How to Get Married in Texas
Formal or informal, indoor or outdoor. No matter how you get married, you and your spouse-to-be have to visit a county clerk’s office and follow the necessary steps to obtain a marriage license. Here’s how to get married in Burnet and Llano counties, formally or informally.
Each Texas county’s process for obtaining a formal marriage license is similar, but some differ in the details. In Burnet County, couples can fill out an online application. The Burnet County Courthouse has a public computer to use if you don’t have internet access at home. Call (512) 756-5406 for more information.
In Llano County County, you can’t apply online. All forms must be filled out by hand. Applications are available at the Llano County Marriage License office at 107 W. Sandstone St. Call 325-247-4455 for more information.
Online efficiency ends with the application. Eventually, the couple will have to visit the county clerk’s office in person. By the way, no blood tests are required in either county.
When you get to the Burnet County Clerk’s office in the courthouse, 220 S. Pierce St. in Burnet, notify the clerk that you’ve completed the online application. In Llano County, you have to turn in a paper version of the application. At both offices, you’ll need to show valid identification, which can be a driver’s license, a U.S. passport, or a state-issued ID. No ID, no marriage license. You also may use a certified copy of your birth certificate.
Also, like any license, you’ll have a pay a fee. In Burnet County, the fee is $78. In Llano County, that fee is $72. In both counties, couples must sign the license together, an action that starts an important clock ticking.
No matter which of the 254 counties in Texas you go to for a marriage license, you’ll have to wait 72 hours after signing the license before you can get married. Once that buzzer goes off, you have 90 days to get married before the certificate becomes invalid.
By the way, same-sex marriage has been legal in the United States, including in the state of Texas, since June 26, 2015. In the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the fundamental right of same-sex couples to marry is protected by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Courthouse marriages dipped in popularity in recent decades. Today, they are making a comeback.
They are usually performed by a justice of the peace, so you’ll need to contact the local JP’s office to schedule a day and time. A courthouse marriage can be performed in his or her office or on the courthouse steps.
Witnesses aren’t required, but guests are welcome at a courthouse ceremony. The local courthouses also allow photographs during the ceremony. If you ask, clerks will even snap a picture with your camera when you apply for your marriage license.
Texas judges as well as elected officials can perform wedding ceremonies. Leaders of organized religious groups, a position that is defined very loosely in the law, also can perform weddings. While that usually means a pastor, a priest or a rabbi, anyone can be the officiant at a wedding. All you need to do is fill out an application at any online ordination website, such as getordained.org. A certificate will be mailed to you that allows you to legally perform wedding ceremonies.
Whoever performs the wedding must file the signed marriage license in the county clerk’s office within 30 days of the ceremony. That can be done by mail.
An informal marriage is the legal term for what many call a common-law marriage. In Texas, common-law marriages still require a license to be officially recognized by the state.
You’ll follow the same steps to obtain an informal marriage license as you would a typical marriage license. One difference is that an informal marriage license fee is just $43. Also, an informal marriage license has no waiting period.
To be considered a common-law marriage, both parties must agree they are informally married, live together in Texas as a married couple, and represent to others that they are married.
Ready to take the leap? We know you have more to do, so don’t forget to find a florist or browse venues in the Highland Lakes Wedding Guide.
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