Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wedding Bells- Can Undocumented Immigrants get married in Texas?

Photo used under Creative Commons from dharmabum60

They can if they have the proper identification documents. Chapter 2 of the Texas Family Code lays out the requirements to get a marriage license in Texas. To obtain a marriage license a person must, among other things, "submit the person's proof of identity and age as provided by this subchapter." Tex. Fam. Code Sec. 2.002(2). Section 2.005 states that the "proof must be established by a certified copy of the applicant's birth certificate or by some certificate, license, or document issued by this state or another state, the United States, or a foreign government." Therein lies the rub. Many undocumented immigrants will not have proper proof of identity. While they may have a copy of their foreign birth certificate, they may not have a certified copy or valid license or I.D. card. Interestingly, a social security number is not required to obtain a marriage license. The Family Code requires the marriage application to have a space for the "social security number, if any." Sec. 2.004. If the applicant furnishes the proper documentation and is otherwise eligible to get married, the county clerk must provide the license or the county clerk could be subject to a criminal penalty and fine. Sect. 2.012.

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