What Legal Documents, Certificates, and Licenses Do You Need to Get Married?

‘Tis wedding season! And with that comes a whole slew of minute details that need to be checked off for that oh so wonderful wedding celebration, where two people come together to recognize and celebrate their eternal love for one another — and their vision for a life-long commitment. That being said, to make your dream comes true, it’s crucial that you and your partner ensure you set yourself up for success by obtaining all the legal documents, certificates, and licenses necessary to get married. 

Take a look at Hidden Creek’s guide below in order to learn more about the acquisition of these materials. Once done, you’re only one step away from starting a new future with your loved one: saying “I do” at the best Dallas wedding venue there is (hint: it’s Hidden Creek)!

So, without further ado, let’s get into it.

The Rundown on Obtaining the Right Legal Documents

First things first, there are certain legal documents and forms of identification you’ll need to have at the ready before even applying for a marriage license. The items required for review by a clerk at the Dallas County clerk’s office are valid forms of identification, and those valid forms are listed below for your convenience:

  • A driver’s license
  • A certified copy of a birth certificate
  • A passport or military identification card
  • A Social Security card
  • Divorce decree if previously married and are now divorced
  • Death decree if previously married and are now widowed
  • The clerk’s fee 

These items are required to be present in the clerk’s office by both partners. Other requirements that aren’t legal documents perse, but are required by Texas include:

  • An age of 18 to marry on your own. If you’re between 16 and 18, you must have parental consent or a court order granting permission to marry. If you’re younger than 16, you must have a court order granting permission to marry.
  • A 72-hour waiting period from the time of getting a marriage license to the marriage ceremony, unless waived for members of the armed forces or by a judge, or if the couple has completed a premarital education course.
  • Verification that either partner is not currently married to someone else.
  • Confirmation that both partners plan to live together in Texas after getting married, representing their union to others in the community.

Although not required, a premarital education course of at least eight hours is highly encouraged by the state. It should be completed in the year preceding the application for a marriage license.

Fun fact: you don’t have to be a resident of the state to get married there!

Tying the Knot—Officially

Some people think a marriage certificate and a marriage license are the same thing. In fact, they are not! A marriage certificate is a document that shows you and your partner are legally married, while a marriage license is a document issued by the county clerk that allows you and your partner to get married in the first place. 

The certificate is a vital document and contains the full names of the parties involved in the marriage, as well as when and where the marriage took place, serving as a record of proof. A marriage certificate in Texas is the most common marriage record and is required for legal name changes, loan applications, taxes, and immigration purposes. And married couples in Texas can issue a request for their marriage certificate to be mailed to them via the county clerk’s office.

So basically, a marriage license is what you need in order to get married initially and a marriage certificate is what you show as proof of your marriage after the ceremony. That being said, let’s figure out how to obtain a marriage license in order to get this party started (and hopefully a life full of happiness with your significant other). 

Got Certification? No Problem, We’ll Show You How to Put Your Stamp on Things

Marriage is an exciting thing — albeit a little nerve-wracking, too. But this guide is here to answer a lot of questions you might have about gathering the legal documents necessary to support a life-long bond between you and your partner.

In order to get married, a marriage license is required to authorize a marital union between two parties. It’s a requirement in Texas for a couple looking to make things official. As mentioned earlier, the two people getting married in Texas must fulfill all requirements and legal forms of identification, showing them to the county clerk. After meeting those requirements, the county clerk then issues a marriage license to the couple, granting an authorized officiant the permission to perform the marriage ceremony. 

Depending on the county, licenses can be ordered in person, by mail or even online. If the couple prefers online ordering, they must also submit a completed Application for Marriage License form. The local county clerk’s office will have information on the required fee for a marriage license, as well as any other specific requirements.
So, take one step closer to securing a life full of happiness and devotion to your partner today. And make it official at Hidden Creek, where your happily ever after can begin without a hitch.