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Obtaining a Marriage Licence

In Massachusetts, the legal marrying age is 18 and proof of age and identity must be presented when applying for a marriage license. Marriage licenses must be obtained from the city or town clerk in the community you wish to be married and there is usually a three-day waiting period before the license is issued.

After that three-day waiting period (unless it has been waived by a court), the couple will receive the license from the clerk, and must then have the marriage solemnized (i.e., have a ceremony in Massachusetts) within 60 days of filing the application. Once the ceremony has been performed, the officiant will state the time and place of the wedding on the license, sign it, and send it back to the city or town where the couple received it. The clerk will then register the marriage and the couple can receive an official certificate of their marriage.

For more information, visit Married or Sharing a Household&sid=massgov2&b=terminalcontent&f=marriage_license_info&csid=massgov2

This page, from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, provides a link that will connect you to contact information for town and city clerks, as well as the Commonwealth's Citizen Information Service.


In Rhode Island, the legal marrying age is 18. A minor's permit to marry, signed and notarized in the presence of the city or town clerk, must be completed if a female applicant is 16 or 17 years of age. A female under age 16 and a male under age 18 cannot secure a marriage license in the State of Rhode Island without the approval of the Family Court.

Otherwise, both the bride and groom must apply for a marriage license in person with proof of birth, identity, and, if previously married, proof of divorce or death. If the bride is a resident of the state, the marriage license must be applied for at the city or town clerk's office in which she resides. The same applies if the groom is a resident of Rhode Island. If both the bride and the groom are residents, they may visit any city or town clerk's office in the state and the license is valid for anywhere within the state. If neither the bride nor groom is a resident of the state, the license must be applied for in the city or town in which the ceremony will take place. In Rhode Island, a marriage license is valid for 90 days, and there is a lengthy list of notables eligible to officiate - including U.S. bankruptcy judges, the police court of Johnston, R.I. and wardens of the town of New Shoreham, R.I. For more information, including specific information on costs and witnesses, please visit: