Darlene Van Alstyne
260 Commercial St.
Ph: (508) 487-7013
Fx: (508) 487-9560
In Massachusetts, a couple first files their intentions to marry, then there is a mandatory three day waiting period before a marriage license is issued. If you filed your intentions on a Monday, for example, we could then issue you your marriage license any time after 8 am on a Thursday. You would then take that marriage license to a Justice of the Peace, or anyone who can officiate a marriage, and have the ceremony. The marriage is not considered a legal union until the Justice of the Peace conducts the wedding and signs the marriage license. The marriage license then becomes a legal document and the original is returned to its point of origin (where you filed your intentions). A copy is forever kept as a part of the town's vital records, and the original is sent to the State Department of Public Health to be recorded in the State's vital records statistics.
Marriage filings must be conducted in the Clerk's office with both parties present and cannot be done through the mail or via the Internet.
Town Hall does not have a Justice of the Peace on site. You will need to schedule your ceremony with someone who can legally perform marriages in Massachusetts. See local list of
people who can conduct weddings
You do not have to get married in the town that you file your intentions in. Once your marriage license is issued, you can take that license anywhere in the Commonwealth to have your ceremony, but the original must be returned to the Town in which you filed your intentions.
Please note that as of January 28, 2005, a pre-marital blood test is no longer required in Massachusetts.
Once you have filed your marriage intentions, you have 60 days to act on those intentions (get married), or the intention becomes invalid and you have to start the whole process over again.
No appointments to file marriage intentions are necessary. Everyone who comes in during business hours will be able to file their intentions.