Persons who wish to obtain a marriage license to be married in Massachusetts are required to:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Appear in person together
- Swear or affirm to an oath under the penalties of perjury
If the marriage is to take place in Massachusetts, you may apply for your license at any City or Town Clerk's Office in Massachusetts regardless of where you live. Fees and hours vary from office to office. A marriage license is valid throughout Massachusetts for up to 60 days from the date of application. A 3-day waiting period is required for processing the license, however a court waiver is available by petition before a district court judge under special circumstances (a fee to the court is required for this). There is no longer a requirement for blood tests in Massachusetts.
Although divorced persons are not required to provide a copy of their divorce decree, they must be certain that their divorce is FINAL or ABSOLUTE. If a party is uncertain as to the absolute date of the divorce, they should contact the court where the divorce was granted. Neither party may even enter into the Intention of Marriage until a divorce is FINAL or ABSOLUTE. In Massachusetts, a divorce does not become ABSOLUTE until 90 days after the divorce nisi has been granted, regardless of the grounds for the divorce.
It is the responsibility of the officiant (member of the clergy or justice of the peace) to complete the marriage certificate and forward the same back to the Clerk’s Office for recording. The certificate is not valid until it has been recorded in the office from where it originated.
If an out-of-state member of the clergy is to perform the marriage, a special certificate must be obtained from the Secretary of the Commonwealth prior to performing the ceremony. For more information regarding this, click here. The original certificate must be filed with the Town Clerk with the marriage certificate.
The Governor's Office may issue a certificate authorizing a citizen to solemnize a specified marriage on a specified day. For more information regarding this, click here to visit the State's website for information and an application. The original certificate must be filed with the Town Clerk with the marriage certificate.
In Harvard, the cost to apply for the marriage license is $25. Information on how to obtain certified copies of the marriage certificate following the marriage can be found under “Vital Records.”
For additional Information please contact the Town Clerk's Office (978) 456-4100 x 316.