Texas Marriage License

If you're getting married in Texas, you must first apply for a marriage license.
It'll cost you $65.00 to $88.00, and you'll have to use it within 90 days.

See FAQ Offices

Where to Apply

Where do I get a marriage license in Texas?

To get married in Texas, apply for a marriage license at any Texas county clerk's office.

Where can I find a nearby county clerk's office?

A list of Texas county clerk offices are at the bottom of the page.

Informal Marriage

What is an informal marriage?

In Texas, informal marriage for legal adults has three rules:

  1. Agree to be married
  2. Live together in Texas as married
  3. Present yourselves to others as married

How does informal and common-law marriage differ?

In Texas, an informal marriage is the same as common-law marriage.

What's a declaration and registration of informal marriage?

You may register your informal marriage at a county clerk's office to record its existence.

Residency

Must I live in Texas to apply?

You need not be a Texas resident to marry in the state.

Must I at lease be a U.S. citizen to marry?

Non-U.S. citizens may get married in Texas.

Costs

Note: Each county sets their own marriage-related fees…

How much is a marriage license?

A Texas marriage license costs $65 to $88.

How much is an informal marriage license?

It costs $30 to $82 to file a declaration and registration of informal marriage.

How much is a certified marriage certificate?

A certified copy of your marriage certificate costs $10 to $20.

Someone told me I could get the license fee discounted?

There's a $60 max discount for completing Twogether in Texas premarital education.

Usage

Where can I use my license?

Your Texas marriage license may be used anywhere in the state.

Can I get married outside the state?

You may not use your marriage license outside the state's lands or waterways.

Can I use another state's marriage license?

An out-of-state marriage license is invalid.

Application

What does the marriage license application ask for?

The marriage license application asks the following under oath or affirmation:

  • Name
    • First, middle, last, suffix
  • Maiden name
  • Address
    • Street, city, state, zip
  • Birthdate
  • Birthplace
    • Including county
  • Phone number
  • Social security number
  • Address to mail recorded license
    • One address for both
    • Certified copy sent after marriage

There are five true/false questions:

  • You're unmarried
    • False okay if remarrying current spouse
  • Co-applicant is unmarried
    • Same as above…
    • False okay if remarrying current spouse
  • Not divorced in last 30 days
    • False okay with court waiver
    • False okay if remarrying divorced spouse
  • Not delinquent in child support
    • False will not stop licensure
  • Not related within a prohibited degree
    • Ascendant, descendant, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, first cousin
    • Includes stepparents and stepchildren
    • Includes whole and half blood
    • Includes adoptions

What does the absentee application ask for?

Besides the regular application questions, the affidavit of absent applicant asks:

  • Who you'll marry
    • Name
    • Maiden name
    • Age
    • Address
  • Reason for absence
  • Name of ceremony proxy
    • Optional
    • May not be co-applicant
    • For U.S. armed forces stationed overseas
  • Approximate marriage date
  • Notary
    • Name
    • Title
    • Signature
    • Seal

What does the informal marriage application ask for?

The declaration and registration of informal marriage form is the same as the regular form, but also asks for your marriage date.

Can I download a blank marriage license application?

You may download the marriage license, absentee, or informal marriage form for sample use only.

Attendance

Can I apply absentee?

You may apply absentee for any reason with a notarized affidavit of absent applicant.

Can we both apply absentee?

Both applicants may apply absentee if both are in the U.S. armed forces stationed overseas.

How old must I be to apply absentee?

You must be at least 18 years old to apply absentee. So must the other applicant.

How do I prove I'm military stationed overseas?

Military members need not prove their overseas post. Just declare it as fact.

Who submits the absentee form?

Any adult may turn in one or both absentee forms with the absentee's ID.

Age Requirements

How old must I be to marry?

Aged 18 and above?

If you're at least 18 years old, you may marry without parental or court approval.

Aged 16 and 17?

If you're 16 or 17 years old, you may marry if you're emancipated.

Aged 15 and below?

If you're 15 years old or younger, you may not marry in Texas.

What are the underage marriage rules?

Did the law change?

On July 15, 2017, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed HB3932, which toughens child marriage laws. It went into effect September 1, 2017.

What did the law change?

Emancipation replaces court hearings. The minimum age of marriage is now 16.

Is parental consent needed?

Parental consent is not required for a minor to marry.

How do I prove I'm emancipated?

Show a certified copy of the court order that removes your disabilities of minority.

Do I have to be emancipated in Texas?

Your emancipation court order may come from Texas or another state.

Premarital Education

Why take a premarital education course?

