What is a County Clerk?
The main duties of the county clerk are to serve as clerk of the county court and the county commissioners court, act as recorder of deeds and other instruments, issue marriage licenses and take depositions. The clerk is also responsible for conducting countywide special and general elections and for handling absentee voting.
What Does a County Clerk Do in Texas?
- Serves as clerk and custodian of records for the commissioners court, constitutional county court and statutory county courts
- Acts as a recorder and custodian of important public records, including all bonds, deeds, birth and death certificates, assumed names and livestock brands, ensuring that records are maintained in a secure, archival manner
- Issues marriage licenses
- Serves as chief elections officer in most counties
For more complete information about the responsibilities of a county clerk and other county officials, see the “2018 Guide to Texas Laws for County Officials."
Please note: Some duties performed by officials may vary within individual counties. In Texas Counties with a population of fewer than 8,000 (unless there has been a special election) the county clerk also serves as the district clerk and assumes all constitutional and statutory duties of both positions.
County Clerk Requirements
County clerks are required to attain 20 hours of continuing education during each calendar year that begins after election or appointment.
County Clerk Qualifications5
The County Clerk must meet the following qualifications at the time of appointment or election:
- U.S. Citizen
- Resident of Texas for at least 12 consecutive months
- Resident of the county for at least six consecutive months
- Registered to vote in the county
- At least 18 years of age
- Not have been finally convicted of a felony from which they have not been pardoned or otherwise released from the resulting disabilities
- Not have been determined by a court with probate jurisdiction to be totally mentally incapacitated or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote
Candidates for this office generally must meet the above qualifications at the time of filing.
For more information, see the Secretary of State Elections Division website.
See the full continuing education requirements and more.
Legal source: Government Code, Section 51.605
5Vernon’s Ann. Texas Const. Art. 5, §20; V.T.C.A., Election Code §141.001