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How to Find Texas Marriage Records

Texas marriage records are documents that provide details and serve as proof of marriages that were contracted in the state. These records contain several vital information including the names of the parties involved as well as the times and locations of marriage ceremonies. Some marriage records include marriage applications and parental consent affidavits.

Are Texas Marriage Records Public?

Marriage records are public records in Texas. Therefore, members of the public can inspect and make copies of these documents. However, access to certain records may be restricted. For example, while anyone can request plain copies of Texas marriage certificates, certified copies are only available to those named on these records, their immediate family members, and designated attorneys.

Family Court records can include marriage records and divorce records. These records contain personal information of those involved and their maintenance is critical should anyone involved wish to make changes. Because of this both marriage and divorce records can be considered more difficult to locate and obtain than other public records, and may not be available through government sources or third party public record websites.

What are Texas Marriage Records?

A Texas marriage record is the complete documentation of a marriage contracted in Texas. It contains the essential details found in a marriage certificate. A complete marriage record includes the application for a marriage license, the license itself, and other post-nuptial documents issued to the couple.

Both government websites and organizations may offer divorce and marriage records. Similarly, third party public record websites can also provide these types of records. But because third party organizations are not operated or sponsored by the government, record availability may vary. Further, marriage and divorce records are considered highly private and are often sealed, meaning availability of these types of records cannot be guaranteed.

What are Texas Marriage Licenses?

A marriage license is a legal document that authorizes a marital union between two parties. This document is a requirement in Texas for a prospective couple. Before getting this license, the two individuals intending to get married must fulfil all requirements for marriage in Texas. Such requirements include parental consents for underage applications.

After meeting these requirements, the county clerk of the county where the marriage is billed to occur then issues a marriage license to the intending couple. This license grants permission to an authorized officiant to perform the marriage ceremony. Marriage licenses issued in Texas are only valid for marriage ceremonies held within the state.

How to Change Your Name After Marriage in Texas

Residents who plan to perform a name after marriage in Texas must first secure their marriage certificate. The marriage certificate is the official document that legalizes the name change. Texas marriage certificates are available at any county clerk's office. Requesters must provide a government-issued photo ID and have their social security number on hand. They must also pay an application fee between $65 to $88.

Individuals interested in performing a name change after marriage will need to have certified copies of their marriage license when submitting applications. These certified copies are also available from the county clerk's office.

Once the newlyweds receive their marriage license, the next step in changing their name after marriage is applying for a new social security card. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is responsible for social security cards and makes any necessary alterations for free. Interested persons must download and complete a social security card application form, making sure to write their birth name and married name. Applicants submit the application form along with a certified copy of their marriage license and a state-issued photo ID.

With the name change effected on their social security card, the person seeking a name change can apply to change the name on their driver's license at their local DMV. They can also inform their employer about the name change, so there are no errors when paying salaries or reporting wages.

Texas Formal Marriage Licenses

The typical marriage license issued in Texas is a formal marriage license. It is issued to intending couples who want to be legally wedded in the state after the fulfillment of the necessary legal requirements. This license authorizes the two parties to proceed with a formal marriage ceremony and qualifies them to receive a marriage certificate. After the solemnization, the officiant will sign on the included marriage certificate and issue it to the couple.

Texas Common Law Marriage Licenses

Texas is one of the states that recognize and approve common law marriages. This type of marriage does not involve a solemnization ceremony and the couple will not be issued a marriage certificate. However, they will be recognized in society as legally married and can file for divorce through the normal legal process. With no formal marriage ceremony establishing this union, licenses are not required for common law marriages in Texas.

For a couple to be qualified for an informal or common law marriage, both parties must be at least 18 years. Also, they must have been living together for an extended period as a couple before the application. They should have been recognized in their neighborhood as a couple. To register their common law marriage with the state and enjoy the benefits of married individuals, the couple should visit their county clerk’s office to complete and submit a Declaration and Registration of Informal Marriage form.

What are Texas Marriage Certificates?

A marriage certificate is a vital document that serves as a proof of a marriage between two parties. This document contains the full names of the parties involved in the marriage. It also shows where and when the recorded marriage took place. It is the most common marriage record in Texas and it is required for name changes, loan applications, taxes, and immigration purposes. The original copy of this document is issued to a couple by the officiant at the end of their marriage solemnization.

How Do I Get a Marriage License in Texas?

In Texas, a marriage license is issued by the county clerk of the county where the marriage is to be conducted. Depending on the county, marriage licenses can be ordered by mail, online, or in person.

To order a marriage license in Texas by mail, the intending couples must submit a completed Application for Marriage License form. Both parties requesting a license must fulfill the state’s requirements including not being related to each other and not currently married.

Contact the local county clerk’s office to enquire about the current fee for a marriage license, specific requirements for obtaining one, and the office’s mailing address. Some Texas counties have these information on their websites.

How to Obtain Marriage Certificates in Texas

County clerks also provide copies of marriage certificates in Texas. Send a request for this vital record to the clerk’s office in the county where the marriage was contracted. Visit this office or send a mail request including the information required and applicable fees. Texas requires the following information to search and release copies of a marriage certificate:

  • Names of the couple
  • Date of marriage
  • County/city of marriage
  • Name of requester
  • Address of requester
  • Purpose of requester

In addition, the applicants must present current government-issued IDs, such as driver’s license, passport, and military ID. Each county offers an extended list of acceptable identification.