Obtaining a Marriage License
To get married in the state of Massachusetts, you will need to file for a Massachusetts Certificate of Marriage with a Town Clerk's office in Massachusetts. You can file with any town regardless of where in Massachusetts you get married. You do not have to file in the town where the wedding will be or the town you were born in. Whatever town you file with will have the permanent record of your marriage license.
For a general guide with all the information you’ll need to know about obtaining a marriage license,click here.
Marriage License Process
The Marriage License is only good for sixty days and there is a three day waiting period to pick up your License. You must have your License on the day of your wedding to make the marriage legal. It is possible to avoid the three day waiting period by filing for a one day waiver with a Massachusetts court.
The Intentions of Marriage paperwork takes roughly 20 minutes to fill out and needs to be done in person by both members of the couple at least three days before the wedding but no earlier then 60 days before the wedding. There is a $25.00 fee for filing you Marriage Intentions. Once the paperwork is completed, the marriage license can be picked up after the three day waiting period or can be picked up immediately if you have the one day waiver from a Massachusetts court.
Once you have picked up your marriage license and the ceremony has taken place, the officiant (Priest, Rabbi, Justice of the Peace, solemnizer) will fill out the license and mail it back to the Town Clerk. You will not automatically receive a copy of your marriage license.
Once the Town Clerk has the marriage license back from the officiant, certified copies with a raised seal can be issued at a cost of $10.00 each. You can order as many copies as you wish, and the record will be permanently on file at the Town Clerk's Office should you need a copy in the future.
If you have any questions please call the Town Clerk's Office at 508-760-6112.
Importaint facts about obtaining a Marriage License
- This is a state marriage license that may be obtained in any city or town in Massachusetts as long as the marriage takes place in Massachusetts.
- The bride and groom must both be present to file their marriage intentions.
- Persons under 18 years of age must obtain parental and court permission with the court age waiver filed with this office.
- There is a mandatory three (3) day waiting period not including the day of filing. If you wish to waive the three (3) day waiting period, a court waiver is necessary.
- The Marriage license is valid for and must be used within sixty (60) days of the date the marriage intentions were filed. If the license is not used, it becomes void and it will be necessary to begin the entire process again.
- Filing fee is $25.00. Cash, checks or credit are accepted.
- Divorced people do not need to bring proof of annulment of a previous marriage but should be sure that it is complete before filing a new marriage.
- As of January 28, 2005, pre-martial blood tests are no longer required in Massachusetts.
- For couples wishing to get married on a Town beach please contact the Beach Department for a beach use permit.
- If a person is currently in the military, intentions may be filed by either party, providing one is a Massachusetts resident. If a person is currently serving they do not need to be present to file but a copy of a Military ID is required.
- If you wish to have an out-of-state member of the clergy to perform your wedding they need to get a "Certificate of Authorization" form the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth prior to the ceremony. This can take a few weeks so plan accordingly. Call (617) 727-2836 or visit their website.
- If you wish to have a non-minister or non-justice of the peace (such as a friend, relative or family friend) they need to obtain special permission to perform the ceremony from the Governor’s office. This can take a few weeks so plan accordingly. We recommend you do not apply more than 3 months before the wedding and at least a month before the wedding to ensure you receive the designation in time. Call (617) 725-4055 or visit their
- The Town in which you file your Intentions of Marriage with is the Town that will have the record of your marriage regardless of where the wedding actually takes place.
Justice of the Peace
There are several Justice of the Peace on Cape Cod that are available to preform weddings. Below is a list of Justices of the Peace that are in Dennis.
Stephanie Lowell...........(508) 398 - 3123
Ralph S. McCracken......(508) 364 - 8060
Jerry DeSalvatore..........(508) 744 - 3223
Julia Johnson.................(774) 212-3100
Theresa T. Bunce...........(508) 760 - 6115
After you are Married
After you are married you will not automatically receive a copy of your marriage certificate. The Town Clerk's office can issue you a certified copy of your marriage certificate with a raised seal on it. Copies are $10.00 each and can be obtained in person at the Town Clerk’s Office, by mail, or online. Please visit the Vitals page in order to obtain a copy of your marriage certificate through the mail or online.
If you want to use a new surname after mare you need to do so with the Social Security Administration. You will need a Certified copy of your Marriage Certificate to take with you to their office. Certified copies of your marriage certificate are available with the Town or City that you filed your marriage intentions with. If you are not sure you want to change your name at the time of your marriage you can still change your name at a later time but will have to pay a fee to do so.
259 North Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
After you have made the change with the Social Security Administration you should make the change on your driver’s license through the Registry of Motor Vehicles. You will need your social security card with your new name on it, a completed license and ID update form and the fee to have it amended.
Branch Office Address:
1084 Route 28,
South Yarmouth, MA
Other things you may need to change are health insurance, bank accounts, property or deeds, and any other important documents or accounts.