Austin Wedding Legalities: Licenses and More -

Austin Wedding Legalities: Licenses and More

Your wedding is a big, special day where you promise to love and care for each other forever. But before you celebrate, there are some legal things you need to understand and do. We’re here to explain the legal side of your Austin, Texas wedding.

Getting Your Marriage License

First things first, before you can say “I do,” you need a piece of paper called a marriage license. It’s like a magic paper that makes your marriage official. Here’s how you get it:

Applying for the License

You and your partner, like a dynamic duo, need to visit the County Clerk’s Office together. In Austin, you can find this office at 5501 Airport Blvd.

What to Bring

Make sure you have these things when you go:

ID Cards: Both of you need to show your ID cards, like a driver’s license or a passport.

Social Security Numbers: You’ll need to give your Social Security numbers. But if you or your partner doesn’t have one, don’t worry; you’ll just need to sign a paper saying so.

Money: The marriage license isn’t free, so bring some money to pay for it. The cost might be different in each county.

Parent’s Consent: If you’re 16 or 17 years old, you’ll need your parent’s permission to get married.

Proof of Past: If you or your partner have been married before, you might need to show documents like divorce papers or records of a spouse’s passing.

Wait a Bit: After you get the license, you need to wait for 72 hours before getting married. But if you’re in a hurry, you can ask for permission to skip the wait.

License Time

Your marriage license is valid for 90 days, which is like three months. So, you have plenty of time to get married after you get your license.

Choosing an Officiant

Now that you have your magical marriage license, it’s time to choose someone to lead your wedding ceremony. This person can be:

  • Religious Leader: If you want a religious wedding, like in a church, a priest, rabbi, or imam can do it.
  • Justice of the Peace: If you’re having a non-religious wedding, a Justice of the Peace is like a judge who can make your wedding official.
  • Ordained Minister: Sometimes, a friend or family member can become a minister online and lead your wedding ceremony.

Remember, the person you choose has to sign your marriage license after the ceremony to make everything official.

Filing Your Marriage License

After your beautiful wedding ceremony, it’s time to make everything legal by submitting your marriage license. You can ask the person who led your wedding to do this, or you can do it yourself. Here’s how:

  • Signing: You, your partner, and the person who led your wedding must sign the marriage license.
  • Sending It In: After your ceremony, the person who led your wedding needs to send the marriage license back to the County Clerk’s Office. They must do this within 30 days of your wedding.
  • Get Copies: You can ask for official copies of your marriage certificate from the Clerk’s Office. These copies are important for things like changing your last name and doing other legal stuff.
Changing Your Name

If you or your partner wants to change your last name after getting married, you’ll need to update important documents like your driver’s license, Social Security card, and passport. Here’s what to do:

  • Get Your Marriage Certificate: First, make sure you have a copy of your marriage certificate. It’s proof that you’re married.
  • Social Security: Update your name with the Social Security Administration. You’ll need to fill out a form and visit your local Social Security office.
  • Driver’s License: Go to the Texas Department of Public Safety office and get a new driver’s license with your new name.
  • Passport: If you have a passport, you’ll need to apply for a new one with your new name.
Legal Stuff for Out-of-State Couples

If you and your partner don’t live in Texas but want to get married here, you can! But here are some things to keep in mind:

  • There’s no waiting period for out-of-state couples, so you can get married on the same day you apply for your marriage license.
  • Your marriage license is still valid for 90 days, just like for Texas residents.
Be Smart, Be Legal

Taking care of the legal stuff might not be the most exciting part of wedding planning, but it’s super important. Making sure your marriage is legal is a big deal, and it’s easy if you follow these steps.

But there’s even more to learn in our other blogs, like “Austin Wedding Planning Timeline: Your Road to ‘I Do” and “Finding the Ideal Austin Wedding Planner: What to Look For.”

And don’t forget to check out our earlier blogs for more wedding tips, like “Austin Wedding Planning Guide: From ‘Yes’ to ‘I Do,” “Budgeting Your Dream Austin Wedding: Step-by-Step Tips,” “Dos and Don’ts of Austin Wedding Planning,” “Choosing Your Perfect Austin Wedding Date: Weather and Events,” “Protecting Your Investment: Austin Wedding Insurance,” and “Religious or Secular? Austin Wedding Ceremony Choices.”

And if you’re searching for amazing wedding vendors in Texas, visit Texas Wedding Vendors. We’re like wedding experts who can make your big day legal and fantastic!