LUCIEN POYANT, JUSTICE OF THE PEACE
All people who marry in Massachusetts must have a marriage license issued in Massachusetts. An out-of-state license cannot be used.
How do we apply for a marriage license?
You must jointly file intentions to marry, and you may do so with the city or town clerk in any community in the state. If a person is in the military, intentions may be filed by either party, provided one is a Massachusetts resident. A marriage license, once obtained, is valid for 60 days from the date the intentions are filed and may be used in any Massachusetts city or town.
Is there a waiting period from the date of application to the date the license is issued?
Yes, there is a mandatory three-day waiting period. While Sundays and holidays are included in the three days, the day the application is made is not one of the three days. For example, if you apply on Friday, your license will be issued on Monday.
May we marry before the three days for a good reason?
Yes, if you can obtain a court waiver after filing your intentions.
How do we obtain a court waiver?
An application for a waiver must be filed by both of you at a probate or district court. After a hearing, the court may issue a certificate allowing the marriage license to be issued, and the marriage may be performed immediately. This sounds more complicated than it is.
What is age of reason to be married?
A Massachusetts resident may marry at the age of 18.
Do we need blood tests?
No, Massachusetts no longer requires blood tests.
What if one or both of us has been divorced?
You are not required to present a divorce certificate when filing intentions to marry. In Massachusetts, a divorce does not become final until 90 days after the divorce nisi has been granted. Any marriage performed before the 90 days is up is not legal.
Please Note: A Justice of the Peace is forbidden, by statute, to give you a copy of your marriage license. He/she must file it with the clerk of the municipality where it was granted. It is necessary to make arrangements, in advance, with the clerk to receive a certified copy of your marriage license.