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How to get married in Boston

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

Last updated:
Step
1

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.

Step
2

Go to City Hall

COVID-19 UPDATE:

To apply for a marriage license, couples must apply together and in person, and you must make an appointment. Please use our online booking application to select a day and time for your appointment. Our scheduler books up quickly, but more times become available if there are cancellations.

PLEASE NOTE:
  • You may only book one appointment with the Registry at a time. It is the Registry's policy at this time that, should a couple book multiple appointments, the Registry will keep your most recently booked appointment, cancel the earlier appointments, and notify you.
  • When you apply in person, you'll need to bring your IDs, as well as $50 for the license fee. 
  • Your marriage license expires 60 days from the date that you file and sign your marriage intention at the Registry Department on the day of your appointment.
  • After your appointment, your marriage license will be issued and put in the mail three days later. It will be sent to the address listed under Party A on your marriage intention.
  • Massachusetts Law requires couples to have a valid marriage license to get married in the state.

After you book an appointment with us online, we will email you a link to a Marriage Intention form that you need to complete. You must provide us this information:

  • 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.

When you come to City Hall for your appointment, we'll review and finalize your marriage intention form. At that appointment, you both need to provide us:

  • 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), and
  •  a $50 application fee. We take cash, a debit or credit card, or a money order made payable to the "City of Boston".

We hold our appointments at the Registry Division of City Hall:

1 City Hall Square, Room 213
Boston, MA 02201-2006

Step
3

Get your marriage license in the mail

After you meet with us and finalize your paperwork, we will issue your marriage license and put in the mail three days later. It will be sent to the address listed under Party A on your intention form.

Please note:
  • 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.
  • Your license will expire 60 days from the date of your appointment with us. You must get the license before the wedding and give it to the person performing your ceremony.
  • To register your marriage, the person performing your ceremony needs to complete the license and return it to the City.
Step
1

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

Step
2

Make it official

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

Registry Division
1 City Hall Square, Room 213
Boston, MA 02201-2006
Step
3

Don't forget about your marriage certificate

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.

Need to Know:

After the wedding, if you want a copy of your marriage certificate, it’s $12 in person and $14 by mail. Please note: In-person appointments for marriage certificates are on hold due to COVID-19. Please order your certificate online or through the mail. Learn more about marriage certificates.

Contact:
Registry: Birth, death, and marriage
1 City Hall Square
Room 213
Boston, MA 02201-2006

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.

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.

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