Texas Marriage Laws

Written and edited for accuracy by the Texas marriage law researchers at the Universal Life Church on

Couples looking to plan their wedding in the Lone Star state will be forced to parse through some of the densest and most detailed marriage laws anywhere in the country. To make things easier, couples and ministers can simply follow the comprehensive guide we’ve compiled below. It may help ensure your Texas wedding is big on unforgettable memories and light on unwanted legal headaches.

Requirements for the Minister

Min. Age of Minister:
Age 18
Not Required
Document(s) Required:
Varies by County
Online Ordination Recognized:
Relevant Office of Registration:
County Clerk
Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
After Ceremony
Minister I.D. # Issued:

Christian ministers, Jewish rabbis and anyone considered to be an officer of a religious organization is legally allowed to solemnize a marriage in the state of Texas, as are judges and justices of all recognized courts, whether retired or not. Please keep in mind that all ministers ordained by the Universal Life Church Ministries are viewed as legal “religious” actors in the U.S., including Texas.

That being said, ministers who conduct a marriage ceremony knowing full well they aren’t authorized to do so will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. Any minister who marries an unauthorized minor is also guilty of a felony of the third degree. Thankfully, ministers ordained by the ULC are fully able to perform wedding ceremonies in the Lone Star State! We recommend Texas ministers order the Classic Wedding Package, which has proof of ordination, should the county clerk's office wish to see that.

Wedding Ceremony Requirements

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
Minister Required to be Present:
Number of Witnesses Required:
Min. Age of Witnesses:
Couple's Consent Required:
Pronouncement Required:

Texas is one of the few states in the country which allows a proxy to stand in for either party in a couple in the event one person cannot be present for the ceremony, provided the couple has attested to it in the affidavit section of the marriage license. This is designed primarily for active members of the US military in combat missions abroad.

Regardless, the couple (and proxy) must still provide some form of spoken consent to the marriage (a simple "I do" will suffice) which the officiating minister will follow by pronouncing the marriage official during the ceremony.

Marriage License Requirements

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):
Blood Test Required:

The couple must pick up the marriage license in person. The state of Texas allows for a wide range of acceptable photo IDs to verify personal info, everything from driver’s licenses, passports and birth certificates to valid military dependent IDs, pilot’s licenses and yes, even a valid handgun license.

Although Texas does not require proof of divorce, it does mandate that divorced couples wait 30 days after the divorce is finalized before any new marriage license application is filed – unless that waiting period is waived by an authorized court.

The cost of a marriage license will range from $70 to $100 depending on the specific county in which it is issued. All licenses can be used across the entire state.

Marriage License Facts

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

The great majority of couples looking to get married in Texas must be prepared to wait 72 hours between the time they receive the license and perform the ceremony.

Exceptions will be made for armed forces members on active duty, Department of Defense employees under contract and couples who have either completed a sanctioned premarital education course in the last year and have the certificate to prove it, or otherwise earned a legal exemption by a relevant judge. All marriage licenses granted in Texas are valid for a period of 90 days.

Requirements for the Couple

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

The minimum age to marry in the state of Texas is 18 years old. Minors will need special court approval to become exceptions to that rule. Couples hailing from any corner of the country (or the world for that matter) are more than welcome, as are same sex couples.

As far as applying for a marriage license is concerned, Texas lays out very specific requirements as to what information couples must provide the state clerk, including divulging whether either member of the couple is married or has been divorced in the last 30 days, is blood-related beyond second cousins or is delinquent in any court-ordered child-support payments – the last of which, on its own, isn’t enough to justify the refusal of a marriage license. Couples will have to swear an oath, in person, to the veracity of all the info provided, acknowledging that purposely providing false or misleading information will be considered a Class A misdemeanor in the state.

Before issuing the license, the clerk will need to take note of any proxy that will stand in for either member of the couple not present during the wedding ceremony, and must point the couple to relevant HIV/Aids and other premarital course material online.

Final Steps

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

Any minister asked or hired to officiate a wedding in Texas will be responsible for recording the date and county in which the ceremony takes place. Usually, the license will also ask that minister list their title, relevant church (Universal Life Church Ministries) and a home address.

Failure to do adequately and accurately fill out the marriage license will be deemed an offense resulting in a fine ranging between $200 and $500.

Interested in Performing a Texas wedding?

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