Persons who wish to obtain a marriage license to be married in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are required to:
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Appear in person together in order to sign the required forms in front of the Town Clerk's Office
- Swear or affirm to an oath under the penalties of perjury.
A marriage license is valid throughout Massachusetts for up to 60 days from the date of application. A 3-day waiting period is required for processing the license, however, a court waiver is available by petition before a district court judge under special circumstances (a fee to the court is required for this action). There is no longer a requirement for blood tests in Massachusetts or witnesses at the ceremony. You are not required to file in the town/city in which the marriage is to be performed. However, the community in which you file, is where the marriage license will be recorded and kept on file on a permanent basis. You will want to consider where to file since you both will need to appear in person. Consider the convenience to where you live or work.
The key is to remember where you obtain the license. The certificate will be on file in the State Registry of Vital Statics, www.mass.gov but additional certified copies will always be available in the municipality where it was obtained.
The fee for a marriage license varies within the State. It is also important to know your social security number, city of birth as well as the full names of your parents. Prior to applying for the marriage intention, the couple should have discussed whether there will be any name changing so that the license can indicate that.
Although divorced persons are not required to provide a copy of their divorce decree, they must be certain that their divorce is FINAL or ABSOLUTE. If a party is uncertain as to the absolute date of the divorce, they should contact the court where the divorce was granted. Neither party may even enter into the Intention of Marriage until a divorce is FINAL or ABSOLUTE. In Massachusetts, a divorce does not become ABSOLUTE until 90 days after the divorce ruling has been granted, regardless of the grounds for the divorce.
Persons are not required to be residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to be married in Massachusetts, however, no person may apply for a license who would otherwise be prohibited from marrying in their home State.
It is the responsibility of the officiant (a member of the clergy or Justice of the Peace) to complete the marriage certificate and forward the same back to the Clerk’s Office for recording. The certificate is not valid until it has been recorded in the office from where it was originated. If a member of the clergy is performing the ceremony, the couple should ensure that they are in conformity with the appropriate religious beliefs.
If an out-of-state member of the clergy or somone that is not authorized to officiate a marriage is to perform the marriage, a special certificate must be obtained from the Secretary of the Commonwealth prior to performing the ceremony. Contact the Commissions Office for more information at: 617-727-2836. Use can also click here for more information.
In some instances, a couple may wish to have a Justice of the Peace solemnize their marriage. In many surrounding communities, the Town Clerk or a member of the Town Clerk's staff may be a Justice of the Peace. For a partial list of area Town Clerks and / or their staff, click here
Filing for a marriage in Wenham costs $15. The Wenham Town Clerk only accepts cash or check.
Feel free to call or email the Town Clerk if you have questions or concerns regarding the process.
978-468-5520 x1 or firstname.lastname@example.org
In order to expedite the process of the paperwork, you can use the link below for the forms. All three forms are required. These forms are fillable pdf which can be completed on line. By completing them on line, typed print is easier to read and avoids errors. Once you have the forms filled in, you will need to print them. Once completed you will need to make an appointment with the Town Clerk's Office to return the forms.
NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT sign the forms until you are in the presence of the Town Clerk.
Fillable Marriage Forms