How do I obtain a marriage license?

Information about Massachusetts Marriage Licenses

If you intend to marry within the state of Massachusetts, a certificate of marriage (the license) must be obtained prior to the marriage. You can apply (take out an Intention of Marriage) for a license in any Town or City Clerk's office in Massachusetts, regardless of where you live (residency of the state is not a requirement for marriage in Massachusetts; and you do not have to be a resident of the town in which you apply for the license).

Both parties to the marriage do have to apply for the license together, and both must sign the Intention paperwork under oath. Additionally, both parties to the marriage must be at least 18 years old to marry in Massachusetts. Although not a requirement, you may be asked to produce identification during the licensing process. (Note: There are exceptions to the parties applying together, as well as to the age requirement. These exceptions involve obtaining a court waiver.)

Applying for Your Marriage License

Marriage certificates (licenses) that are issued by a City or Town Clerk are valid for 60 days from the date the intentions are taken out by the couple. If your marriage does not take place within those 60 days, the certificate becomes invalid and you must file again. In Grafton, the fee for applying for a marriage license is $20 (license only).

Additionally, in Massachusetts there is a mandatory 3-day waiting period that must be met before the license can be issued to you. Therefore, 3 days must pass from the date you make out your intentions paperwork to the date you (or your designee) pick up your license (note: the certificate must be picked up in person; it cannot be mailed to you). Again, there are exceptions to this requirement and a court waiver may be necessary. If you fall into this category, you should contact the Clerk's office for further instructions.

Other Things You Should Know

Your completed marriage certificate will remain on file with the town or city in which you file your intentions.

Blood tests are no longer required for any couple applying for a Marriage License in Massachusetts due to a change in the state's General Laws, effective January, 2005.

If you live in Massachusetts but intend to marry in another state, you must file your marriage intentions in that state. The Massachusetts certificate is not valid outside of Massachusetts. We recommend you contact the local officials in the city/town of the state where your marriage will take place, as marriage laws vary from state to state.

Information that you should know before you apply for your license: your place of birth, your mother's maiden (birth) name, your social security number, your officiant's name and contact information.

Licenses can be picked up during our normal business hours. Grafton does not issue licenses on Saturdays or Sundays.

An appointment is not necessary to apply for your marriage license in Grafton, and you may do so any time during our regular office hours. We ask that you allow at least 20 minutes for completion of your application.

For your convenience, the Grafton Clerk's Office has a Justice of the Peace to serve couples who wish to marry. Please ask the Town Clerk for more information.

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