Does a marriage license expire?

Yes, a marriage license in Texas expires if the marriage ceremony has not been conducted before the 90th day after a person gets the marriage license.

Who can perform the marriage ceremony?

Only certain persons are authorized to conduct a marriage ceremony in Texas.  The following persons may conduct the ceremony:

(1) a licensed or ordained Christian minister or priest;

(2) a Jewish rabbi;

(3) a person who is an officer of a religious organization and who is authorized by the organization to conduct a marriage ceremony;

(4) a justice of the supreme court, judge of the court of criminal appeals, justice of the courts of appeals, judge of the district, county, and probate courts, judge of the county courts at law, judge of the courts of domestic relations, judge of the juvenile courts, retired justice or judge of those courts, justice of the peace, retired justice of the peace, judge of a municipal court, retired judge of a municipal court, associate judge of a statutory probate court, retired associate judge of a statutory probate court, associate judge of a county court at law, retired associate judge of a county court at law, or judge or magistrate of a federal court of this state; and

(5) a retired judge or magistrate of a federal court of this state.

A retired judge or justice is a former judge or justice who is vested in the Judicial Retirement System of Texas Plan One or the Judicial Retirement System of Texas Plan Two or who has an aggregate of at least 12 years of service as judge or justice of any type.

A retired judge or magistrate can also be a former judge or magistrate of a federal court of this state who is fully vested in the Federal Employees Retirement System.

A person commits an offense if that person knowingly conducts a marriage ceremony without authorization under this section. An offense under this subsection is a Class A misdemeanor.

A person also commits an offense if the person knowingly conducts a marriage ceremony of a minor whose marriage is prohibited by law or of a person who by marrying commits an offense under Section 25.01, Penal Code. An offense under this subsection is a felony of the third degree.

Where do I take my marriage license?

On receiving an unexpired marriage license, an authorized person may conduct the marriage ceremony.   A person may assent to marriage by the appearance of a proxy appointed in the affidavit authorized if the person is:

(1) a member of the armed forces of the United States stationed in another country in support of combat or another military operation; and

(2) unable to attend the ceremony.

However, there is no specific requirement in Texas for the form of the marriage ceremony itself and no specific language that must be used.

Do I have to wait 72 hours before having the ceremony?

Except as provided by Texas law, a marriage ceremony may not take place during the 72-hour period immediately following the issuance of the marriage license.   However, the 72-hour waiting period after issuance of a marriage license does not apply to an applicant who:

(1) is a member of the armed forces of the United States and on active duty;

(2) is not a member of the armed forces of the United States but performs work for the United States Department of Defense as a department employee or under a contract with the department;

(3) obtains a written waiver; or

(4) completes a premarital education course described by Section 2.013, and who provides to the county clerk a premarital education course completion certificate indicating completion of the premarital education course not more than one year before the date the marriage license application is filed with the clerk.

An applicant may request a judge of a court with jurisdiction in family law cases, a justice of the supreme court, a judge of the court of criminal appeals, a county judge, or a judge of a court of appeals for a written waiver permitting the marriage ceremony to take place during the 72-hour period immediately following the issuance of the marriage license. If the judge finds that there is good cause for the marriage to take place during the period, the judge shall sign the waiver. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a judge under this section has the authority to sign a waiver under this section.

Always make sure that the marriage license is duly filed with the county clerk of your residence.   Failure to assure that the marriage license is registered with the county clerk will have repercussions on the validity of your marriage.