Do you want to get married in Texas? Doing so is not very expensive or difficult, but you must know and follow the rules. For example, you will need to prove your identity and respect time limits.
Part 1 of 3: Apply for a Texas Marriage License
Step 1. Report to the county clerk
To obtain a marriage license, you must go to the Texas county clerk's office. Keep in mind that all counties in Texas issue these licenses. These offices are sometimes called "marriage licensing departments."
- Both parties must appear in person. The clerk will provide you with a formal application. Remember that you must be at least 16 years old. Applicants under the age of 18 must present a certified copy of their birth certificate issued within the last 10 years and a court approval or parental consent.
- You will also need to take the oath that is printed on the application and sign it in front of the county clerk. You are not required to be married in the county that issued the license.
Step 2. Provide evidence of your identity and your age
In order to obtain a marriage license, the county clerk will ask you and your partner to show evidence of their identities and ages. There are several ways to do it.
- Present a driver's license or identification card that was issued in Texas or another state in the United States. The ID card must not be torn or damaged. Likewise, expired documents will not be accepted.
- Present a current passport issued by the United States or another country. You can also present an original birth certificate or a copy of it, as well as government or military identification.
Step 3. Pay the corresponding fee
In order to obtain a license in Texas, you will have to pay a fee that typically ranges from $ 70 to $ 81, depending on the county.
- If you attend the Texas state approved marriage class with your partner, you will not have to pay the state portion of the fee, which is $ 60.
- You will still need to pay the county portion, which varies from county to county. Note that marriage licenses issued in Texas are valid in all other states.
Part 2 of 3: Getting married in Texas
Step 1. Find the right person to officiate your marriage
Texas law has specific rules about who can legally marry you in the state.
- These are the people who qualify: a retired judge from a municipal court and a retired judge from a federal court in Texas; a judge of the superior court or of the court of first instance; a judge specialized in criminal law; a district or county judge and probate court; a judge from a county court of law; a judge from the family law court; a juvenile court judge; and a judge or justice of the peace retired from the aforementioned courts or in service.
- Other persons authorized to perform marriages in Texas include: an ordained or licensed Christian minister or priest, a Jewish rabbi, or a person who is an official within a religious organization and has obtained their authorization to perform the marriage ceremony..
Step 2. Attend the ceremony, unless you qualify to apply for a military service exemption
It seems a bit obvious, but yes, you will have to attend the ceremony with your partner or they will not be able to get married in Texas.
- The exemption is granted when one of the spouses is a member of the United States military and has been deployed to another country for combat or another military operation.
- After the ceremony is concluded, the person officiating the marriage must record the date and the county where the ceremony was performed on the license and return it to the county clerk who issued it within 30 days of the date. date of celebration of marriage.
Step 3. Respect the time limits
In order to get married in Texas, you must perform the marriage ceremony up to 90 days after the license has been issued.
- If you try to get married after this period, you will not be able to do so, as the marriage license will have expired.
- However, keep in mind that you must wait 72 hours after obtaining the license to perform the ceremony. Don't forget that there is an exception for military personnel.
Part 3 of 3: Coping with Special Circumstances
Step 1. Obtain a license for the spouse who cannot attend the ceremony
If you or your partner are serving the country in combat or in a military operation abroad and are unable to attend the ceremony, you can request to submit an affidavit.
- Of course, the applicant who will be absent must complete the information on the form and this must have the legalization of a notary. Remember that the request expires 30 days after its issuance.
- Fill in the information by hand or by computer with blue or black ink and do not use proofreader. Do not forget to name a person as your representative and that that person must be present when acquiring the license. Likewise, people in prison can obtain an absent contracting form, but cannot name a representative, as they must be present to marry.
Step 2. Apply for an informal marriage license
This is a license that is granted to a cohabitant couple based on the time they have lived together and on the understanding that exists between the couple.
- In the case of a marriage by coexistence, no civil or religious ceremony is performed.
- Most states do not allow cohabitation marriages. Prove your identity with a valid driver's license, valid passport, government-issued ID card, military ID card, or a certified copy of your birth certificate or photo ID.
- Marriage licenses issued in Texas can be used in other states.
- There is a 30-day waiting period before a divorce can be granted in Texas.
- You are not required to be a resident or submit to blood tests to get married in Texas.
- First cousins cannot be married in Texas.
- Same-sex marriages are legal in Texas, as they are throughout the United States.
- You don't need witnesses to get a marriage license.