How to get a marriage license in the State of Massachusetts
Marriage is a big day for everyone involved. However, there a few legal things you’ll need to take care of before you can enjoy your big day as well as the rest of your life with each other.
Who can get married in Massachusetts?
People born in Massachusetts, as well as people from out of state, can get married in Massachusetts without any problem. If either partner is below 18 years of age, he or she will have to get permission from a parent or guardian before getting married.
Paperwork needed to get married in Massachusetts
If you’d like to get married in Massachusetts, you will need a marriage license. The marriage license doesn’t have to be issued from a clerk’s office which is situated in the town or city that you live in or where the ceremony will take place. You can apply for the marriage license from any town or city in the state.
Each clerk office has slightly different requirements. However, the general procedure is the same. To avoid any issues, contact the clerk’s office before applying for a marriage license to clear any misunderstandings.1. You will need to fill a form called a Notice of Intention of Marriage – Both partners will have to fill this form out in person at the town or city clerk’s office. You will need to have the following with you on hand.
2. Age proof, a birth certificate or passport will do.
3. Your Social Security number
iii. Payment for the fees involved (these are different in different towns, it’s best to bring cash).1. The name you will use after your wedding if you’re changing your name.
2. You will then have to pick up your marriage license – After submitting your application, you will have to wait a mandatory 3 days before you receive your marriage license. The license you receive will be valid for 60 days. If you aren’t married when the 60 days is up, you will have to apply for a marriage license again.
3. Submit your license to the person conducting the ceremony – After the ceremony, the officiant will have to sign and return the license to the town or city clerk who has issued said license before the 60 day validity period is over.
Who can legally conduct a wedding in Massachusetts?
There are 4 groups of people who are allowed to legally conduct a wedding in Massachusetts. The officiant will have to meet different requirements depending on the group he/she belongs to in order to be licensed.
- In-state Clergy Member – People who’d like to be married by a member of the clergy who lives in Massachusetts can rest assured that the clergy member is probably already licensed to perform a ceremony. If said clergy member hasn’t performed a marriage in Massachusetts before, he/she will have to file 3 forms with the Public Records Division - Commissions Section.
- In-state Justice of the Peace – You may contact your city or town clerk if you’d like a Justice of the Peace to get you married. Many of them are authorized to perform marriages.
- An out-of-state clergy member or Justice of the Peace – If either of these applicants is authorized in other states to perform a marriage, they need to file a non-resident, out of state clergy petition in order to be able to officiate a ceremony. The application shouldn’t be filed more than 6 weeks before your ceremony.
- Anyone can conduct one with a 1-day Designation – If you’d like a friend or family member to perform the ceremony, they can do so by applying for a 1-day designation online or by mail between 6 months to 1 week before the wedding date.