Marriage records in Texas are maintained by the County Clerk’s office in the county where you got married. A marriage certificate is a legal document that proves you and your spouse are married. It differs from a marriage license, which is a document you apply for before you can get married. After your marriage registration application is processed, you receive a marriage license that you sign during or shortly before your wedding. You may then apply for a certified copy of marriage certificate documents, which you will need to complete a variety of tasks after your wedding. Texas marriage certificates must be shown during any application that requires you to provide proof of your name change or marital status in the state. In the event of a lost marriage certificate or to obtain a marriage certificate copy, you can apply at the County Clerk’s office. Learn everything you need to know about marriage documents and how to get a replacement marriage certificate in the sections presented below.
Several different types of marriage records are available in Texas. You may apply for a certified copy of a marriage certificate, an heirloom marriage record or a verification letter that indicates your union took place. However, only a certified record will be accepted on applications that require you to provide a document that proves your marital status or shows a legal reason for changing your name.
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) maintains wedding records as part of the Vital Statistics Unit (VSU). The VSU can perform a marriage record search on weddings that occurred from the year 1966 to the present. You cannot get a certified marriage certificate from the VSU, but the unit does process requests for wedding verification letters that can serve as an unofficial marriage document. The VSU also issues heirloom TX wedding records that you can obtain to commemorate a wedding anniversary. Heirloom certificates only include basic information and can be purchased by anyone as a gift. Although these documents are issued by a state agency, they are keepsakes only and cannot be used as an official account of your marriage.
For an official duplicate marriage certificate in Texas, you must apply through the County Clerk’s office in the county where you got married.
An official Texas marriage certificate is necessary to complete a number of applications after you get married. You will want to get your marriage records as soon as possible following your wedding. You may be required to show your certificate of marriage when you:
After you apply for a marriage license and get married in Texas, you must apply for a certified copy of your marriage certificate. You must order a marriage certificate after your wedding, as you will not receive a copy automatically. Since your TX marriage record documents are maintained by the county in which the union took place, you must apply for a wedding certificate using the methods accepted by your local County Clerk. Some clerks may allow you to apply online, whereas others may require you to apply by mail or appear in person. Regardless of the county you apply in, you will generally need to provide the following when applying for a wedding record copy:
After applying for Texas marriage license records at a County Clerk’s office, your application will be processed and your copies will arrive in the mail. Marriage record processing times can vary greatly by county and may take up to eight weeks to complete.
A marriage license search in Texas can be performed to find any marriage license that is a public record. In Texas, marriage licenses are generally a matter of public record that anyone can access. One way to find marriage records is to use the VSU, which maintains most records from the year 1966 onward. Note that the VSU can only provide letters verifying basic information about weddings that occurred in Texas and not all records are available. A more comprehensive marriage license lookup can be performed at the county level. Applicants can search for a marriage license in TX by visiting the clerk’s website or office in the county where a wedding took place. While registrants can find basic information on weddings that occurred in Texas using these methods, they cannot obtain an official certificate unless they are eligible or authorized to do so.