Securing Civil Documents
Canon 1544 of Canon (Church) Law requires authentic documents to be submitted in this process. A certified civil document is an official copy from the government court/agency with its official seal. The Tribunal Office will accept a photocopy of a certified civil document.
Marriage Application and License
A marriage application and license can generally be found in the County Clerk's Office of the county and state in which the license was obtained.
Some counties will check their records for free while other charge a search fee.
At the Vital Records Information – United States website, you can search by state and county to find the name of the county office, address and telephone to locate documents of death, marriage and divorce. Rather than use the paid service that this website charges, it is much cheaper if you then contact the county office yourself and request the information to obtain the document(s) yourself.
If the marriage and divorce took place in Texas and you need to know the date and the county in which the marriage or divorce took place, you can search for this information at the Texas Department of Health-Bureau of Vital Statistics website or contact the Tribunal for assistance.
The address and telephone number of a county clerk or district clerk in Texas can be found at www.dshs.state.tx.us/vs/field/localremotedistrict.shtm.
A divorce decree can generally be found in the District Clerk's Office of the county and state in which the divorce was obtained.
It is required that you submit a certified copy of the complete and final divorce decree signed and dated by the judge with each petition submitted. The divorce decree does not become final until it is signed and dated by the judge. Therefore, the divorce decree that you submit to the Tribunal MUST be signed and dated by the judge. This is the date that should be listed on PART 11 of page 8 of the Formal Church Petition for a Declaration of Nullity. Do NOT use the date that is sometimes at the beginning of the divorce petition. This is the date when the divorce hearing took place and may differ from when the judge actually signed and dated the decree. Be aware that a county and state may issue a final divorce decree that is different from the divorce petition itself. If possible, submit both.
NOTE: If you were married and divorced more than once to the same person, submit a certified copy of all civil marriage licenses and all divorce decrees (signed and dated by the judge).
Obtaining Public Records from Harris County, Texas
General Hours of Operation
County Clerk - Monday - Friday 8:00 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.
District Clerk - Monday - Friday - 8:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.
Civil Marriage Application/License
Harris County Clerk's Office
201 Caroline, 4th Floor
Houston, Texas 77002
HARRIS COUNTY CLERK
P.O. BOX 1525
HOUSTON, TEXAS 77251-1525
Fee: $1.00 per page. When ordering by mail, ask for marriage application (1 page) and license (2 pages) for a total fee of $3.00. Include the full name of both the bride and groom, the date or approximate date of marriage, the fee and a self-addressed, stamped return envelope.
This document can also be obtained at one of the Branch offices:
Physical Locations of Branch Offices
|Baytown||701 W. Baker Road|
|Chimney Rock||6000 Chimney Rock|
|Clay Road||16715 Clay Road|
|Clear Lake||16603 Buccaneer|
|Cypresswood||6831 Cypresswood Dr.|
|Humble||7900 Will Clayton Parkway|
|N. Shepherd||7300 North Shepherd|
|Pasadena||101 S. Richey, Suite D|
|South Belt||10851 Scarsdale|
Civil Divorce Decree
201 Caroline, 2nd Floor
Houston, Texas 77002
HARRIS COUNTY DISTRICT CLERK
P.O. BOX 4651
HOUSTON, TEXAS 77210-4651
Fee: $1.00 per page. When ordering by mail, include the full names of both spouses, date of divorce, cause number (if known) and a self-addressed, stamped return envelope. No personal checks accepted. Click here for a Mail Order form.