Obtaining A Marriage License

Tags: Advice, Articles, First Steps, General info., marriage laws, marriage license,

There is a big change coming to Texas’ marriage license laws that not only might save you money, but possibly also save your marriage.

While a new law, passed by the 80th Texas Legislature, doubles the marriage license fee, it also provides an avenue to get your marriage license almost free. Beginning September 2008, the cost for a marriage license doubles from $30 to $60, plus local fees which range from $6 to $12.

However, couples taking a state-approved, 8-hour premarital course will have the $60 license fee waived. The course must be completed within one year before the wedding to qualify. Courses will cover topics such as conflict management, communications skills and other key components of a successful marriage.

The goal of the new law is to hopefully reduce the number of divorces in Texas. Couples who do not take a course will still be able to get a license, but will have to pay the full $60 plus local fees.

Marriage licenses will continue to be issued by each of the county courthouses and be valid throughout the state of Texas.

To receive your license you must…

  • Both apply in person with proper I.D. (i.e. Driver’s License, Birth Certificate, passport)
  • No blood test is necessary
  • Pay cash only.
  • Legal age is 18; if under 18 bring a certified copy of your birth certificate and a parent or legal guardian with their proof of I.D.
  • You must wait 30 days until after your divorce is final but do not need to bring your divorce decree.
  • Your marriage license is valid for 30 days

There is a 72-hour waiting period after your license is issued before you may be married. Exceptions are if you are an active duty military person, have completed the premarital course or for any one who receives a waiver from any district judge.