Minister / Officiant
Rev. Doug Morgan
HOW TO MARRY A TDCJ INMATE
This question is not easy to answer. I suggest that you call me so that I can answer any questions you may have.
Here is some general info.
1. Officiant - TDCJ requires that you find your own officiant (person legally authorized to perform marriages) and that they are approved to go onto TDCJ prison property by TDCJ - Access to the Courts in Huntsville, TX.
- I am TDCJ approved.
- You may call or use the contact form on this website to request pricing for your particular unit.
2. Inmate Identification.
- You will need id on the incarcerated spouse when you go to purchase the marriage license.
Identification. - The outside spouse MUST have a copy of the inmate's TDCJ ID card, birth certificate, or both depending on which county clerk's office is being used to obtain the marriage license. If your loved one has not been incarcerated for an excessive period of time and your have access to their driver's license or ID card that is still current and valid, you may also use that as acceptable ID (in most cases).
Each county has different requirements on acceptable ID. If the outside spouse needs a copy of the inmate ID card please follow these below steps or consult with the unit law library.
Have you loved on place an I-60 to the law library. Indicate that "I would like to request a copy of my inmate ID card for marriage purposes". It is very important to state this copy is for marriage purposes since most units to not make copies of inmate ID's without proper reason.
The law library charges $0.10 cents for this copy. It is likely the incarcerated spouse will have to sign a commissary withdrawal form. This requires warden approval and is not completed until Huntsville has approved the debiting transaction from the inmate trust account.
Most law libraries and wardens do not allow inmates to maintain possession of a copy of the inmate ID. Therefore, the incarcerated spouse may be required to submit an addressed and stamped envelope, with the outside spouse's info to the law library. In some instances the law library will directly deliver the envelope to the mail room once the copy has been made.
If the outside spouse needs a copy of the birth certificate, it is best to obtain one from the incarcerated spouse's immediate family member. Immediate family members can request copies of birth certificates directly from the Texas Department of Health and Human Services Vital Records division in Austin. This can take a while so I recommend doing it early.
If the outside spouse is unable to obtain a copy of the birth record from an immediate family member, keep in mind fiance's and friends cannot obtain a birth record without a Power of Attorney document.
On average obtaining Id is the longest part of the wedding process, and can generally take 4-8 weeks to obtain.
3. County Clerk Absent Affidavit Form - This document comes from the County Clerk's office in which you live in or near. If the outside spouse lives out of state, this form must be obtained in Texas at any County Clerk's office.
Texas requires that both parties intending to be married be present to obtain the marriage license. Because the incarcerated spouse cannot be present to obtain the actual marriage license, this form must be obtained by the outside spouse, mailed to the incarcerated spouse, filled out, notarized, mailed back to the outside spouse and then it is used to substitute the presence of the incarcerated spouse when purchasing the marriage license.
The outside spouse CANNOT fill in the information. It MUST be mailed to the incarcerated spouse and be completed by the person incarcerated.
Once the incarcerated spouse has filled out the form they must request a notary before they sign it. It MUST be signed in the presence of the notary. If the incarcerated spouse signs this document without the notary present, the notary is obligated by law to deny notarizing the documentation and you will have to start the process all over again.
This form generally expires 30 days from the date of the notary, therefore do not request the absent affidavit form be notarized until the outside spouse has obtained the copy of the incarcerated spouse's ID or birth record, since that is a longer process.
To request a Notary please have the inmate submit an I-60 to the law library stating the notary request.