Where to Apply for a Marriage License
If the marriage is to take place in Massachusetts you may apply for your license at any City or Town Clerk's Office in Massachusetts regardless of where you live. Fees and hours vary from office to office. Information on the Clerk's offices in other cities and towns can be obtained from the Commonwealth Communities page on the State of Massachusetts Website.
If your marriage is going to take place outside of Massachusetts, you must contact the local officials in the jurisdiction where the marriage will take place. Marriage laws vary from state to state.
Copies of Marriage Licenses
Marriages are recorded in the city or town where the couple applies for the marriage license. If you applied for a marriage license in Marblehead, you can obtain certified marriage certificates here. The cost for a certified marriage certificate is $10.00. Visit the Massachusetts State Website to obtain licenses not available through the Town.
Copies are available in person (call ahead for faster service) or by mail. Be sure to include your check or money order payable to the "Town of Marblehead", a self-addressed, stamped envelope, the names of the bride and groom and the date of the wedding.
In addition, residents can order and pay for marriage certificates online. Residents using this online payment feature can be assured that their bank account information and the payments are encrypted and securely processed.
The online payment processing is provided by an outside company, City Hall Systems. A small fee per transaction is charged for using the online payment option. If you experience difficulties paying your bill online, please call City Hall Systems at (508) 381-5455 and they will assist you.
Access Marblehead's Online Marriage Certificate payment feature here.
No appointment is necessary to apply for a Marriage License. A couple must appear at the Town Clerk's office together, in person, to file a "Notice of Intention to Marry." This can be done any time during our regular office hours. Please allow approximately fifteen minutes for completion of your application.
There is a mandatory three-day waiting period for a Marriage License from the date of application to the date the license is issued. While weekends and holidays are included in the three days, the day the application is made is not. For example, if you apply on a Friday, your license will be issued on or after Monday. If you apply on Monday, your license will be issued on or after Thursday. The marriage license, once obtained, is valid for 60 days from the date intentions were filed.
Waiver of the Waiting Period
If there is reason to dispense with the three-day waiting period, a couple may apply to the judge of a Massachusetts Probate or District Court to have the license issued without delay. Applicants can proceed to the courthouse after filing the "Notice of Intention to Marry" with the Town Clerk.
The Salem District Court is located on 65 Washington St, Salem, MA and can be reached at (978) 744-1167. Courthouse hours are 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. The fee for the waiver at District Courts in Massachusetts is currently $195, payable by either cash or check. The Courthouse staff recommends that applicants for waivers arrive at the Courthouse no later than 3:00 pm to assure ample time for consideration of the waiver prior to closing time.
The Essex County Probate Court is located at 36 Federal St, Salem, MA and can be reached at (978) 744-1020. Courthouse hours are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. The fee for the waiver at Probate Courts in Massachusetts is currently $85.00.
Medical certificates are not required before a Marriage License can be issued.
The fee for a Marriage License is $30.00, payable in cash or by check. After the wedding you can obtain copies of the Marriage Certificate for $10.00 per copy.
Justice of the Peace
The Town Clerk's office provides the services of a Justice of the Peace.
Proof of Residency
Documentary proof of residence will not be required in Marblehead but couples will be asked to sign a sworn affidavit, as follows: "I have reviewed a list of impediments to marriage hereby state that there is an absence of any legal impediment to the marriage and do hereby depose and say that all of the statements as set forth in the above notice whereof I could have knowledge are true and are made under the penalties of perjury." (MGL Ch. 4, §6, Rule 6). A list of impediments is available at the Town Clerk’s office.
Proof of Divorce from Previous Marriage
You are not required to present a divorce certificate when filing intentions to marry. However, it is extremely important that an individual who has been divorced be certain that his/her divorce is absolute. In Massachusetts, a divorce does not become absolute until 90 days after the divorce has been granted, regardless of the grounds for divorce.