Applying for a Marriage License: A couple wishing to be married in Massachusetts may file an intention in any city or town hall in Massachusetts. The marriage certificate will be valid in any Massachusetts city or town.
The Clerk’s Office accepts marriage license applications up to 1/2 hour before closing time. The hours for applying for a marriage license are Monday through Wednesday 8:30 am - 3:30 pm, Thursday 8:30 am - 6:00 pm, and Friday 8:30 am - 12:00 pm.
Couples wishing to file a marriage intention must:
- Appear together to fill out paperwork
- Show valid IDs
There is a 3-day waiting period in the State of Massachusetts before a marriage license can be issued. Once the 3 day wait period has expired, the license may then be picked up. Marriage Licenses are valid for 60 days (the expiration date appears on the marriage license).
The City of Gloucester charges $40 to file an intention, which includes a complimentary certified copy of the certificate issued to the couple after the marriage.
***It’s important that you decide whether or not you’ll be changing your surname after you’re married. When you come to the Clerk’s office to file the marriage intention, you’ll be required to provide a "surname after marriage" on the form. The surname that you put on the form will remain permanent on the marriage certificate***
Please keep in mind the aforementioned waiting period and valid until date as you plan your wedding date and the date you come in to file intentions. City Hall closes early on Friday, and is closed on Saturday and Sunday. If you are planning a weekend wedding and you file your intentions the same week, be sure to file them in time to be able to pick up the license on a day and time that City Hall is open.
The City Clerk’s office is not responsible for forgotten marriage licenses or situations in which the 3-day waiting period for the license has not expired by the time of your wedding.
Officiants/Solemnizers must have the marriage license in hand prior to performing the ceremony. Licenses with a date of marriage earlier than the date of issuance from the Clerk’s office will be rejected and the couple required to file a new intention.
An important note: A marriage certificate will be kept at the city or town hall where your intentions were filed. For example, if you live in Brooklyn, New York and file your intentions in Gloucester, Massachusetts, your marriage certificate will be kept in the records of the Gloucester City Clerk’s Office. Brooklyn, New York will not have a copy of your marriage certificate.