Complete 8+ hours of premarital education and save up to $60 off the license fee and waiver of the 72-hour waiting period.

How do I find a course or provider?

You may search for nearby courses and registered providers or phone 877-541-7905.

When should I take a course?

Complete your course within one year of applying for a marriage license.

Waiting Period

When will I get my marriage license?

You'll get your marriage license right after applying, but must wait 72-hours to use it.

How do I get the 72-hour waiting period waived?

Are you military?

The 72-hour wait does not apply to active duty U.S. military members.

Do you work for the DoD?

The 72-hour wait does not apply to Department of Defense employees or contractors.

Do you have a court waiver?

You may ask a judge to waive the 72-hour wait time for good cause.

Did you complete premarital education?

An unexpired premarital education completion certificate waives the 72-hour wait.

Expiration

How long will my marriage license last?

Your marriage license will remain valid for 90 days after issuance.

Identification

Do I have to show ID?

Bring proof of identity and age with one of the following unexpired forms of ID:

  • Driver's license or state ID card
    • U.S. or Canadian
    • Less than two years expired
  • Passport
    • U.S. or foreign
    • Foreign passport must have visa
  • Military ID card
    • Must have photo
    • Includes dependents
    • Active duty, reserve, or retired
  • Birth certificate
    • State-, consular-, or government-issued
    • Original or certified copy
  • USCIS document
    • Visa
    • Green card
    • Citizenship certificate
    • Naturalization certificate
    • Citizen ID card (Form I-197)
    • Employment authorization card (EAD)
  • Temporary ID card
    • ID card
    • Driving permit
    • Issued by TxDPS
  • Consular document
    • Includes birth documents
    • State or national government
  • Court order
    • Name or sex change
    • Original or certified copy
  • School record
    • High school and above
  • Insurance policy
    • Active the past two years
  • Offender ID card
    • Issued by TX Department of Criminal Justice
  • Miscellaneous licenses and certificates
    • Car title
    • Pilot's license
    • Handgun carry license
    • Voter registration certificate
    • DD Form 214, discharge certificate
    • Divorce decree or marriage certificate

Do I have to show my birth certificate?

You need not show your birth certificate.

Do I have to show my social security card?

You need not show your social security card. Just know the number.

How do I show ID if applying by absentee affidavit?

Whoever's applying on your behalf must bring your ID. It may not be a photocopy.

Blood Test

Is a blood test required?

Texas got rid of the premarital syphilis and STD blood test provision in 1983.

Divorced

Do I have to show I'm divorced?

You do not have to show your divorce decree.

How soon can I marry after divorce?

You must wait 30 days to apply for a marriage license following divorce.

How do I get around the 30-day divorce wait?

If you're not remarrying your divorced spouse, get a court order to bypass the wait.

Widowed

Do I have to show I'm widowed?

You do not have to show a death certificate.

How soon can I remarry following a spouse's death?

There is no waiting period between the death of a spouse and remarriage.

Name Change

How do I change my name through marriage?

You may submit your name change forms with a certified copy of your marriage certificate.

Witnesses

Do I need witnesses?

You do not need a witness at your marriage ceremony.

Can I still have a witness sign my marriage license?

Only your officiant may sign the marriage license. Not even you may sign it.

The Ceremony

Who can conduct our marriage?

A judge, justice, magistrate, or approved officer of a religious body may solemnize your marriage.

Does my officiant need to register in Texas?

Texas does not register or vouch for officiants.

Can we self-solemnize our marriage ceremony?

You may not self-solemnize your marriage ceremony. You must use an officiant.

License Return

When must my marriage license be returned?

Your officiant must return the marriage license to the issuing county clerk within 30 days after marriage.

Marriage Certificate

How do I get a copy of my marriage certificate?

You may buy a certified copy of your marriage certificate from the county clerk who issued you your marriage license.

Proxy Marriage

Can I get married by proxy?

You may marry by proxy if you apply by proxy and are a member of the U.S. armed forces stationed overseas.

How do I appoint a stand-in?

You must name your proxy when applying for a marriage license.

Prohibited Marriage

Can I marry a cousin?

You may not marry a first cousin.

Can I marry a family member?

You may not marry up or down your family line. This extends to siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and first cousins.

Can I marry a half-blood relation?

You may not marry a half blood relation. Texas treats it the same as whole blood.

Can I marry a stepchild or stepparent?

You may not marry a current or prior stepchild or stepparent.

Can I marry someone I'm related to by adoption?

Texas treats relationships by adoption the same as blood relations.

Common-law Marriage

Does Texas allow common-law marriage?

