How to Get Married in Texas

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So, you've planned a lovely wedding, stayed within your budget, and and now you're ready for the actual getting married part of the process. But how? Don't worry, Tulle Nation, I've got you taken care of. Each week this year, I'll be sharing all the information you need to know to get married in one state in the United States. Today, Texas!

So, you've planned a lovely wedding, stayed within your budget, and and now you're ready for the actual getting married part of the process. But how? Don't worry, Tulle Nation, I've got you taken care of. Each week this year, I'll be sharing all the information you need to know to get married in one state in the United States. Today, Texas!

How to Get Married in Texas

Application, ID, and Residency Requirement: Couples who intend to be married in Texas must apply in person for a marriage license at a Texas County Clerk's Office. The application for a license must be signed by both the bride and groom in the presence of the a county clerk. If this is not possible, any adult or the other applicant may apply on behalf of the absent applicant. Applications must be filled out and Social Security numbers plus proof of age and identity (a driver's license or ID card from any state, a U.S. passport, a military ID or a birth certificate to school records, insurance policies, a pilot's license or a concealed handgun license) must be shown. When applying for a marriage license, each applicant must indicate that he or she has not been divorced within the last 30 days, unless the applicants were divorced from each other, or the prohibition against remarriage was waived.

There must be at least 72 hours between the date and time of issuance of a license and the time the ceremony occurs unless one applicant is on active duty in the armed forces, or a waiver is granted. There is no residency requirement for couples wishing to marry in Texas. The ceremony does not have to take place in Texas and witnesses are not required. As is the case when applying for a license, an authorized adult can take the place of an "absent" bride or groom for the ceremony.

Common-law marriage, also known as "informal marriage" is legal in Texas. A couple may choose whether or not to register their informal marriage. If they do choose to register, both the husband and wife must appear before the County Clerk to file a Declaration of Informal Marriage. The couple must list the date on the declaration from which they have considered themselves married. In other words, a couple can be married for some period of time before registering their informal marriage.

There are two ways a couple may prove that they are informally married:

  1. They can file a Declaration of Informal Marriage (available from the County Clerk's office) or
  2. They meet all of the following conditions:
    • the couple agrees that they are married;
    • they live together in Texas; and 
    • They represent themselves to other individuals that they are married to one another

Under 18: In Texas, if you are 16-17 years of age, you can only marry if one of the following criteria is met:

  • You have parental consent. Parental consent must be evidenced by a written declaration on a form provided by the county clerk. A county clerk may accept the form of another Texas County Clerk or from an official authorized to issue marriage licenses in another state.
  • You have been previously legally married and the applicant provides a certified copy of the divorce decree.
  • You obtain an order from the Texas district court where the parent resides.

How Much a Marriage License Cost?: In Texas, the fee for a purchasing a marriage license is $60. Other county record's fees may apply in addition to this fee. Couples who complete a state-approved marriage class can have the $60 portion of the fee waived.

Officiants: In Texas, an ordained Christian minister or priest, a Jewish rabbi, an officer of an authorized religious organization or various active or retired judges can conduct wedding ceremonies.

Valid: In Texas, the license expires after 30 days if a marriage ceremony has not taken place. If a marriage ceremony has not been conducted before the 31st day after the date the license is issued, the marriage license expires.

Equality Rights: Same sex marriage is not legal in Texas.

Name Change: Getting a marriage license with your new name on it does not mean your name has automatically changed.

It is very important that you verify all information with your local marriage license office or county clerk before making any wedding or travel plans.

Please Note: State and county marriage license requirements often change. The above information is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice.

How many of you are getting married in Texas?