Here's what you need to know and what documents to bring with you before you apply for a marriage license in Harris County. We recommend getting this legal aspect of your wedding out of the way about a month before your ceremony date.
Requirements may vary as each county in Texas could have their own requirements.
In Texas, you will need one valid form of id such as drivers license, certified copy of your birth certificate, U. S. passport, military ID card, and your Social Security number.
Neither one of you have to be a resident of Texas. Texas is a great locale for a destination wedding!
In Texas, couples are encouraged to attend a premarital education course that is at least four hours duration. It must be finished during the year preceding applying for a marriage license. Contact the county clerk for a roster of area course providers.
If divorced within thirty days, Texas requires that you show a certified copy of your divorce decree stating the 30 day waiting period is waived.
Waiting Period in Texas:
The 72 hours (3 days) waiting period in Texas can be waived for active duty military personnel.
$31 - $71 cash, so don't leave home without it! The fees may vary from Texas county to county. Blood tests or medical examinations are not required in Texas.
NOTE: Effective September 2008, the license fee will be waived if a couple takes an 8-hour premarital preparation course that covers important marital skills and issues such as conflict management and communication.
Common Law Marriage or Informal Marriage:
Yes. Texas also refers to common law marriage as an informal
For a marriage to be declared an informal marriage in Texas, a couple has two options.
1. Sign a declaration of their marriage under oath. The form is available at County Clerk's office.
The Declaration and Registration of Informal Marriage asks for full names, woman's maiden surname, addresses, dates of birth, places of birth, social security numbers, and relationship information.
The Declaration states: "I solemnly swear (or affirm) that we, the undersigned, are married to each other by virtue of the following facts: On or about (Date) we agreed to be married, and after that date we lived together as husband and wife and in this state we represented to others that we were married. Since the date of marriage to the other party I have not been married to any other person. This declaration is true and the information in it which I have given is correct."
2. Live together as husband and wife in Texas
Represent to others that they are married.
Agree with one another that they are married.
Individuals under the age of 18 may not enter into an informal marriage.
Getting a marriage license with your new name on it does not mean your name has automatically changed. If you need to change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
Renewal of Vows or Secret Marriage Remarriage:
According to the Texas state laws, a county clerk must issue a marriage license to a couple who is already married to each other.
Yes. In Texas, any adult person can apply on behalf of an applicant who is unable to appear personally before the county clerk. An affidavit of absence form must be provided. If you are incarcerated and are unable to be present for your wedding ceremony, you can also request a Prison Proxy form.
S.B. No. 6
Same Sex Marriages:
Persons authorized to perform weddings in Texas include licensed or ordained Christian ministers, priests, Jewish rabbis, officers authorized by religious organizations, justices of the supreme court, judges of the court of criminal appeals, justices of the courts of appeals, judges of the district, county, and probate courts, judges of the county courts at law, judges of the courts of domestic relations, judges of the juvenile courts, retired justices or judges, justices of the peace, retired justices of the peace, and judges or magistrates of a federal court of Texas.
Please Note: State and county marriage license
requirements often change. The above information is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice. Check with Harris County Clerk for changes and clarifications in the requirements before you leave home to apply for your marriage license.