Obtaining certified copies of the Marriage License
Often many couples wish to have a certified copy of their marriage record to keep with family records and to comply with the constant demands made today for proof of marriage. If you wish to obtain a certified copy of your marriage record by mail, please send the request including the date of marriage, and the names of the individuals that were married. In addition, include a check or money order in the amount of $10.00 made payable to the Town of Freetown and a stamped, self-addressed envelope. The request, check and return envelope can be mailed to : Town Clerk, P O Box 438, Assonet, MA 02702.
Obtaining a Marriage License in Massachusetts
All persons wishing to marry in Massachusetts must obtain a marriage license issued from a Massachusetts City or Town Clerk's Office of their choice. Party A and Party B must jointly apply for the license (file intentions) in person at the Clerk's Office. Marriage licenses are permanently maintained on file at the Clerk's Office where the marriage intention is filed. Marriage Intentions may be filed at the Freetown Town Clerk's Office during normal business hours. We ask that you allow approximately 30 minutes to complete and review the forms.
Applying for a Marriage
According to Massachusetts law, you must jointly file intentions to marry, and you may do so with the city or town clerk in any community in the state. If a person is in the military and is on active duty, intentions may be filed by one party, providing one is a Massachusetts resident. If a person is incarcerated in a county house of correction or a state correctional facility, intentions may be filed by either party. A marriage license, once obtained, is valid for 60 days from the date intentions are filed and may be used in any Massachusetts city or town. It is not valid to be married outside of Massachusetts.
There is a mandatory three day waiting period after the marriage intention has been filed. While Sundays and holidays are included in the three days, the day the application is made is not. For example, if you apply on Friday, your license will be issued on or after Monday. Marriage licenses must be picked up in person at the Town Clerk's office.
A Massachusetts resident may marry if he or she is 18 years of age or older. A birth certificate 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.
Neither party is 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. If the party is uncertain as to the absolute date of the divorce, they should contact the court where the divorce was granted. In Massachusetts, a divorce does not become absolute until 90 days after the divorce nisi has been granted, regardless of the grounds for divorce. There are no special requirements for a widow or widower who is remarrying.
Massachusetts statute does not require that witnesses be present at your ceremony. However, if a member of the clergy performs the ceremony, you should ensure that you are in conformity with the appropriate religious requirements.
If an out-of-state member of the clergy is to perform the marriage, the clergyperson must obtain a Certificate of Authorization from the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth prior to the ceremony. This certificate, which is issued by the Public Records Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, is to be attached to the original license and returned 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 Ashburton Place, Room 1719
Boston, MA 02108
If a person other than a member of the clergy is designated as "Solemnizer" or Justice of the Peace for the Ceremony, further information can be obtained from:
Secretary of the Commonwealth
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
When requesting a Certificate of Authorization, Party A and Party B must match the marriage intention as it was filed in the Clerk's Office.
Justices of the Peace Residing in Freetown
Robert Frizelle 508-644-5395
You may contact the Town Clerk’s office at (508) 644-2201, ext 2 or:
Registry of Vital Records and Statistics
Department of Public Health
470 Atlantic Avenue, Second floor
Boston, MA 02210-2224
NOTE: Please call the Town Clerk's Office BEFORE making online payment/request, if you are not sure that the record is on file in Freetown. 508-644-2201 ext 2