MA Marriage Laws

Residency Requirements

What are the residency requirements for Massachusetts?

None. You do not have to be a previous or current resident of Massachusetts to obtain a marriage license that is valid statewide. Many couples come into MA just to get married.

Waiting Period

Is there a waiting period from the application date to the date the license is issued?

Yes, there is a mandatory 3 day waiting period. The waiting period does not include Saturdays, Sundays or holidays. The day the application is filed is not included within the waiting period.

Is there a waiting period from the date the license is issued to the date I am allowed to marry?

No, you can marry immediately after receiving your license.

Age Requirement

What is the minimum age a man or woman may marry?

You must be 18 years old or older to marry without parental consent. A birth certificate may be necessary to show proof of age.

What if one or both of us is younger than 18?

If either partner is under 18, parents or legal guardians must be present. If a parent can not be present, due to death, separation, divorce or other circumstances, proper evidence must be presented for verification. You will need a certified copy of your birth certificate. If you are under 16 you can not marry without a court order.

Blood Tests and Physical Exams

Are blood tests and physical exams required?

NO, there are NO Medical requirements to get married.

License Expires

How long does a marriage license remain valid once it's been issued?

Your license will expire 60 days from the date it is issued.

Divorced and Widowed Applicants

What if one or both partners have been divorced or have had a spouse die?

If previously married, MA No Longer requires you to bring a certified copy of the divorce decree or death certificate.

How Do I Legally Change My Name?

What's the process of legally changing my last name after marriage?

Following your wedding ceremony, you will need to obtain a Certificate of Marriage, which is a piece of paper proving that you are legally married in MA. This certificate will serve as evidence of your marriage, which you'll need when you begin the process of notifying government agencies about your name change, as well as any non-government institutions that you do business with (ie, banks, employers, credit cards, memberships, etc).

Miscellaneous Questions

Are proxy marriages legal?

No, marriage by proxy is not allowed in MA.

Are cousin marriages legal?

Yes, cousins are allowed to marry in MA.

Are common law marriages legal?

Not in MA. In some stated, any couple living together for more then Seven (7) years are considered legally Married. The State of Massachusetts doe NOT recognize common-law marriages no longer how many years the couple resides together.

Are same sex marriages legal?

Yes, In MA, same-sex marriages are allowed.