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How to Get Married in Texas

Texas Marriage Laws

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Texas Alamo Photo: U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs

You can help make your Texas wedding less stressful by knowing about the marriage laws and regulations of Texas.

Related Articles: Marriage License Laws | Benefits of Being Married | Marriage License Basics | Your Name Change Options

ID Requirement:
In Texas, you will need one valid form of id such as drivers license, certified copy of your birth certificate, U. S. passport, military ID card, and your Social Security number.

Residency Requirement:

Neither one of you have to be a resident of Texas. Texas is a great locale for a destination wedding!
 

Renewal of Vows or Secret Marriage Remarriage:

It doesn't matter if the couple was previously secretly married or just wants to renew their marriage vows, according to the Texas state laws, a county clerk must issue a marriage license to a couple who is already married to each other if they want to get married again.
 

Proxy Marriage:

Yes, but marriage by proxy in Texas is limited to individuals serving in the military and stationed outside of the country.  More about Marriage by Proxy

Prison Marriage:
Marriages cannot be conducted inside Texas prisons. As of September 2013, House Bill 869 prohibits inmates to use a proxy to get married.

"The 1987 U.S. Supreme Court decision Turner v. Safley preserves an inmate’s right to get married. But without changes to a Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) policy that prohibits weddings from being conducted inside prison facilities, inmates will no longer be able to get hitched until they’re released."
Source: Elizabeth Koh, KK Rebecca Lai. "Proxy Marriage Restrictions End Inmate Weddings." TexasTribune.org. 8/06/2013.

Pre-marital Education:
According to Texas law, couples are encouraged to attend a premarital education course that covers important marital skills and issues such as conflict management and communication and that is at least eight hours duration. It must be finished during the year preceding your applying for a marriage license. Contact the county clerk for a roster of area course providers.

Aside from the benefit of being better prepared for marriage, TwogetherInTexas.com states "Texas couples who complete a qualifying premarital education workshop will have $60.00 of the marriage license fee waived, as well as the 72-hour waiting period."

Previous Marriage:

If divorced within thirty days, Texas requires that you show a certified copy of your divorce decree stating the 30 day waiting period is waived.
 

Waiting Period in Texas:
The 72 hours (3 days) waiting period in Texas can be waived for active duty military personnel.

Fees and Other Tests:

$60 cash in most counties, so don't leave home without it! The fees may vary from Texas county to county due to other county record's fees may apply in addition to this fee.

Blood tests or medical examinations are not required in Texas.

Common Law Marriage or Informal Marriage:
Yes. Texas also refers to common law marriage as an informal marriage.

For a marriage to be declared an informal marriage in Texas, a couple has two options.

  • 1. Sign a declaration of you marriage under oath. The form is available at County Clerk's office. The Declaration and Registration of Informal Marriage asks for full names, woman's maiden surname, addresses, dates of birth, places of birth, social security numbers, and relationship information.
  • The Declaration states: "I solemnly swear (or affirm) that we, the undersigned, are married to each other by virtue of the following facts: On or about (Date) we agreed to be married, and after that date we lived together as husband and wife and in this state we represented to others that we were married. Since the date of marriage to the other party I have not been married to any other person. This declaration is true and the information in it which I have given is correct."
  • 2. Live together as husband and wife in Texas
    Represent to others that you are married.
    Agree with one another that you are married.

Individuals under the age of 18 may not enter into an informal marriage.

Child Support Statement:
A child support statement is generally included on the marriage license application and states, "I AM NOT PRESENTLY DELINQUENT IN THE PAYMENT OF COURT-ORDERED CHILD SUPPORT. TRUE FALSE." This has been the law in Texas since September 1995.

Getting Married in Texas if You Are Under 18 Years of Age:
If you are between 16 and 17 years old, you may apply for a marriage license in Texas ONLY if you have written parental consent on an official form in the presence of the county clerk or if you have received an order from the Texas district court authorizing your marriage.

Cousin Marriages:
No. S.B. No. 6

Same Sex Marriages:

No.
 

Officiants:

Persons authorized to perform weddings in Texas include licensed or ordained Christian ministers, priests, Jewish rabbis, officers authorized by religious organizations, justices of the supreme court, judges of the court of criminal appeals, justices of the courts of appeals, judges of the district, county, and probate courts, judges of the county courts at law, judges of the courts of domestic relations, judges of the juvenile courts, retired justices or judges, justices of the peace, retired justices of the peace, and judges or magistrates of a federal court of Texas.
 

Miscellaneous:

The license is valid in Texas for 30 days.
 

Copy of Certificate of Marriage:

Bureau of Vital Statistics
Texas Department of Health
P.O. Box 12040
Austin, TX 78711-2040
Phone - (512) 458-7111
 

Still Confused About Getting Married in Texas?

If you are still confused about the different terms used in the marriage license application process, check out these articles:
PLEASE NOTE:
Please note that we make every effort to offer you common-sense marriage advice and helpful information about marriage on this website, but we are not attorneys and the articles on the site are not to be construed as legal advice.

The information in this article was accurate when it was published. It is important that you verify all information with your local marriage license office or county clerk before making any wedding or travel plans.

This Marriage site has a world-wide audience and marriage laws and regulations vary from state to state and country to country. When in doubt, seek legal counsel.

Please notify us of any oversights or errors.

 

Learn More About Getting Married in Texas
Texas Marriage Information on the Web

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