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). Your completed marriage license will remain on file with the Town or City in which you file your Marriage Intentions.
Applying for Your Marriage License
An appointment is not necessary to apply for your marriage license in Douglas, 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.
Information that you should know before you apply for your license:
- Your mother’s maiden (birth) name
- Your Officiant’s name (the person marrying you) and contact information
- Your place of birth
- Your social security number
Both parties to the marriage do have to apply for the license together, and both must sign the Intention of Marriage paperwork under the penalties of perjury. Additionally, both parties to the marriage must be at least 18 years old to marry in Massachusetts. A birth certificate is now required to obtain a 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.
Additionally, in Massachusetts there is a mandatory three day waiting period that must be met before the license can be issued to you. Therefore, three days must pass from the date you signed your intention paperwork to the date you (or your designee) pick up your license in person. Again, there are exceptions to this requirement and a court waiver may be necessary.
In Douglas, the fee for applying for a marriage license is $20.
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.
Marrying in Another State
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.
If you would like to discuss your marriage, or if you have any questions regarding the marriage application process, please contact the Town Clerk's Office.