A marriage license is valid for ninety days from issuance. A
seventy-two hour waiting period is required from the time the
marriage license is issued until the wedding can take place
unless, one of the applicants is in the military or a waiver of
the waiting period is obtained from a District or County Court-at-Law Judge. Therefore,
the wedding must take place at least 72 hours after the license
is issued and before ninety days have passed from the date the
license is issued.
Obtaining a Marriage License
Each applicant should bring valid identification (driver’s
license, certified copy of birth certificate, DPS issued
identification card or a passport) when applying for the
marriage license. Both applicants must swear or affirm that the
information provided is correct and both sign the application
for the marriage license.
Applicants can complete an online
on our Online Public Records website to expedite the process, but will still have to appear at the
County Clerk’s office with valid identification to complete the application process. Be
sure to inform the clerk you have completed the online application.
New law states that the ONLY time a County Clerk can issue a
marriage license when both applicants are absent is when the
applicants are members of the armed forces of the United States
stationed in another country in support of combat or another
The law still allows for one (1) absent applicant, and there are
no restrictions on who can be an absent applicant. An absent
applicant form must be completed, signed by the absent
applicant, and notarized before being submitted with the absent
applicant’s proper (ORIGINAL) identification.
Appointing a proxy to stand in during the ceremony:
The only absent applicant that can appoint someone to stand in
during the ceremony is a member of the armed forces of the
United States stationed in another country in support of combat
or another military operation and unable to attend the ceremony.
The proxy must be listed on the absent applicant form and
cannot be changed.
All other applicants will have to be present for the ceremony.
WE DO NOT ACCEPT CHECKS FOR A MARRIAGE LICENSE. The cost is
$82.00 in CASH OR CREDIT/DEBIT CARD ONLY, unless you have taken
the “TWOGETHER IN TEXAS” workshop. What is Twogether in Texas?
It is a state program working in partnership with a federal
Healthy Marriage Initiative which:
- Is effective September 1, 2008.
Allows a couple who attends an eight-hour, qualifying premarital
education course to forgo the 72 hour waiting period after
applying for a marriage license.
- Reduces the marriage license fee from $82.00 to $22.00
- The course completion certificate is good for one year.
Who should a couple contact to obtain more information on the
state sponsored premarital education classes?
Once the license has been issued, it is given to the applicants
present it to the officiating authority
authorized to conduct the wedding. The
authority should subscribe the date of marriage and his/her
signature to the license, and return it to our office.
A county clerk may not issue a marriage license if either
applicant is under 18 years of age, unless each underage
applicant shows that the applicant has been granted by this
state or another state a court order removing the disabilities
of minority of the applicant for general purposes.
When will I receive the recorded Marriage License?
After the license is returned to our office for recording, it
may take up to 7-10 business days to receive your original
license in the mail. However, if it is needed sooner, a
certified copy of the license and application may be obtained
from our office for $7.00. (If you are going to change your last
name you will need a certified copy to take to the Social
Security Administration and the Department of Public Safety
Unused Marriage Licenses
If for any reason the marriage license is unused, please return
it to our office along with a note stating that it was unused.
If the license is never returned with an explanation, the record
reflects that it was issued but not recorded, therefore the
outcome is unknown.
Declarations of Informal Marriage
A couple may sign a Declaration of Informal Marriage (Texas
Family Code, Subchapter E). To be eligible for an informal
license, both participants must be over 18.
Obtaining a Declaration of Informal Marriage
The couple must bring the following to the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office:
Proof of identity and age using documents approved by state
law. These may include an official copy of the applicant’s birth
certificate, a driver’s license or state-issued identification
card, or an approved document issued by Texas or another state,
the United States, or a foreign government (i.e., passport,
visa, military identification, etc.).
The Social Security Number of each applicant (if the applicant
has one). Applicants do not need to show a Social Security Card.
At the Clerk’s Office, the couple will complete a Declaration of
Informal Marriage License and pay the $47.00 fee. The
Declaration of Informal Marriage will show the date the couple
agreed to be married. The date can be the current date or any
prior date the couple could legally marry.
List of Local Judges Who Perform Marriage Ceremonies
72 Hour Waiver Form
Affidavit of Absent Applicant