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How to get married

How to get married

Want to get married in Boston? Here’s what to do:

Last updated: 7/6/16

Before you get started

Any couple can get married as long as each person is 18 or older, and currently not married.

Please keep in mind

A marriage license is only good to use for 60 days in Massachusetts from the date you applied. You also can't use the marriage license outside of Massachusetts. You have to get married in the state.


Go to City Hall

You and your partner need to fill out the Marriage Intention form together at City Hall. Be prepared to each give the following information to the City:

  • valid identification (this includes passports, driver's licenses, state IDs, or military IDs)
  • your Social Security numbers (if you do not have a Social Security number, you have to write down why — for example, it was never issued or you are not a resident)
  • your legal names, and what last name you will use after marriage
  • where you both live now
  • your dates of birth and where you were born
  • the names of your parents, including maiden names, and whether or not your parents were married when you were born
  • if you were previously married, we will need to know how many times, and
  • if you were previously married, we need to know the date you were divorced or see your annulment papers.

We charge a $50 application fee. We take cash, a money order, or a debit or credit card.

Fill out your application and pay your fee at the Registry Division:

1 City Hall Square, Room 213
Boston, MA 02201-2006
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Wait three days

There is a three day waiting period from when you file your Marriage Intention to when you can pick up your Marriage License.

You will be given a white card with the date when you can get your license at City Hall.

If you want to waive the waiting period:

  • A court needs to give you Marriage Without Delay Waiver to waive the waiting period. They will charge you a $195 fee. When you file your Marriage Intention form, ask us about which court you need to go to.

Pick up your marriage license

You must get the license before the wedding and give it to the person performing your ceremony. The license is only good to use for 60 days from the date you applied.

To register your marriage, the person performing your ceremony needs to complete the license and return it to the City.


Find someone to marry you

A Massachusetts minister, priest, rabbi, or justice of the peace can officiate the ceremony.

You can also have a friend or family member marry you with a One-Day Marriage Designation.

Clergy from outside of Massachusetts can marry you as long as they get state authorization.


Make it official

The person who performed the ceremony needs to complete the marriage license and either mail it in or return it to the City:

Registry Division
1 City Hall Square, Room 213
Boston, MA 02201-2006
United States
Monday: 9:00 AM-4:00 PM
Tuesday: 9:00 AM-4:00 PM
Wednesday: 9:00 AM-4:00 PM
Thursday: 9:00 AM-4:00 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM-4:00 PM

Get a marriage license

If you don’t have a license, refer to the "Pick Up a Marriage License" tab.


Prepare for your visit

The ceremony costs $75.

If you are late, you will be charged an extra $25. We only accept cash. The wedding ceremony will take about 15 minutes.

You don’t need to bring any witnesses. We can fit up to four guests. We do have free wifi if you want to livestream the ceremony.

If you need an interpreter, please bring one to the ceremony. We cannot provide interpreters


Schedule your wedding ceremony

To set up your ceremony, call 617-635-4600.

You can schedule your wedding for any weekday except Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.


Get Married

Arrive at City Hall early. If you’re late, we charge an extra $25.

The City Clerk is a justice of the peace and performs the ceremonies in her office:

1 City Hall Square, Room 601
Boston, MA 02201-2014

Both people need to bring a valid picture ID, like a driver’s license or a passport.

Need to Know:

After the wedding, if you want a copy of your marriage certificate it’s $12 in person and $14 by mail. Learn more about marriage certificates.

Registry: Birth, death, and marriage
1 City Hall Square
Room 213
Boston, MA 02201-2006
United States
Want to correct or add information on a marriage certificate?

Call the Registry Depositions and Corrections Office at 617-635-4182 for more information. They’re open weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

What if you both can’t visit City Hall?

Call us if:

  • You are a Massachusetts resident and either you or your partner are on active military duty and not in the state.
  • Special circumstances, like a hospitalization or imprisonment, prevent either you or your partner from coming to City Hall.

Keep in mind

Getting married after divorce

You can’t apply for a marriage license until at least one day after the divorce is final. In Massachusetts, a divorce is not considered final until after 90 days.

Check your divorce decree for the exact date your divorce is final. If you're a resident of Massachusetts and recently got divorced outside of the state, please contact us at 617-635-4175.

Domestic partnerships

If you want to file a domestic partnership, or end a domestic partnership, you need to contact the City Clerk's Office.

Visit the City Clerk