Common-law marriage is legal in Texas, where it's called informal marriage.

Vow Renewal

Can I get a vow renewal marriage license?

You may apply for a marriage license to renew your vows or remarry your spouse.

Office Locations

Where will you apply?

Comments

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  1. Hi, I and girlfriend are both Chinese with J1 visa and B1 visa, respectively. We want to get married in Hoston. What documents should we prepare? Do we need certification from china-consulate before marriage?

    Thanks,

    1. Hi Litong. Your visas alone will serve as sufficient ID to get married in Houston or anywhere else in Texas. The county clerk simply needs to verify your name and age, which your visas will supply.

  2. Hello! I'm living in Spain, have a German passport and my fiance lives in the US, we are planning to get married in around a year in the US, Texas, would my passport and visa be enough as documents or is there anything else I should take with me? Thanks a lot!

    1. would my passport and visa be enough as documents

      That's all the identification you need to bring.

      1. I won't be needing my birth certificate? That's perfect then. Thanks a lot for the help!

        1. Thanks a lot for the help!

          You're welcome. Best of luck to you.

  3. can you marry in Texas with a mexican passport and an expired visa?

    1. Hi hopeful. Foreign passports are clearly accepted in Texas marriage statutes. The visa provision is a documented request by some county clerks, but not explicitly spelled out in Texas law.

      An expired visa with foreign passport is enough for TxDPS, but that may not necessarily be the case for the county clerk you visit. Bottom line, contact the county clerk's office to determine if their specific office requires an unexpired visa. If they do, ask if they're willing to waive it or accept a supplemental identity document.

      1. So a foreign passport can be used as a form of Acceptable id to obtain a marriage license in Texas?

        1. So a foreign passport can be used as a form of Acceptable id

          Yes, a foreign passport is acceptable ID.

  4. Can you Marry in Texas with a Mexican ID?

    1. Can you Marry in Texas with a Mexican ID?

      It depends on what form of Mexican ID it is. If it's a passport, that would work great. Foreign passports are on the officially approved list of IDs.

      Anything beyond that and you'll have to contact the county clerk ahead of time to determine if they'll accept an alternate identity document. Clerks have the authority to unilaterally accept or reject alternative forms of ID.

  5. Once we obtain a marriage license and wait the 72 hours, can we go anywhere in Texas and get married? For instance, can we drive to a small town and find a little chapel and get married on a whim?

    1. can we go anywhere in Texas and get married?

      Your Texas marriage license may be used anywhere in Texas. Any town. Any chapel.

  6. Can I get a license if i want to marry my spouse again for the ceremony if we are already married through an informal marriage?

    1. Hi Merchi. Yes, you may apply for a second marriage license to remarry your current spouse. The steps are the same. The fee is the same.

  7. Question: I’m a U.S. service member and my fiancé is a citizen of Serbia living with permanent residency in Germany. What documents would we need to get married in Texas?

    She has her Serbian passport but want to make sure before to fly together to Texas. Lastly, would our marriage certificate be recognized in Germany?

    Thank you!

    1. What documents would we need to get married in Texas?

      She would need to bring her passport and visa. You would need your own photo ID, such as your military ID card.

      Lastly, would our marriage certificate be recognized in Germany?

      Yes, your marriage certificate will be recognized.

  8. I am engaged to a man from Canada and want to get married. I want to stay in Texas and he drives a 18 wheeler and comes thru town couple times a week and he wants to stay a Canadian resident and I want to stay a Texas resident.

    What is extra needs to be done in order for us to be married and would it be seen as a legal marriage for Canada?

    1. What is extra needs to be done in order for us to be married

      Nothing extra needs to be done. Just make sure your fiance brings his Canadian driver's license or passport. Bring your ID as well.

      and would it be seen as a legal marriage for Canada?

      Yes, of course.

  9. Can I get marriage license in Texas with a Mexican driver's license

    1. Hi Benny. You may have to bring a passport and visa instead. You may want to contact the county clerk's office you plan to apply in to confirm if they'll accommodate alternative forms of ID.

  10. Hello, what we need to apply for a marriage license, my fiancé and myself are Texas residents and we are divorced for previous marriages .

    1. my fiancé and myself are Texas residents and we are divorced for previous marriages

      If either divorce was within the past 30 days, you'll have to wait to apply. Other than that, bring ID.

  11. How do I go about getting married at the courthouse?

    1. Hi TJ. Your county clerk's office should be able to provide you with a referral to a justice of the peace. You'll have to book an appointment for your civil ceremony, which can either take place at the courthouse or at another agreed upon location.

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