Marriage License Information

Marriages are recorded in the city or town where the couple applies for the marriage license.  If you applied for a marriage license in Fairhaven, you can obtain certified marriage certificates here after the wedding takes place.

The cost for a certified marriage certificate is $10.00 - uncertified copy is 25 cents.

Call the Town Clerk's Office at (508) 979-4025 to request a copy for pickup or send your request to Town Clerk's Office, 40 Center Street, Fairhaven, MA 02719.  Be sure to include your check or money order payable to the "Town of Fairhaven", a self-addressed, stamped envelope, the names of both parties (prior to marriage) and the date of the wedding.

When should we apply?

The marriage license is valid for 60 days from the day you apply. Apply for your license no sooner than 60 days before your planned wedding date.

Do I have to apply where I live?

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. Information on offices in other cities and towns can be obtained from the the Commonwealth Communities page page on the State of Massachusetts website.

If your marriage is going to take place outside of Massachusetts, you must contact the local officials in the jurisdiction where the marriage will take place. Marriage laws vary from state to state.

Do I need an apointment to apply for a marriage license?

No appointment is necessary. A couple must appear at the Town Clerk's Office together, in person, to file a "Notice of Intention to Marry." This can be done any time during our regular office hours.  

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

Yes, there is a three-day waiting period. Your license will be available days after the day that you apply. Please note that licenses are not issued on Saturday or Sunday (when we are closed).

Is a waiver of the three-day waiting period available?

If there is a reason to dispense with the three day waiting period, a couple may apply to the judge of a Massachusetts Probate or District Court to have the license issued without delay. Applicants can proceed to the courthouse after filing the "Notice of Intention to Marry" with the Town Clerk.

Is a blood test required before a license can be issued?

No. On October 29, 2004, the Governor signed a law eliminating the premarital medical certificate requirement in Massachusetts. This law went into effect on January 28, 2005.

What is the fee for obtaining a marriage license in Fairhaven?

The fee is $20.00.

Can a friend be authorized to perform my marriage ceremony?

The Governor's Office may issue a certificate authorizing a citizen to solemnize a specified marriage on a specified day. Click here to visit the State's website for information and an application.

Is Massachusetts residency required to obtain a marriage license in Massachusetts?

No. Residence is not a requirement for marriage in Massachusetts. According to M.G.L. Chapter 207, Section 11, however, "No marriage shall be contracted in this commonwealth by a party residing and intending to continue to reside in another jurisdiction if such marriage would be void if contracted in such other jurisdiction, and every marriage contracted in this commonwealth in violation hereof shall be null and void."

Are same-sex couples who reside outside of Massachusetts allowed to be married in Massachusetts?

If a same-sex couple currently does not  reside in Massachusets, but intends to establish a new home or residence in Massachusetts in the near future (even if a specific address or town has not been sselected), then a license can be issued in Massachusetts. If a couple currently does not reside in Massachusetts, and intends to continue to reside outside of Massachusetts in a state that does not permit same-sex marriage, then a license cannot be issued in Massachusetts.

What if one or both of us has been divorced?

You are not required to present a divorce certificate when filing intentions to marry. However, it is extremely important that an individual who has been divorced be certain that his/her divorce is absolute. In Massachusetts, a divorce does not become absolute until 90 days after the divorce nisi has been granted, regardless of the grounds for divorce.

Are witnesses required to be present at the ceremony?

Massachusetts statutes does not require that witnesses be present at your ceremony. The officiant serves as the witness.

What if I have further questions?

You may contact the Town Clerk's Office at (508) 979-4025 during office hours.