You may apply for a Marriage License at any Town or City Clerk’s Office in Massachusetts and your license may be used anywhere in Massachusetts. Persons are not required to be residents of Massachusetts.
Both parties must appear together; be at least 18 years of age and swear or affirm to an oath under the penalties of perjury.
Massachusetts requires a three-day waiting period once intentions are filed. The day that you apply does not count, but you may pick up the license on the third day. Please note that we are not open on Saturdays. If you are getting married on a Saturday the last day that you can apply is Tuesday to pick up the license on Friday. It is possible to obtain a waiver of the three day waiting period under special circumstances (there is a court fee associated with this). The application for a waiver must be filed by both parties at the Court House. After appearing before the Judge, the court may issue a certificate allowing the marriage license to be issued and the marriage performed without delay. After the couple has the certificate for the wavier, they may apply for the marriage intention at the Town Clerk's Office.
If you need to waive the three-day period you will need to contact the:
Southern Berkshire District Court
(413) 528 – 3520
Prior to the ceremony, the marriage license will need to be picked up in person. Either party or a person designated by the couple may pick up the license. The person that picks up the license must verify that all of the information has been typed correctly. Marriage certificates will not be mailed prior to the ceremony. It must be picked up in person.
The fee for a marriage license in Great Barrington is $35.00. If you would like a certified copy mailed to you or picked up after the marriage has been recorded there is an additional $10.00 fee.
Pursuant to Chapter 388 of the Acts of 2004, blood tests are no longer required for any couple applying for their Marriage License in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts statute does not require that witnesses be present at your ceremony.
It is the responsibility of the officiant (member of the clergy or JP) to complete the marriage certificate (section 20 only) and forward it back to the Clerk’s office for recording. Please make sure the officiant spells out the name of the month (no numbers). If the ceremony is not performed in a religious institution a street address must be used, for the location not the name of the banquet hall, beach, country club, park, etc. Failure to fill out Section 20 properly will result in a delay in the recording of the license and a $25.00 fee to redo your license will be assessed. This fee must be paid prior to the issuance of any certified copies. The certificate is not valid until it has been recorded in the office where it originated.
If an out of state member of the clergy is to perform the marriage, a special certificate must be obtained from the Secretary of the Commonwealth prior to performing the ceremony. The certificate is issued from the Public Records Office, Commissions Division, One Ashburton Place, Room 1719, Boston, MA 02103. For further information please contact them at 617-727-2836 or at http://www.state.ma.us/sec/pre/premar/marnon.htm
It is possible for a non-minister or no-justice of the peace (such as a relative or friend) to obtain special permission to perform a marriage from the Governor. This is a one-day solemnization. Please contact the Governor’s Council at 617-727-5787 or at http://sec.state.ma.us/cis/ciscig/mindex.htm#Massachusetts%20M
Are you changing your last name after you are married? Don’t forget to change your voter registration, drivers license and to notify the Social Security Administration. Here is a link to the SS-5 form (Social Security webpage): http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ss-5.pdf
Reminder: Your marriage license will always remain with the town or city where the license was applied for not in the city or town where the ceremony was performed.