Obtaining a Marriage License
All persons wishing to marry in Massachusetts must obtain a marriage license issued by a Massachusetts City or Town Clerk. Both parties must jointly file their Marriage Intentions, in person, at the City Clerk's Office. Marriage licenses are permanently maintained on file at the Clerk's Office where the marriage intention is filed.
There is a 3 day waiting period between when the Intentions are filed and when the marriage license may be issued. A marriage license, once obtained, is valid for 60 days from the date intentions are filed and may be used anywhere in Massachusetts. The marriage license is not valid outside of the Commonwealth.
Marriage Intentions may be filed at the Westfield City Clerk's office Monday through Friday, between 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Due to Covid Restrictions, an appointment is necessary to file your Intentions. Please call (413) 572-6258 or (413) 642-9306 to schedule your appointment.
A Massachusetts resident may marry if 18 years of age or older. A government issued ID may be required to show proof of age. If either party is under 18, a court order from a probate or district court where the minor resides must be obtained before the marriage intentions can be filed. (MGL c.207, s.25)
Information needed to fill out Marriage Intentions:
- Social Security Number
- Wedding Date and Location
- Officiant Information
- Decision on surname to be used after marriage
Who can legally preform a Marriage in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts General Law states that a marriage may be solemnized by any church or religious organization within the state that has filed with the Commonwealth (MGL c.207, s.38)
If an out-of-state member of the clergy is to perform the marriage, the clergy member must obtain a Certificate of Authorization from the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth prior to the ceremony by completing an Out of State Non-resident Clergy Petition. The Clergy member is responsible for filing said Certificate with the Clerk's office, pursuant to MCL c.207.
If a person other than a member of the clergy or Justice of the Peace would like to officiate a marriage ceremony, they must apply for a 1-Day Designation Certificate with the Secretary of the Commonwealth prior to the ceremony. This certificate, must be attached to the original license and returned to the City Clerk. If you have any further questions about the one day designation, please contact the State Commissions Office at 617-727-2836.
**After you're married, the officiant authorized to solemnize your marriage must complete and sign the original license and return it to the Westfield City Clerk's Office. A marriage is not deemed valid until the license has been returned and recorded with the Clerk in the same community where the intention was filed and that office has filed the marriage with the Massachusetts Department of Vital Records and Statistics.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Cost?
It is $25.00 to file your marriage intentions. Due to Covid restrictions, we are currently accepting exact change or checks ONLY.
Once married, couples can request certified copies of their marriage certific for $10.00 per copy.
Can marriage certificates be issued before the 3 day waiting period?
Yes. A court waiver can be obtained to have the license issued without delay (MGL c.207, s.30). You will have to file your intentions first then bring your receipt to the District Court. We suggesting calling the Westfield District Court, Clerk's Office for more information beforehand 413-568-8946.
Do Marriage Intentions expire?
Yes. Marriage Intentions are valid 60 days from the date they were filed. If you're not married within 60 days of the date the license was granted, you will need to file again (MGL c.207, s.20)
What if I was previously married?
Massachusetts divorce decrees do not become absolute until 90 days after the divorce has been granted. It is important that an individual who has been divorced be certain that the divorce is final. You should contact the court where the divorce was granted if you are uncertain. Neither party is required to present a divorce certificate when filing intentions to marry.
What if we 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, such as imprisonment, prevent either you or your partner from coming to City Hall.