Senate Bill 1836 goes into effect on January 1, 2014. This bill states that individuals who apply for a marriage license now have the opportunity to voluntarily donate $5.00 when purchasing these records. This donation is to promote early childhood health supporting the Texas Home Visiting Program administered by the Office of Early Childhood Coordination of the Health and Human Services Commission.
A printed box has been added to the marriage license application. The applicants will now have the option to indicate if they wish to contribute to promote this worthy cause. This contribution is in addition to fees already collected by the county clerk for marriage license issuance. The money collected must be submitted to the Comptroller every quarter along with other civil fees.
Additionally House Bill (HB) 869, which went into effect on September 1, 2013, states that the only time a county clerk can issue marriage licenses when both applicants are absent is when the applicants are members of the armed forces of the United States stationed in another country in support of combat or another military operation. The law does not change regarding having one absent applicant, and there are no restrictions on who can be an absent applicant. In addition, HB 869 requires the Vital Statistics Unit (VSU) to begin filing the affidavit of absent applicant. Therefore, county clerks must submit any completed affidavit of absent applicants with the corresponding marriage license application. VSU is providing a standard affidavit of absent applicant form that can be duplicated by the county clerks to ensure uniformity.
New copies of the Application For Marriage License (VS-180) and the Affidavit of Absent Applicant for Marriage License (VS-181) can be found on the Local Registrar and County Clerk Forms page.