Marriage Law Massachusetts

  1. Person wishing to marry in Massachusetts must have a marriage license issued in Massachusetts.
  2. An out-of- state license cannot be used.
  3. Both the man and woman wishing to marry must apply in person for a marriage license with the city or town clerk in any community in the state.
  4. A marriage license, once obtained, is valid for 60 days from the date intentions are filed and may be used in any Massachusetts city or town.
  5. It is not valid outside the state.
  6. The person applying for the marriage license need to submit the following
    1. birth certificates,
    2. tax information, and
    3. a proof of identification such as driver's license and Social Security card or a valid passport number or I-94 card,
    4. information about previous marriages, if previously married, the date of divorce or date of spouse's death must be supplied. If the divorce or spouse's death occurred within the past 30 days, a certified copy of the divorce decree or death certificate is required.
    5. An application form must be complet
  1. The fee for a marriage license is as prescribed by the law of Massachusetts is $4.00. However the state statute allows cities and towns by a vote of their city councils, boards of selectmen or town meeting, or by a change in the by-laws, to set their own fee.
  1. A Massachusetts resident may marry if he or she is 18 years of age or older. A birth certificate may be required to show proof of age.
  2. If either party is under 18, a court order from a probate or district court where the minor resides must be obtained before the marriage intentions can be filed.
  3. A medical certificate from any physician licensed to practice in Massachusetts is necessary for both man and woman wishing to marry unless they obtain a request in writing from a member of the clergy or attending physician stating that the woman is near the termination of her pregnancy or the death of either party is imminent.
  4. It is essential bring the report of the Pre-Marital Blood Test.
  5. It has to be done no longer than 30 days prior to the marriage license application.
  6. If either of the person wishing to marry is close to death, or if the bride is near the end of her pregnancy, the blood test can be waived if a request by the attending physician or clergy person is given to the clerk.
  7. Blank medical certificates for premarital tests may be obtained by medical practitioners and by out-of state residents planning to marry in Massachusetts from:
Bureau of Communicable Disease Control
Department of Public Health
305 South Street
Boston, MA 02130
  1. Medical certificates from other states are also valid for both the man and the woman.
  1. The marriage license is valid for 60 days.


  1. The following person may solemnize a marriage:
    1. It is possible for a non-minister or non-justice of the peace (such as a relative or family friend) to obtain special permission to perform a marriage from the Governor.
    2. After approval, a $25 fee is paid to the Commissions Division of the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
    3. Ordained ministers of the gospel may perform marriages.
    4. Before performing marriages, ministers are required to apply for a certificate from the state.
    5. The ordained minister must file a copy of his ordination certificate and a statement from the church saying that he is in good standing.
    6. Ministers must keep records of all marriages they perform.
    7. Also, ministers must return a certificate of the marriage to the town clerk or registrar who issued the marriage license and to the town clerk of the town where the marriage was performed.


  1. If either of the parties has arrived as an immigrant from a foreign country within five days, the application may be filed at any time before the marriage, and the certificate shall be issued at any time after the filing.
  2. When the persons wishing to marry apply for the marriage license, it will not only need a proof of identification and age, will need to provide any information about previous marriages, and will need to pay a nominal fee as well.
  3. It also need to have a witness when the persons wishing to marry sign the application,
  4. The bride will need to know what her married name will be before she signs the marriage certificate. She has to write that name on the application.
  5. After filling the application form the bride and bride-groom need to have a justice of the peace or a religious clergyman to sign the document.
  6. On the wedding day, the bride and bride-groom shall contact the chaplain with the marriage license, then after the ceremony, he'll sign it and send it to the proper government agency for validation.
A certified copy of the Marriage Certificate within 7 days after the officiator returns it to the Clerks Office to be recorded free of cost. Additional certified copies cost $2.00.

No man shall marry his:

  1. mother,
  2. grandmother,
  3. daughter,
  4. granddaughter,
  5. sister,
  6. stepmother,
  7. grandfather's wife,
  8. grandson's wife,
  9. wife's mother,
  10. wife's grandmother,
  11. wife's daughter,
  12. wife's granddaughter,
  13. brother's daughter,
  14. sister's daughter,
  15. father's sister or mother's sister.

No woman shall marry her:

  1. father,
  2. grandfather,
  3. son,
  4. grandson,
  5. brother,
  6. stepfather,
  7. grandmother's husband,
  8. daughter's husband,
  9. granddaughter's husband,
  10. husband's grandfather,
  11. husband's son,
  12. husband's grandson,
  13. brother's son,
  14. sister's son,
  15. father's brother or mother's brother.