State Massachusetts Getting Married Inback to States


Massachusetts recognizes both straight and same-sex unions.

Current Legislation:

As of May 17, 2004, both straight and same-sex marriages are recognized in the state.


Do I have to reside in Massachusetts to get married there?

You do not have to be a resident of Massachusetts to get married there.

How can I apply for a marriage license?

Both parties must be present to apply for the license in person at any city or town hall.

What are the fees?

The costs for a marriage license varies—call the city or town hall where you intend to file.

Is there a waiting period?

There is a three-day waiting period and the license will expire 60 days after it is issued.

What documentation do I need?

Both parties must provide a photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, as well as their Social Security card.

Is a blood test required?


Who can marry us and are witnesses required?

A justice of the peace, priest, minister, rabbi or other religious official can officiate the ceremony. In Massachusetts, a family or friend can solemnize the marriage with a One Day Marriage Designation. The application (available here) costs $25 and takes four to six weeks to process. No witnesses are required.

How can I change my name?

Obtain several certified copies from the county clerk’s office where your license was filed, as you will need these throughout the name changing process. Fill out an application for a new Social Security card (which can be found here) and go to your local Social Security Administration office (be sure to get there before it opens) with a certified copy of your marriage license, photo proof of identity such as a driver’s license and original proof of citizenship, such as a passport or birth certificate. Be sure to change it with the DMV, your employer, your bank, etc.

Will my same-sex marriage be legal in other states?

Unfortunately, same-sex marriages are only recognized in the 35 states that they can legally be performed in— Alaska, Ariz., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., Hawaii, Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kan., Maine, Mass., Md., Minn., Mont., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.M., N.Y., N.C., Okla., Ore., Penn., R.I., S.C., Utah, Va., Vt., Wash., W.Va., Wis., Wyo., as well as Washington, D.C.

**Disclaimer: Requirements and protocols are subject change. Please regard the above information as a guide only, not professional legal advice. It is important to confirm the information with your specific county and state of residence before the wedding.