Legal Requirements

An Information Packet is available at the Office of the Town Clerk of Nantucket with detailed information.

The License

All people who marry in Massachusetts must have a marriage license issued in Massachusetts.
An out-of-state license cannot be used.
Both prospective bride and groom must apply for the license in person. You may do so with the city or town clerk in any community in the state of Massachusetts.
If a person is in the military, intentions may be filed by either party, provided one is a Massachusetts resident.
If a person is incarcerated, intentions may be filed by either party, provided one is a Massachusetts resident.
The fee for a Nantucket marriage license is $30.
The marriage license is only good for 60 days from the filing and is valid anywhere in the state but not outside Massachusetts.
You may be asked for a photo ID.

Waiting Period

A three-day waiting period is required starting from the day after the bride- and groom-to-be file their intention to marry. Sundays and holidays are included in those three days: if you have applied on Friday, the license will be issued on or after Monday.
It is possible to be married before those three days are up, but to do this you must apply (both of you) for a court waiver at a probate or district court after you have filed your intentions. The fee is $195 in cash on Nantucket

Same Gender Unions

Click here for faq regarding same Gender unions in Massachusetts.

Age Limitations

Massachusetts residents must be 18 or older to receive a license; if you look young be ready to show a photo ID.
If you’re both under 18, you will have to obtain a court order from a probate or district court in the area in which you live before you can file your marriage intentions.

Medical Certificate

No Medical certificate is required before a marriage license may be issued.

Widowed or Divorced

There are no special requirements for a widow or a widower who is remarrying.
However, if one or both of you has been divorced, you must be absolutely certain your divorce is final. If you’re not sure, you can contact the court where the divorce was granted. You don’t have to present your divorce certificates when you file your intentions, but you must have been granted a divorce nisi — meaning the divorce will become final on a particular date.”In Massachusetts,” quoting the brochure again, “a divorce does not become absolute until 90 days after the divorce nisi has been granted, regardless of the grounds for divorce.”

Clergy and Witnesses

Massachusetts does not stipulate that you must have witnesses present at your ceremony.
If you’re married by a member of the clergy, make sure what the requirements of that particular religion are regarding witnesses.
The clergyperson or justice of the peace has to complete and put his or her signature on the original license and return it to the office of the town clerk where the license was issued.
If you are being married by a clergyperson from somewhere other than Massachusetts, that individual “must obtain a certificate of authorization from the Massachusetts Secretary of State prior to the ceremony. This certificate, which is issued by the Public Records Division of the Office of the Secretary of State, is to be attached to the original license and returned to the clerk of the city or town where the license was issued.”
If you need more information you can contact the Division of Public Records, Office of the Secretary of State, One Ashburton Place, Room 1719, Boston, MA 02108 (617/727-2836).

For more assistance or information on obtaining your marriage license, you can contact your own city or town clerk or:

The Registry of Vital Records & Statistics
Dept. of Public Health
470 Atlantic Ave., 2nd floor
Boston, MA 02210-2224
(617/753-8600).