Marriage is a wonderful blessing that couples can enjoy, sharing their love for a lifetime and building a beautiful family together. But before the happily ever after starts, it’s best to know how to get married especially in the state of Texas.
The main document that a couple should get is a marriage license. If you’re wondering how to secure one, here’s what you need to do to get a marriage license in Texas:
Getting a marriage license in Texas
Before you go ahead and take that prized marriage license to marry each other, you both need to show the following documents and submit before you get a marriage license.
Here are the documents/requirements for the same:
- You should be at least 18 years old and above.
- A latest valid government ID (example: passport, driver’s license or social security)
- A filled out marriage license application form, duly signed
- Fees for the application processing
Where to get the marriage license?
You can apply for a marriage license at the County Clerk’s Office (any Texas county will do). The lone star state is not strict for the residents to apply to the same county that they live. You can apply to any county as long as you are in Texas. But to make everything convenient for both you and your fiancé, it’s best to apply in the county near you or where you live.
Take note that the you must write for the accomplished marriage license to the same county that you applied. If you applied too far, it might be a burden in the future. Stick to the nearest county if possible to avoid this problem and to make the processing much faster.
The process for securing a marriage license
- Submitting the Application Form to the County Clerk’s Office
Make sure that you and your fiancé were able to bring all the documents required by the county upon submitting the application. Double check your documents before leaving the house to save time and avoid missing any documents.
- Oath taking and Signing of Application Form
Upon submitting your application, you will need to state the oath as specified on the application together with your fiancé.
After the oath taking, you will need to sign the papers agreeing to accept all terms and regulations regarding the marriage license.
- Application Processing Fees
The last process for the application is to pay a fee required to process your marriage license. You can call ahead at the county clerk’s office to know about the fees on how much to bring on your appointment. It’s best to bring cash since some counties might only accept cash payments.
- Wait for the Releasing of the Document
Depending on the county that you applied, on a good day, marriage licenses are released within the day upon application. If there are problems occurring (which are very rare), it could take more than that especially if you lacked the requirements during the application processing.
Take note that there’s a waiting period before you use the newly issued marriage license and have the wedding commence. You need to wait at least 72 hours before you can use the marriage license to anywhere you prefer to marry. The marriage license is valid to use within 90 days after its date of issue.
Important tips before the application
- It’s best that you and your fiancé plan out the wedding ahead of time so you have extra time to process documentations such as securing a marriage license. We also recommend to hire a wedding planner to help you organize your wedding checklist. Most wedding planners are experienced in handling documentations as well.
- Apply for a marriage license weeks or a month before your wedding date just to be sure. Remember that the marriage license is only valid for 90 days. You need to perfectly time and strategize your processing before the wedding date arrives.
- If you notice that your government IDs are expiring and needs updating, update it immediately. The last thing you want is to incur delays during the processing of the marriage license just because your documents are outdated and not ready. Make this a priority.
- There are exemptions for the 72 hour waiting period for the marriage license. Military members or Department of Defence members are exempted from this law. This is due to their unpredictable demands at work that gives them a priority to use the marriage license during their scheduled date.
- Be ready to process more legal documentations while organizing a wedding. It doesn’t end with just securing a marriage license, you still need to know the laws about performing a wedding, getting a permit to perform weddings in public places and dealing with change of name.
David Nilsen is the former editor of Fourth & Sycamore. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can find more of his writing on his website at davidnilsenwriter.com and follow him on Twitter as @NilsenDavid.