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.
You must be 18 years old to get married in Massachusetts.
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. The license is valid anywhere in Massachusetts, but not out of state.
You don’t need a medical certificate or blood work to get married.
If you’re divorced, you don’t need to bring your divorce papers, but your divorce must be finalized when you apply for the marriage license. In Massachusetts, divorces become final 90 days after the judge signs the Final Judgment. Other states have different time periods.
Apply for a Marriage License
You can get a marriage license from the City Clerk’s Office. You and your partner must apply together in person. It takes about 30 minutes. Here’s what you each need to bring:
- A current government-issued photo ID.
- Your Social Security Number, if you have one.
- $50.00. The fee can be paid by cash, check, money order, or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or Discover only). Make checks payable to “City of Somerville.”
Once you’ve gathered everything you’ll need, visit the City Clerk’s Office at:
Somerville City Hall
93 Highland Avenue
Somerville, MA 02143
You can apply to get married Monday-Wednesday 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m., Thursday 8:30 a.m. - 7 p.m., and Friday 8:30 a.m. - 12 noon.
Pick Up Your Marriage License
There’s a three-day waiting period after you apply for your license. The waiting period includes holidays and weekends. If you want to waive the waiting period, you’ll need to get a Court Petition for a Marriage Without Delay from a local probate or district court.
Anyone can pick up the license, but they must be prepared to proofread it carefully. Correcting even a minor mistake after the fact will cost $50 and require submitting an affidavit.
The marriage must be solemnized within 60 days of your application. Any of the following people may perform the ceremony:
- Other 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.