The Texas marriage license is a legal document issued by the state of Texas that authorizes a couple to marry. The county clerk's office issues the marriage license, valid for 90 days. A marriage license is required in Texas for a marriage to be legally recognized.
The License contains basic information about the couple, including their names, ages, and places of birth, and confirms that they are eligible to marry. After the wedding ceremony, the marriage license must be signed by the couple, the officiant, and witnesses and then returned to the county clerk's office to be recorded.
Essential Elements of Texas Marriage License
If you're planning to get married in Texas, there are several essential elements that you need to know about obtaining a marriage license. Here are the key requirements for obtaining a Texas marriage license:
- Age Requirement : Both parties must be at least 18 to obtain a marriage license without parental consent. If either party is between 16 and 17, they can get married with parental consent. If either party is under 16 years old, they will need a court order to get married.
- Identification : Both parties must provide a valid government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, passport, or military ID. If one or both parties do not have a government-issued photo ID, they can use a certified copy of their birth certificate instead.
- Residency Requirement: There is no residency requirement for obtaining a marriage license in Texas. Couples from out of state or the country can get married in Texas.
- Waiting Period: There is a 72-hour waiting period after obtaining the marriage license before the wedding ceremony can take place. However, this waiting period can be waived if both parties attend a premarital education course.
- Application Process: Both parties must appear at the county clerk's office to complete the marriage license application. The application will ask for personal information such as name, address, and date of birth.
- Fees : The fee for a marriage license varies by county but is typically between $60 and $81. Some counties may offer discounts for couples who attend a premarital education course.
- Expiration: A marriage license is valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. If the marriage does not occur within 90 days, the license will expire, and the couple must apply for a new license.
Once the marriage license is obtained, the couple can marry anywhere in Texas within 90 days. After the marriage ceremony, the officiant must sign the license, and the couple must return it to the county clerk's office for recording.
Understanding the essential elements of obtaining a marriage license in Texas can help couples plan their wedding ceremony more efficiently and ensure their marriage is legally recognized.
Eligibility Requirements for the Texas Marriage License
The couple must meet certain eligibility requirements to obtain a marriage license in Texas. Here are some of the most important ones:
- Age: In Texas, the minimum age to get married without parental consent is 18. If one or both parties are between 16 and 17, they can get married with parental consent. If one or both parties are under 16, they can only get married with a court order.
- Identification: Both parties must present valid identification documents, such as a driver's License, passport, or birth certificate, to prove their identity and age.
- Previous Marriages: If either party has been previously married, they must show proof of the dissolution of the previous marriage, such as a divorce decree or death certificate.
- Consanguinity: In Texas, marriages between close relatives, such as siblings, parents and children, and first cousins, are prohibited.
- Competency: Both parties must be mentally competent to enter a marriage contract.
It is important to note that these requirements may vary by county, so it is recommended to check with the local county clerk's office for specific eligibility requirements before applying for a marriage license.
How to Apply for the Texas Marriage License
Couples must follow a few steps to obtain a marriage license in Texas. Here are the general steps to obtain a Texas marriage license:
- Visit the County Clerk's Office. The couple should go to the county clerk's office together to get married. They should bring valid identification documents, such as a driver's License, passport, or birth certificate.
- Complete the Application. The couple must fill out a marriage license application form provided by the county clerk's office. The application will ask for basic information about the couple, such as their names, ages, and places of birth.
- Pay the Fee. A fee for obtaining a marriage license in Texas may vary by county. The couple should be prepared to pay the fee in cash or by credit card.
- Wait for the License to be Issued. After the application and fee are submitted, the county clerk's office will process the application and issue the marriage license. The License is typically issued on the same day or within a few days, depending on the county.
- Get Married. After the marriage license is issued, the couple has 90 days to get married. A licensed officiant must perform the marriage ceremony, and the couple, the officiant, and the witnesses must sign the marriage license. After the wedding ceremony, the officiant will submit the signed License to the county clerk's office for recording.
It is essential to note that the specific steps and requirements may vary by county, so couples should check with their local county clerk's office for more information.
Key Terms for the Texas Marriage License
- Officiant: A person legally authorized to perform a wedding ceremony and sign the marriage license.
- Dissolution: The legal termination of a marriage, either by divorce or death of a spouse, which must be proved by providing a court order or death certificate to obtain a marriage license.
- License Fee: The fee charged by the county clerk's office to issue a marriage license varies by county and must be paid at the time of application.
- Validity Period: The 90 days the couple must get married after the License is issued; otherwise, the License will expire, and a new one must be obtained.
- Waiting Period: The waiting period between when the marriage license is applied and when it is issued varies by county and may be waived under certain circumstances, such as military deployment.
Final Thoughts on the Texas Marriage License
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