Certificate of Marriage

Obtaining a Marriage License

All persons wishing to marry in Massachusetts must obtain a marriage license issued from a Massachusetts City or Town Clerk. 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.

There is a 3-day waiting period between when the Intentions are filed and when the marriage license may be issued. A marriage license, once obtained, is valid for 60 days from the date intentions are filed and may be used anywhere in Massachusetts. The marriage license is not valid outside of the Commonwealth.

Marriage Intentions may be filed at the Lexington Town Clerk's Office, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Tuesday from 8:30 am to 7 pm, or Friday from 8:30 am to 1 pm. The filing fee is $40.

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

Previously Married

Massachusetts divorce decrees do not become absolute until 90 days after the divorce nisi has been granted, regardless of the grounds for divorce. Neither party is required to present a divorce certificate when filing intentions to marry. However, it is extremely important that divorced individuals be certain the divorce is absolute before filing intentions to marry.

Ceremony Solemnizer / Clergy

Massachusetts statute does not require that witnesses be present at civil ceremonies.

If an out-of-state member of the clergy is to perform the marriage, the clergy member must obtain a Certificate of Authorization from the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth prior to the ceremony. This certificate must be attached to the original license and returned to the Town Clerk.

For further information, contact:
Division of Public Records
Secretary of the Commonwealth
One Ashburton Place, Room 1719
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: 617-727-2836

If a person other than a member of the clergy is designated as "Solemnizer" or Justice of the Peace for the Ceremony, further information can be obtained from:
Secretary of the Commonwealth
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: 617-727-5787