So you live in Travis County and have plans to get married. Congratulations! A very important part of planning the wedding is to secure your marriage license. While there are a few tricky rules, obtaining the license is much easier than picking out the dress. Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions related to getting your marriage license in Austin.
Where do I get my marriage license?
You will get it from the county clerk’s office.
Most of Austin is located in Travis County, and the county clerk’s office is located at 5501 Airport Boulevard. It is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, to get married in Texas, you can obtain the license at any county courthouse in the state.
What are the steps for acquiring my marriage license?
1. Go to a Texas county clerk’s office
2. Prove your identity and age with supporting documents
3. Fill out the application for a marriage license
4. Take the oath on the application
5. Sign the application in the presence of the county clerk
What documentation do I need to bring with me to get my marriage license?
The bride and groom both need to bring personal identification; this can be a certified copy of a birth certificate or a certificate, license or document issued by Texas, another state, the United States or even a foreign government. You also need to have your Social Security number available, though you don’t need to bring the card if you have the number memorized.
You also need to bring $81 in cash to pay the fee; checks are not accepted.
Does the marriage license ever expire?
Yes, if the marriage ceremony hasn’t been conducted 89 days after the issuance of the marriage license, it will expire on the 90th day. After that period passes, the couple will have to purchase a new license if they still want to get married.
What about same-sex marriage?
With the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that made same-sex marriages the same as all other marriages throughout the United States, Texas has mostly fallen into line and started issuing same-sex marriage licenses. You won't encounter any obstacles in Travis County, but according to the Texas Tribune, some county clerks in other Texas counties are still trying to find ways to skirt the law.
Is there a waiting period after obtaining the license?
Yes, a marriage ceremony cannot take place in the 72-hour period after a marriage license is issued. There are exceptions to this rule if you are an active member of the United States armed forces, if you perform work for the Department of Defense as an employee or under a contract, if you obtain a written waiver or if you can provide proof that you took a qualified premarital education course within a year of applying for the marriage license.
Are there any marriage license rules related to divorce?
Yes. If you are recently divorced and want to get married, you must wait until 30 days after the divorce decree is filed in order to obtain a new marriage license. If you want to get married before the 30-day period ends, you need a waiver from the court.
If a woman wants to use her maiden name on the marriage license, she must provide a certified copy of her birth certificate or a certified copy of the divorce decree that shows the restored maiden name.
Do I need to be a Texas resident to get married here?
No, you don’t have to be a Texas resident.
Can someone under 18 get married in Austin?
This became a bit more complicated as of September 1, 2017. Previously, the person just needed to provide documents proving parental consent. Other documents that were required included those establishing that a prior marriage of the person had been dissolved or a court order authorizing the marriage. Now, Texas Family Code 2.003 has been modified to say that “A person under the age of 18 years of age may not marry unless the person has been granted by this state or another state a court order removing the disabilities of minority of the person for general purposes.”
Is a blood test required to get married?
No, but the county clerk is required to give you printed information about AIDS and HIV. Make sure you discuss your health and other issues before making the big commitment.
Is premarital education required to get married?
No, but the county and state strongly encourage a premarital education course of at least eight hours during the year before you apply for the marriage license. Several classes are offered by Twogether in Texas.
What is an informal marriage license?
If you’re looking for almost all the same paperwork but slightly less of a commitment, the county also offers an informal marriage license. The couple still has to provide proof of identity (social security numbers, birth certificates) and pay a $46 fee. The Declaration of Informal Marriage will indicate the date the couple has agreed to get married.