Obtaining a Marriage Certificate


Rockland Town Clerk

242 Union Street

Rockland, MA 02370

(781) 871-1874 x1002


Obtaining a Marriage License 

If you’ve just set a date for your wedding or are just gathering information, this can be an extremely exciting time for the two of you! Here is what you need to know to apply for a Marriage License. 

You will need a valid marriage license (called a Massachusetts Certificate of Marriage) before you are married. A marriage license issued by another state cannot be used for wedding ceremonies in Massachusetts. Similarly, a Massachusetts marriage license is not valid in other states. The fee in Rockland to file your marriage intentions is $30.00, this includes a copy of your Marriage Certificate which will be mailed to you after we receive the license back properly filled out by the officiant.  

NOTICE:  Effective August 1, 2023, marriage intentions are by appointment only.  Please call the Town Clerk's Office at (781) 871-1874 to schedule an appointment.

There is a three day waiting period before you can pick up the license. Weekends and holidays are included in the three days, but the day of the application is not. Thus, if you apply on a Monday you can pick up the license on Thursday, or if you apply on a Friday you can pick up the license on Monday, A waiver of the three day waiting period can be applied for at the courthouse and then presented to the Town Clerk. The town clerk can then issue your marriage certificate the same day however, this can be costly. Currently the fee at the Local District Court is $195.00. 

You can apply for a license at any city hall or town hall in Massachusetts (it doesn’t have to be where you live or where you are getting married, but you will want to choose a place that you will remember in the future). You will both need to appear in person; you cannot have someone else apply for the license. The only exception is that a person in the military may have the other party file for the license, as long as one is a Massachusetts resident. The applying party must present a letter from the military officer in charge stating that the party cannot be present. 

Each of you must bring a copy of your Birth Certificate. If you are a widow or widower you do not have to bring a death certificate. Persons who are divorced do not have to bring a divorce decree, but should be certain that their divorce is absolute or the marriage will not be legal.  The license is valid for 60 days from the day you first apply.

When you come to pick up your license, check it carefully to make sure that all the information listed is correct. You will need to give the license to your officiant before the wedding. Once you give the license to your officiant your job is done. Both parties getting married are not required to pick up the license together. 

Officiants are not permitted to give you a copy. The officiant is required (by law) to complete the Certificate of Marriage (in black pen) and mail it back to the Town Clerk from whom you obtained your license. 

If you wish to have a member of the clergy who is from out-of-state, the clergy person must obtain a Certificate of Authorization from the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth prior to the ceremony. This process can take a few weeks so please plan accordingly. This certificate which is issued by the Public Records Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth is to be returned with the original license to the clerk of the city or town where the license was issued. For further information, contact:

Division of Public Records

Secretary of the Commonwealth

One Ashburnton Place, Room 1719

Boston, MA 02108

(617) 727-2836


It is possible for a non-minister or non-justice of the peace (such as a relative or family friend) to obtain special permission to perform a marriage from the Governor. Call the Governor’s office at (617) 727-5787 or (617) 727-2836 to obtain an application for a one-time special appointment to solemnize a marriage. After approval, a $25 fee is paid to the Commissions Division of the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth. This can take a few weeks to process, please plan accordingly so that the special appointment can be obtained in time for your wedding day.

For additional assistance or information you may contact your city or town clerk, or:

Registry of Vital Records and Statistics

Department of Public Health

150 Mt. Vernon Street

Dorchester, MA 02125-3105

(617) 740-2600




Congratulations and much happiness as you begin your lifetime journey together!