Texas Couples Can Get a Marriage License Online With GovOS’ New Software
Zoom weddings skyrocketed during the peak of the pandemic, and new tech startups launched to meet the demand. But in many instances, couples that wed over Zoom still had to show up in person at a city hall or county courthouse to obtain their marriage license.
In Texas, couples could begin the marriage license application online but were still required to make an appointment and appear in front of the county clerk to complete the process in person. That changed in June of 2021 when the Texas Senate authorized the entire marriage license process to be brought completely online, making in-person visits a thing of the past.
Although approved by the Senate, there was no system in place to accommodate this process. GovOS, an Austin tech company that helps digitize governmental operations, responded by developing the GovOS Remote Marriage License Issuance System, which brings the marriage licensing process fully online.
On Tuesday, the company announced that the technology has been approved by the state’s Office of Court Administration (OCA), which means any Texas county can apply for a certificate to use the software and start issuing remote marriage licenses.
Two Texas counties are already preparing to roll out the system, one of which will likely come online in the next month, GovOS CTO Steve Russell said. Several other Texas counties have expressed an interest in the platform.
“Many of the online conveniences that were created during the pandemic have proven to have long-lasting appeal for citizens and county governments,” GovOS CEO Michael Crosno said in a statement. “The ability to receive applications for and issue marriage licenses online is a perfect example. The time and cost savings for everyone involved are significant, and we’re working with counties in Texas to better support this initiative. We’ve taken the proactive step of having our system approved by the OCA so counties can implement GovOS with confidence that they adhere to the highest standards of security and transparency.”
GovOS’ platform is currently used by counties in Pennsylvania and Michigan. In Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, 86 percent of marriage license applications are completed virtually, according to GovOS. The GovOS marriage license platform also earned Dauphin County the 2022 Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence for Information Technology.
In Michigan’s Calhoun County, GovOS’ platform has decreased processing time from 45 minutes to 20 minutes.
In addition to saving time, the platform is a game-changer for couples who have the necessary documentation but may be out of state, abroad or otherwise unable to make it to the county courthouse.
Once couples submit their marriage application online, they can enter their personal information, attach payment and then schedule an appointment for an online oath using the platform’s built-in scheduling tool. On the day of the oath, the platform’s built-in video functionality allows couples to take an oath in front of the clerk.
GovOS, which moved its headquarters from Dallas to Austin last year, has 180 employees, 40 of which are based in the Austin office.