How To Obtain a Marriage License or Certificate in Texas?
If Westerns are your thing, you will love getting married in Texas! Just like in all the old spaghetti westerns, Texas consists of miles of desert, the Rio Grande and pine forests. Bordering Mexico, and offering a diverse collection of music, impressionist and renaissance paintings, Texas is a cultural epicenter.
Rules and Regulations
Before you have your Texas-sized wedding, you will need to learn the rules and regulations for getting married in the Lone Star State.
- You must be 18 years or older to get married in Texas without parental consent.
- If you are 16-17 years of age, you can get married with either a court order or parental consent.
- You do not need to reside in Texas to be married there.
- There is no blood test necessary.
- If you are incarcerated, you can not apply to get married.
- Cousin marriage is not allowed.
- Same-sex marriage is legal.
- You do not need any witnesses.
- You may complete the state-approved pre-marital course and have the application fee reduced and the waiting period waived.
- There are two types of marriage permits in Texas. The first is a “Formal Marriage License, ” and the other is a “Declaration And Registration Of An Informal Marriage (Common Law). “Both licenses work the same way and are subject to the same rules.
- You may pre-register online and then appear at the County Clerk’s to sign and complete processing.
How to Apply
Both of you must appear in person, together at the County Clerk’s office to apply for a marriage license. You need to bring with you the following paperwork:
- A license fee which varies by county.
- Social security number for both people.
- A valid, current form of ID such as a driver’s license, passport, visa, state ID, military ID or certified copy of your birth certificate.
- If one party is absent when applying, you must get a waiver.
Waiting Period and Expiration
There is a 72-hour waiting period to get married after you get your marriage license. This wait-ing period will be waived if you complete the state-approved pre-marital education course. There is also a 30-day waiting period after a divorce. Your marriage license is only good for 90 days to plan according to be married within that period.
Who Can Officiate
Christian ministers and priests, Jewish rabbis, other religious leaders, justices of the court, judges, justices of the peace and magistrates can officiate your wedding ceremony in Texas. The person officiating your ceremony must sign and return the marriage license to the County Clerk’s office no later than 30 days following the wedding.
After the Wedding
If you want a copy of your marriage certificate after it has been filed and recorded, you can pur-chase one at the County Clerk’s office for $10.
If you wish to change your name, you will need to pick up a name change kit for your name change to be legal.