BRIDES Houston: How to Get Your Marriage License

Bride and groom sitting on a bench and holding hands

Photo by Dana Fernandez 

Before you can go to the chapel (or anywhere else) and get married, there are just a few formalities to handle ahead of the big day. While there's no blood test required in Texas anymore, every couple needs a license to tie the knot. Here is everything you need to know to make it official.

What to Do First

Plan a trip to the Harris County Clerk's office—together—to apply for your marriage license no more than 90 days and no fewer than three days before your wedding. The license must be purchased at least 72 hours prior to, but no more than 90 days before the date of the ceremony. (The 72-hour wait is automatically waived for military personnel, but military ID is required.) Both the bride- and groom-to-be must be present, but if one cannot be there due to indisputable circumstances (such as incarceration) a notarized Affidavit of Absent Applicant on Application for Marriage License form should be submitted.

Where to Go

A marriage license can be picked up at one of the following offices. Operating hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but not on holidays or weekends.

  • Main Office/Downtown

201 Caroline St., 3rd Floor
Houston, TX 77002

  • Baytown Annex

701 W. Baker Rd.
Baytown, TX 77521

  • Chimney Rock Annex

6000 Chimney Rock Rd.
Houston, TX 77081

  • Clay Road Annex

16715 Clay Rd.
Houston, TX 77084

  • Clear Lake Annex

16603 Buccaneer Ln.
Houston, TX 77062

  • Cypresswood Annex

6831 Cypresswood Dr.
Spring, TX 77379

  • Humble Annex

7900 Will Clayton Pkwy.
Humble, TX 77338

  • North Shepherd Annex

7300 N. Shepherd Dr.
Houston, TX 77091

  • Pasadena Annex

101 S. Richey St.
Pasadena, TX 77506

  • South Belt Annex

10851 Scarsdale Blvd.
Houston, TX 77089

  • Wallisville Annex

14350 Wallisville Road, Suite 111
Houston, TX 77049

What to Bring

  • One valid ID for both of you, which means a drivers license, DPS-issued ID card, valid passport, resident alien card, or other government-issued identification.
  • Know your Social Security number for forms.
  • $72 processing fee (we recommend bringing it in cash). If one of the two applicants does not have proof of residency that processing fee becomes $172.

What to Do Next

Keep planning! Your marriage license expires after 90 days (immediately following the date it was issued) if you haven't tied the knot within that period.

After the Wedding

Once you are married, you must return your marriage license—signed and completed by the officiant—to any of the offices (either in person or via mail) to be recorded.

Things to Remember

  • No witnesses needed to obtain a marriage license.
  • No blood test is required in Texas.
  • Parental consent is required for anyone under the age of 18.
  • Both applicants must have been divorced 30 days before applying for a license.
  • Who can marry you: Licensed or ordained Christian ministers, and priests; Jewish rabbis; persons who are officers of religious organizations and who are duly authorized by the organization to conduct marriage ceremonies; justices of the supreme court, judges of the court of criminal appeals, justices of the court of appeals, judges of the district, county, and probate courts, judges of the county court at law, courts of domestic relations and juvenile courts, retired justices and judges of such courts, justices of the peace, retired justices of the peace, judges of a municipal court, retired judge of a municipal court or judge or magistrate of the federal court of this state; and a retired judge or magistrate of a federal court of this state.

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