Office of Town Clerk Haley A. Meczywor
Town Hall, 8 Park Street, Adams, MA 01220
OBTAINING A MARRIAGE LICENSE IN ADAMS, MASSACHUSETTS
All people who marry in Massachusetts must have a marriage license issued in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. An out-of-state license cannot be used. This pamphlet outlines the procedures you must follow to obtain a license.
HOW DO WE APPLY FOR A MARRIAGE LICENSE? You must both apply in person for a marriage license. This requirement is applicable to both residents and non-residents of the Commonwealth. According to Massachusetts law, you must jointly file intentions to marry, and you may do so with any town or city clerk 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 community. It is not valid out of state.
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. For example, if you apply on Friday, your license will be issued on or after Monday.
MAY WE MARRY BEFORE THE THREE DAYS FOR GOOD REASON? Yes, if you can obtain a court waiver after filing intentions. The court charges $200 for this service.
HOW DO WE OBTAIN A WAIVER? First, file your intentions with the Town Clerk. Then an application for a waiver must be filed by both of you at a probate or district court. If the court grants the waiver, the license can be issued and the ceremony may be performed without delay.
WHAT IS THE COST OF A MARRIAGE LICENSE? Varies from town to city.
AT WHAT AGE MAY A MAN OR WOMAN MARRY? Massachusetts residents may marry if they are 18 years of age or older. A birth certificate may be required to prove your age.
WHAT IF ONE OR BOTH OF US IS UNDER 18? If either party is under 18, a court order from a probate or district court where the minor resides must be obtained before the marriage intentions can be filed.
ARE SAME SEX MARRIAGES ALLOWED? In the Bay State same sex marriages are legal.
WHAT IF ONE OR BOTH OF US HAS BEEN DIVORCED? You are not required to present a divorce certificate. However, it is extremely important that the divorce is absolute and final.
DO WE NEED WITNESSES PRESENT AT THE CEREMONY? Massachusetts statute does not require that witnesses be present. However, if a member of the clergy performs the ceremony, you should ensure that you are in conformity with the appropriate religious tenets.
WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE MEMBER OF THE CLERGY OR JUSTICE OF THE PEACE? Whoever performs your marriage ceremony must complete and sign the original license and return it to the clerk of the community where it was issued.
WHAT IF AN OUT-OF-STATE CLERGY IS PERFORMING YOUR MARRIAGE? Out-of-state clergy may perform marriages in Massachusetts, however they must first obtain a Certificate of Authorization from the Massachusetts Secretary of State. This certificate must be attached to the original license and returned with the license.
Compiled by the office of Adams Town Clerk Haley A. Meczywor
and the Massachusetts Secretary of State