Thinking about getting married in Somerville?
Here’s what you’ll need to know before you tie the knot.
Keep in mind, this isn’t legal advice; it’s just a few tips to help you get started.
You can find more detailed information here.
Getting a Copy of Your Marriage Certificate
Please note: We are currently accepting marriage applications from Somerville residents only. If you plan to get married in the next 14 days, we cannot accommodate you. City Hall is closed and our staffing is limited due to social distancing protocols. Please be aware that you can apply anywhere else in Massachusetts as long as they can accommodate you and you're physically getting married in Massachusetts. You can also apply out-of-state, but that state’s rules will apply. Just remember that wherever you apply is the place that will maintain your marriage record and provide you with certified copies.
What You Need to Know Before You Get Started
Any couple can get married as long as both people are not closely related. In Massachusetts, that generally means that you can’t marry your parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling, step-parent, step-grandparent, step-child, step-grandchild, parent-in-law, grandparent-in-law, child-in-law, grandchild-in-law, sibling’s child, or parent’s sibling.
Your marriage license expires 60 days from the day you apply, so make sure you plan accordingly. You can apply in any municipality in Massachusetts and get married anywhere in Massachusetts, but you can’t get married out of state with a Massachusetts license.
You don’t need a medical certificate or blood work to get married.
You can choose to change or keep your surname when you get married, but you can’t change your first or middle names. To change your surname, simply enter it on the Notice of Intention of Marriage.
If you’re divorced, you don’t need to submit your divorce papers, but your divorce must be finalized when you apply for the marriage license. In Massachusetts, divorces generally become final 90 days after the judge signs the Final Judgment. Other states have different time periods.
Apply for a Marriage License
We are currently accepting marriage applications from Somerville residents only, in a way that minimizes your face-to-face interaction with city employees. Plan on the process taking two to three weeks before you receive your marriage license.
Here are the steps to follow:
- There are three forms you and your partner will have to fill out. They’re all available online. Fill them out online OR print them and fill them out with a black pen as clearly as you can. If you’re not sure how to answer a question, leave it blank. If you don’t have a wedding date, place, or officiant, leave them blank. Don’t sign any of the forms yet.
- Return the forms to us along with a legible copy of a valid government-issued photo ID for each of you. For a driver’s license, we just need the front. For a passport, we just need the page with your name and picture. Include an email address and phone number, and return them to us in one of three ways:
- Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Drop them in the black drop box just outside the School Street entrance of City Hall; or
- Mail them to the Somerville City Clerk, 93 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA, 02143.
- Some time in the next 10 days, someone from the City Clerk’s Office will schedule a time for you both to come to City Hall to sign everything and pay the $50 marriage license application fee.
- You both must be wearing masks when you arrive, and you’ve got to bring your own pen (black ink only), the same photo IDs you copied, and a $50.00 check or money order payable to the City of Somerville. We will not accept cash or credit/debit cards.
- In our presence, you’ll both affirm under oath that all the statements are true and there are no legal impediments to your marriage, then you’ll sign the forms.
- We’ll then email you a draft marriage certificate. You’ll both carefully proofread it, and let us know if everything is exactly right. Correcting even a minor mistake after the fact will cost $50 and require submitting an affidavit.
- Once we’ve received your OK, we’ll wait 3 days (legally required), then mail the marriage license to you. Congratulations—you’re on your way!
The marriage must be solemnized within 60 days of your application. Any of the following people may perform the ceremony:
- Another religious official
- Justice of the Peace
- Anyone with a one-day designation from the Secretary of State’s Office. Note that you’ll need to submit this designation with your solemnized license for your marriage to be valid.
You don’t need a witness if a Justice of the Peace performs the ceremony. Some religions do require witnesses, so make sure you check beforehand.
Getting a Copy of Your Marriage Certificate
If you applied for your marriage license in Somerville, you can get a certified copy of your marriage certificate from the City Clerk’s Office. There are 2 ways to do this: