Common-law marriage has diverse names, from "marriage in fact", "marriage by repute and habit", "informal…
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.
What is an informal marriage?
In Texas, informal marriage for legal adults has three rules:
- Agree to be married
- Live together in Texas as married
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
What does the marriage license application ask for?
The marriage license application asks the following under oath or affirmation:
- First, middle, last, suffix
- Maiden name
- Street, city, state, zip
- 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
- Maiden name
- Reason for absence
- Name of ceremony proxy
- May not be co-applicant
- For U.S. armed forces stationed overseas
- Approximate marriage date
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
How long will my marriage license last?
Your marriage license will remain valid for 90 days after issuance.
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
- 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
- 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.
Is a blood test required?
Texas got rid of the premarital syphilis and STD blood test provision in 1983.
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.
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.
How do I change my name through marriage?
You may submit your name change forms with a certified copy of your marriage certificate.
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.
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.
When must my marriage license be returned?
Your officiant must return the marriage license to the issuing county clerk within 30 days after marriage.
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.
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.
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.
Does Texas allow common-law marriage?
Common-law marriage is legal in Texas, where it's called informal marriage.
Can I get a vow renewal marriage license?
You may apply for a marriage license to renew your vows or remarry your spouse.