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Texas Wedding Laws

Texas state laws regarding marriage can be dense and confusing, but we make it easy for you to understand them with our comprehensive guide. We’ll cover everything you need to know so there are no surprises. You can make your Texas wedding big and memorable without any worries or legal issues.

Texas Marriage Requirements

Min. Age of Couple:
Age 18
Residency:
Not Required
Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
Second Cousins
Marriage Equality:
Yes

You can marry in Texas regardless of your sexual orientation or your state of residency. However, you must be at least 18 years old unless you have special approval from the court for an exception to the age restriction.

Everyone who marries must secure a marriage license. You and your partner must go in person to the court to get the license because you have to swear that the information you provide is true and accurate. False statements can lead to a Class A misdemeanor charge in the state.

Texas has a laundry list of information you have to provide when securing your marriage license. You will have to provide information about your relationship because you cannot be closer than second cousins. If either of you has a child support order, you must let the court know if you are up to date on payments or if you have a delinquency. It is also a requirement to divulge if either you are in another marriage or have gone through a divorce in the past 30 days.

You can have a proxy for the marriage ceremony, but the clerk must know of this prior to securing the license. He or she must note this on the license. The clerk also must provide you with access to online premarital information.

How to Get a Texas Marriage License

Who Picks Up License:
The Couple
Where License is Valid:
Any County in Texas
Marriage License Pick-Up:
In Person Only
Cost of License:
Varies by County
Accepted I.D. Types:
Photo ID
Proof of Divorce Required (If Applicable):
No
Blood Test Required:
No

When securing your marriage license, you need to have a photo ID. The clerk will require it when picking up the license. Acceptable identification may include a birth certificate, military ID, valid handgun license, pilot’s license or other state-issued ID.

You will also have to pay between $70 and $100 to get the license. Costs vary by county of issuance. Once issued, that marriage license is valid for ceremonies performed anywhere within the state.

You should note that if you have a divorce in your past, it must have been at least 30 days since that divorce was finalized for you to marry in Texas. You cannot get your marriage license prior to that point unless you have a court authorization to waive the 30-day period.

Applying For a Marriage License in Texas

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Religious
Mandatory Waiting Period:
72 Hours
License Valid For:
90 Days
License Must Be Submitted:
Within 30 Days of Ceremony

Your marriage license is valid for 90 days, but you need to wait at least 72 hours after you get it to marry. The state does offer exceptions to this waiting period.

You may waive it if you have taken a premarital education course in the last year. The course must have state approval. If you are active-duty military or an employee under contract of the Department of Defense, then you may also secure a waiver. A judge can also give you an exemption.

How to Become a Wedding Officiant in Texas

Min. Age of Minister:
Age 18
Residency:
Not Required
Document(s) Required:
Varies by County
Online Ordination Recognized:
Yes
Relevant Office of Registration:
County Clerk
Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
After Ceremony
Minister I.D. # Issued:
No

You must choose a minister legally recognized by the state to hold your marriage ceremony. A person not authorized may face a Class A misdemeanor charge. If the marriage involves a minor, that charge elevates to a third-degree felony.

Ministers from the Universal Life Church Ministries are legally ordained to conduct marriage ceremonies in Texas. We recommend the Classic Wedding Package for those performing weddings in this state because it contains proof of ordination to show the county clerk if requested.

Texas does recognize many officiants, including officers of religious organizations, Jewish rabbis and Christian ministers. Justices and judges may also legally conduct marriage ceremonies in the state.

Getting Married in Texas

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
Yes
Minister Required to be Present:
Yes
Number of Witnesses Required:
None
Min. Age of Witnesses:
N/A
Couple's Consent Required:
Yes
Pronouncement Required:
Yes

Using a proxy for a wedding means that someone else stands in for one of the members of the couple during the ceremony. This may be necessary for many reasons if one cannot be physically present, but the most common is when one person is deployed with the military. Most states do not allow proxies, but Texas is one of the few that does. This must be made known to the clerk at the time of obtaining the marriage license.

If the couple is using a proxy, they both must still affirm their wish to marry. The official must also pronounce them married after the ceremony. Other details of the wedding are up to personal preference and not determined by the law. As long as the couple consents and the minister makes the pronouncement, the rest of the ceremony can be in whatever style is most suitable.

Finalizing the Marriage

Officiant's Title on Marriage License:
Minister
Church/Ordaining Body:
Universal Life Church Ministries
Address of Church:
Minister's Home Address

The minister must complete the marriage license after the ceremony to make it legally recognized under the law. Not doing so can lead to a fine ranging from $200 to $500 for breaking the law.

The minister must provide his or her title, home address and church, which is the Universal Life Church Ministries. He or she must also provide the county in which the ceremony took place and the date of the wedding.