Laws Governing Marriage in Massachusetts

When applying for a marriage license in Massachusetts there are some things that you should be aware of.  All legal issues should be resolved no later than one month prior to the actual wedding date.  Requirements may vary from town to town.  The following are some frequently asked questions.

Q.  Do I need proper identification when applying for a marriage license?
A.  Proper identification e.g., a birth certificate, driver’s license, passport, etc. is necessary.

Q.  Are same sex marriages legal in the Commonwealth?
A.  As of May 17, 2004, same sex marriages are allowed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Q.  Is there a residency requirement?
A.  There is no residency requirement to marry in Massachusetts.

Q.  Is there a waiting period between the time a license is issued and the actual date of the wedding?
A.  Massachusetts requires a three-day (3) waiting period.

Q.  What are the fees associated with a marriage license?
A.  The cost of a marriage license in Massachusetts is between $25 and $35.  The fee may vary from town to town.

Q.  Is a blood test required?
A.  As of January 28, 2005, Massachusetts no longer requires a blood test.

Q.  If I am under 18 years old, can I still apply for a marriage license?
A.  Persons under the age of 18 need a court order from either a probate court or district court in order to obtain a license.

Q.  Who can perform a marriage service in the Commonwealth?
A.  Any ordained minister, clergyman or justice of the peace may perform a wedding service.

Q.  Are witnesses required?
A.  Witnesses are not required.

Q.  How is a marriage license recorded in the Commonwealth?
A.  The marriage license must be returned no later than the tenth day of the month following the month in which the marriage is solemnized to the clerk or registrar who issued the document.  Each certificate and copy so returned shall contain a statement giving the place and date of marriage, attested to by the signature of the person who solemnized the same.

Photography By Lianne Boas

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies. ~ Aristotle