Marriage Licenses

Planning on tying the knot in Massachusetts? There are 3 requirements to obtaining a marriage license in Massachusetts: 1. Both persons must be 18, although there is an application that can be made to the courts to marry younger; 2. Certain family members cannot marry one another, as defined by Massachusetts General Law 207 chapters 1 and 2; 3. Lastly, if this is not the first marriage for either party, the prior relationship (previous marriage, civil union or registered domestic partnership) must be legally dissolved. If these requirements are satisfied, the couple may complete the Notice of Intention of Marriage and the Supplement at the Clerk’s office in any city or town. In Massachusetts, a marriage license can be obtained in any city or town regardless of one’s residence or location of the ceremony. Remembering where the license is obtained is essential to getting copies later in the future. The fee varies in each municipality. It costs $35 in Manchester-By-The-Sea. To complete the marriage intention, both parties must appear at the Clerk’s office together. There are two exceptions to this; one being the military and the other is incarceration. It is good to know what information will be requested on the forms; full names, the surname the couple will use after the ceremony, social security numbers, date and place of birth, present addresses and occupations. The full names of the couples’ parents are also required as all this information will be legally recorded by the State. Both parties will sign an oath that they are who they say they are and that there are no legal impediments to their marriage. The Marriage Intention must be completed at least 3 days prior to the ceremony but not more than 60 days before. If there is reason, you may waive this 3 day period through the court system or in extraordinary circumstances via a minister or physician. 


All those who marry in Massachusetts must have a marriage license issued in Massachusetts.