Marriage Licenses

How to Apply for a Marriage License

Persons seeking a marriage license must be at least eighteen years old or have a court order providing for an exception. As of January 28 2005, a premarital blood test is no longer required in Massachusetts.

How do we apply for a marriage license?

Couples who will be married in Massachusetts must appear together at the office of any city or town clerk in the Commonwealth to file the Intention of Marriage. According to Massachusetts law, you must jointly file intentions to marry. If a person is in the military, intentions may be filed by either party, providing one is a Massachusetts resident. If a person is incarcerated in a county house of correction or state correctional facility, intentions may be filed by either party. A marriage license, once obtained, is valid for 60 days from the date intentions are filed. It is not valid out of state. An appointment is required if you are filing with the Town Clerk in Dunstable. This is a part time office with limited hours, therefore, marriage licenses are restricted to Dunstable residents or their family members only.

Is there a waiting period from the date of the application to the date the license is issued?

Yes, there is a mandatory three-day waiting period. While Sundays and holidays are included in the three days, the day the application is made is not. For example, if you apply on Friday, your license will be issued on or after Monday. In certain circumstances, a waiver of the waiting period may be granted by the local District Court. In that instance the couple brings the court waiver to the town clerk and a marriage license may be issued immediately. If you are filing in Dunstable, your license will only be given to you or your partner. Please do not send a family member to pick it up, as it must be carefully proof-read by you before it is signed.

May we marry before the three days for a good reason?

Yes, if you can obtain a court waiver after filing intentions. According to MGL Chapter 207:30, if both parties are residents, or no-residents, or one of each, and they need to dispense with the three days, they may do so by applying to the judge of a probate or district court to have the license issued without delay, after filing intentions with the clerk.

Does our Marriage License ever expire?

A marriage license must be used within sixty days from the date of filing the Intention of Marriage. Following the marriage ceremony, the officiate must sign the license and return it to the city or town where it was issued.

What is the fee?

The fee for a marriage license issued in the Town of Dunstable is $25.00 which includes one (1) certified copy. Your marriage license is a permanent record at the Dunstable Town Hall.

Legal Impediments to Marriage in Massachusetts: Click here.

Non-residents wishing to solemnize a marriage must obtain a one day designation. Click here for One Day Designation Information.

Non-resident Clergy Members wishing to solemnize a marriage in Massachusetts, please click here for Procedure to Perform Marriages for Non-resident Clergy Member.

Resident Clergy Members: Please click here for Procedure to Perform Marriages in Massachusetts.