the presence of a person who is authorized to solemnize marriages and at which at least two witnesses who are at least eighteen years of age participate.

    B. A marriage license shall be signed by both persons married, two of the witnesses to the marriage ceremony and the person who solemnized the marriage, who shall return the signed marriage license to the clerk of the superior court for recording.

Finalizing the Union

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

There are a few final steps that need to be completed in order to ensure that the marriage is legally recognized. First, make sure that the couple, the minister and the two chosen witnesses each sign the marriage license. When filling out the wedding officiant section of the marriage license, the minister will likely need to provide a name (full legal name without a title), a title (minister) and an address (address of residence).

It is imperative that all parties fill out the marriage license carefully and thoroughly, and it is also wise to double-check all the information once the license is complete. Any errors can delay the process and potentially require the couple to pay for a new license. Once the marriage license has been completed and checked, the couple has 30 days to return the signed license to the appropriate office so that it can be legally recorded.

Wedding officiants should have their ordination credentials on hand at the ceremony in case any issues or questions arise. It is also a good idea for ministers to keep a detailed record of the ceremony, especially if they are under contract and/or being paid for the work.

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    25-128. Unlawful acts of person authorized to solemnize marriages; classification

    A. It is unlawful for any person who is authorized to solemnize marriages to:

    1. Knowingly participate in or by his presence sanction the marriage of a person under the age of eighteen years who obtained a marriage license without consent in writing of the parent or guardian lawfully entitled to give consent.

    2. Solemnize a marriage without first being presented with a marriage license as required by the laws of this state.

    3. Fail to file the marriage license with the act of solemnization endorsed on the marriage license within thirty days of the ceremony.

    4. Knowingly make a false return of a marriage or pretended marriage to the clerk of the superior court.

    B. A violation of this section is a class 2 misdemeanor.