Back to Learning Center


A Comprehensive Guide on How to Get a Marriage License and Change Your Name After Marriage in Texas

Aimee Pingenot Key | October 10, 2023

Couple on their wedding day

Congratulations on your engagement or marriage! Before you embark on this exciting chapter of your life, it’s important to understand the essential steps involved in getting your marriage license in Texas and, if applicable, changing your name after marriage. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need, from where and when to apply for your marriage license to the process of updating your name after the big day. Whether you’re a Texas resident or planning a destination wedding in the Lone Star State, this guide provides instructions and valuable insights to ensure a smooth and memorable experience.

Where and When to Go Get Your Marriage License

When it comes to obtaining your marriage license in Texas, here’s what you need to know:

  1. Location: To get a formal marriage license, both parties must visit any County Clerk’s office in Texas. You don’t need to live in the county where you apply, and your marriage doesn’t have to occur there. Some counties now offer remote options for application. Additionally, certain counties have online application forms available. It’s important to note that Texas residency is not a requirement for obtaining a marriage license.
  2. Waiting Period: Texas enforces a 72-hour waiting period, meaning you must wait three days after obtaining your license before your ceremony can take place. However, this waiting period can be waived for active-duty military personnel or couples with a written waiver from a judge or participation in a Twogether in Texas premarital counseling program. There are no blood tests, medical exams, or witnesses required.
  3. Ceremony Timeframe: Your wedding ceremony must occur within 90 days from the date of issuance of your marriage license. If you haven’t married by the expiration date, you’ll need to purchase a new license.
  4. Out-of-State/Country Marriages: You can also use your Texas marriage license to get married in another state or country that accepts Texas marriage licenses. Even if you’re renewing your vows, Texas law mandates that married couples must still apply for a marriage license for the vow renewal.

What Do You Need to Apply for a Marriage License?

To apply for a marriage license in Texas, you’ll need the following:

  • Proof of Identity and Age. To get married in Texas, you must be at least 18, and each party must have government-issued picture identification and proof of age. This can be in the form of a United States or foreign passport, a driver’s license or ID card issued by Texas or another state, an original or certified birth certificate, or a military ID card. Your forms of identification cannot be damaged, torn, or laminated. The marriage license will be prepared with your legal name exactly as it appears on your identification.
  • Proof of Divorce. Both applicants must not have been divorced within the last 30 days. If your divorce was finalized within the last 30 days, you must present a certified copy of the divorce decree stating that a judge waived the 30-day waiting period.
  • Payment. A Texas marriage license costs between $60 and $85, which will vary according to the county. There is an additional fee for out-of-state residents. If a couple attends pre-marital counseling with a Twogether in Texas-approved counselor, they can receive up to $60 off their marriage license fee. 
  • Social Security Number. Know your social security number for the forms. Some counties require the physical social security card, too.

Marriage License

Couples are required to bring their marriage license with them on the day of their wedding to be signed by the person officiating the ceremony.

Authorized wedding officiants in the state of Texas include current or retired judges, ordained or licensed Christian ministers, priests, Jewish rabbis, and officers authorized by religious organizations.

The person who officiates the wedding shall record on the license the names of the people getting married, the date and county the ceremony took place in, and also sign it. Said person will mail the original license to the County Clerk who issued it no later than 30 days after the ceremony. Once the office receives the license, it is copied filed and the original is mailed to the couple at the address indicated on their application.

How to Change Your Name After Marriage

There are several different steps involved in legally changing your name. To make sure that your name change goes smoothly, follow these steps for how to change your name after marriage.

1. Social Security Card 

After your certified marriage license is sent to you (or you pick it up), you will want to apply for a name change on your social security card.

Download your application and get more information on this step here.

2. Driver’s License

This will require a trip to the DMV, and you will need to bring all the required forms of identification, including your current driver’s license, updated security card, and certified marriage certificate.

3. Bank Accounts 

Whether you’re sharing accounts with your spouse or simply changing your own accounts, you’ll want to go into your local branch with your marriage certificate and your newly acquired driver’s license. You will want to request all new checks and/or debit cards with your married name. If you have a mortgage/loan out with this bank, take this opportunity to switch your name on those as well. 

4. IRS

A name change can impact your taxes, so it’s important to make sure your tax returns match your Social Security records. 

Find more information on how to change your name with the IRS here.

Note that part of this process will also include making sure your employer/payroll records have your new name so that it will be correct on your W-2 and other documents.

5. Voter Registration

Having the correct name for voter registration is essential, so be sure to tackle this one right away. 

Click here to get your voter registration application.

6. Passport

Fortunately, this is a straightforward process similar to the IRS and voter registration. 

Click here to get detailed passport update instructions from the State Department.

7. Post Office 

While this may be more applicable for an address change, you can make sure that the post office has your correct name for any mail. 

Click here to learn more.

8. Credit Cards

First, you will need to have your name changed on your Social Security card and your driver’s license. Changing your name on your credit card(s) isn’t difficult, but it may be time-consuming, depending on the number of cards you have. Each card issuer may have a slightly different process. You will want to look up the name change policy for each credit card on their website, which also includes a list of required items, such as new ID and legal documentation of your name change. For some cards, you can do this process entirely online or by mail. Other unique cards, perhaps from your local bank or credit union, may require you to go into a local branch. The best thing is to gather your cards and make a comprehensive list of their policies in advance.

9. Final Steps

After you have addressed the first items, the following should be considered when updating your name after marriage. 

  • Insurance companies
  • Doctors’ offices
  • Car title and/or mortgage/landlord
  • School/university 
  • Professional or educational associations, clubs, and organizations
  • Attorney’s offices
  • Airlines 
  • Electric and utility companies
  • Phone, cable, and internet companies
  • Financial institutions
  • Online shopping sites
  • Other service providers
  • Social media accounts 
  • Printed items such as personalized stationery and business cards.

By following these steps, you’ll successfully navigate the process of getting a marriage license and changing your name in Texas following your marriage. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

About the Author

A Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Aimee has earned the esteem of judges and peers for her exceptional work in representing clients and helping to shape family law in Texas. She currently serves on the Texas Family Law Council, a governing arm of the Texas State Bar, and speaks regularly across the state and nation on family law matters. She is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is a Credentialed Collaborative Professional by Collaborative Divorce Texas. Among her recognitions, Aimee has been selected to “Best Lawyers in Dallas: Family Law” by D Magazine, 2017 and 2019, and named to the Texas Super Lawyers list, Thomson Reuters, 2014-2023. She is the course co-director for TAFLS, a trial skills boot camp for family lawyers. 

Services to Help Solve Your Challenges

Our attorneys are experienced in all aspects of family law and will guide you through each step of the process, ensuring you have the information you need to make wise decisions and prepare for the future.

Get in Touch

At Goranson Bain Ausley, we strive to deliver clarity about what comes next and confidence that you and your family’s future are more secure. Contact our team and discover how we can help you.

“I am compassionate, straightforward, and focused with my clients to help them solve problems wisely and realistically to achieve their most important goals.”

Request A Consultation