Apply For A Texas Marriage License

Do we need a Texan marriage license if we are planning to get married in Texas?

Yes, all couples must apply for and receive a marriage license from the County Clerk’s office of some county in Texas in order to get legally married in the state. Once issued, the license is good throughout Texas, regardless of where you filed your license application. For example, if you and your fiance received your marriage license from Denton County, you can still get married in Houston if you choose.

What do we need to bring with us to do to get a marriage license in Texas?

You and your fiance will need to appear together at the applicable County Clerk’s office in Texas to fill out and sign your application and pay the required license fee. Texas also requires that both applicants present either photo ID or a certified birth certificate in order to prove their age and identity when they file their application. In limited circumstances, Texas does allow marriage licenses to be issued even when one of the applicants cannot be physically present when the license application is filed. If this is your situation, your local County Clerk’s office will have more information about when this is allowed and what the proper procedures are for absentee applications.

When is the marriage license valid in Texas?

Texas has a mandatory 72 hour waiting period for after you file your application. This means that you must apply for the license more than three days before your wedding in order for your marriage to be legally valid. Couples who complete a state offered premarital education class can have the waiting period waived. Some other couples may also qualify to have the waiting period waived, such as applicants who are active duty military. Your local County Clerk will have more information on the exceptions to the waiting period. After the 72 hour waiting period is up, the marriage license remains valid for 30 days. After those 30 days, the license expires and can no longer be used to legalize your marriage.

How much do marriage licenses cost in Texas?

Because marriage licenses are issued at the county level, the marriage license fee depends on which county in Texas you apply in. Currently, most counties charge around $70 for a marriage license. If you and your fiance are residents of Texas, you can get a discount on your license fee by completing a premarital class that is provided by the state for free. The class is usually around eight hours long and is offered in locations around the state. Couples who complete the class are given a discount of $60 on their marriage license fee and the 72 hour waiting period is waived for them.  


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This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.


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