In order to be officially considered married by the state of Texas, you must first obtain a marriage license. If planning a wedding weren't enough to keep you busy, you can now add this task to your list of pre-marital duties. Luckily, the process is fairly easy and requires only a few documents.
How Old Do I Have to Be?
You must be 18 years of age in order to obtain a marriage license without parental consent. With parental consent, you can get married as young as 16.
Where Do I Go?
Visit your local county's clerk's office to request the marriage license. Most Houstonians reside in Harris County and can go to any one of the county clerk's office branches.
What Documents Do I Need?
Both the future spouses must present valid personal identification. This can be in the form of a drivers license, DPS-issued ID card, valid passport, resident alien card, certified copy of or an original birth certificate. You should also have social security numbers on hand or memorized.
Who Needs to Be There?
Both individuals planning on getting married should come together, but no other witnesses are needed. If one party can't apply for the marriage license in person, they will need to fill out an "Absent Application." These applications are available at clerk's office locations and should be filled out and notarized prior to applying for the license.
How Much Does a Marriage License Cost?
The fee for applying for a marriage license is $72. The clerk's office might not accept credit cards or checks, so it is important to remember to bring $72 in cash just in case.
When Can I Get Married?
There is a waiting period of 72 hours before using a marriage license. That waiting period is waived for military personnel with proof of military ID.
When Does the License Expire?
A marriage ceremony must be conducted within 90 days of the marriage license being issued.
Can Same-sex Couples Get a Marriage License?
Yes, same-sex marriage is now legal in the state of Texas.
Who Can Marry Us?
According to the Harris County Clerk's office, any number of individuals can perform a marriage ceremony. Here is the full list:
"Licensed or ordained Christian ministers, and priests; Jewish rabbis; persons who are officers of religious organizations and who are duly authorized by the organization to conduct marriage ceremonies; justices of the supreme court, judges of the court of criminal appeals, justices of the court of appeals, judges of the district, county, and probate courts, judges of the county court at law, courts of domestic relations and juvenile courts, retired justices and judges of such courts, justices of the peace, retired justices of the peace, judges of a municipal court, retired judge of a municipal court or judge or magistrate of the federal court of this state; and a retired judge or magistrate of a federal court of this state."
Do We Have to Get Married in Harris County?
Once the marriage license is issued, you can use it anywhere in the United States.