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Marriage

Town Clerk’s Office Bellingham Town Hall


MARRIAGE INTENTIONS

Obtaining a Marriage License
All persons wishing to marry in Massachusetts must obtain a marriage license issued from a Massachusetts City or Town Clerk’s Office of their choice. The two parties to the marriage must jointly apply for the license (file intentions) in person at the Clerk’s Office. Marriage licenses are permanently maintained on file at the Clerk’s Office where the marriage intention is filed.

Applying for a Marriage License
According to Massachusetts law the two parties to the marriage must jointly file intentions to marry, and may do so with the city or town clerk in any community in the Commonwealth. If a person is in the military, intentions may be filed by either party, providing one is a Massachusetts resident. If a person is incarcerated in a county house of correction or a state correctional facility, intentions may be filed by either party. A marriage license, once obtained, is valid for 60 days from the date intentions are filed and may be used in any Massachusetts city or town. The marriage license is not valid outside of the Commonwealth. Marriage Intentions may be filed at the Bellingham Town Clerk’s Office during regular business hours, no later than 1 hour before closing.  The fee for the marriage intention is $25 cash or check payable to the Town of Bellingham.

License availability
There is a mandatory 3 day waiting period after the marriage intention has been filed and is valid for 60 days from the date intentions are filed.  While Sundays and holidays are included in the three days, the day the application is made is not. Marriage licenses must be picked up in person at the Town Clerk's office.

Age Guidelines
A Massachusetts resident may marry if 18 years of age or older. A birth certificate may be required to show proof or age. 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

Medical Certificates
A medical certificate is no longer required to obtain a marriage license in Massachusetts.                                                                                                                                                                                                       
Previously Married
Neither party is 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. If the party is uncertain as to the absolute date of the divorce, they should contact the court where the divorce was granted. In Massachusetts, a divorce does not become absolute until 90 days after the divorce nisi has been granted, regardless of the grounds for divorce. There are no special requirements for a widow or widower who is remarrying.

Ceremony
Massachusetts statute does not require that witnesses be present at your ceremony. However, if a member of the clergy performs the ceremony, you should ensure that you are in conformity with the appropriate religious tenets.

Who Can Legally Marry Us?
One of the most important parts of planning your wedding is determining who will actually perform the ceremony. There are four primary groups of people that can legally solemnize a marriage in Massachusetts:
Obtaining certified copies of the Marriage License
If you wish for a certified copy of your marriage record, the Town Clerk will be pleased to provided one for you.  The fee for a certified copy of the Marriage License is $10.00 cash or check payable to the Town of Bellingham.