Published September 25th, 2017
A wedding celebration at French’s Point is sure to make your dream day an unforgettable reality, but to make the union legally binding you’ll need a Maine marriage license. In this regard, we have some good news… the process of getting your marriage license in Maine is relatively simple. For Mainers and non-Mainers alike, here’s more on how to get your Maine marriage license and make your marriage official:
Where should we go to get our Maine marriage license?
This depends on where you both reside.
- If you and your future spouse both live in the same Maine town, the license must be filed with that town’s clerk.
- If you reside in different Maine towns, you must choose from one of those towns to obtain the marriage license.
- If one of you lives in Maine and one of you is from away (from anywhere aside from Maine), the marriage license must be obtained from the Maine town where the Maine resident lives.
- If neither of you live in Maine, you can obtain your license in any town in the state. (We suggest Stockton Springs, where French’s Point is located so that if you need a certified copy many years from now, it will be easy to recall where the license came from.)
What’s the first step?
First, fill out a Marriage Intentions Form, available at the town clerk’s office and downloadable from many municipal websites. After that is completed, you will sign the form in the presence of the town clerk and each show your picture ID.
What should we bring to the town office?
You will also both need a valid (not expired) photo ID. If one or both of you has been married before, bring a raised-seal certified copy (photocopies not accepted) of the divorce form or the death certificate of the previous spouse. Typically you get the raised-seal copy from the courthouse where the divorce was finalized. This can take some time, so make sure you get it well in advance of your wedding.
Are there any restrictions?
You must be at least 18 years old to obtain a Maine marriage license. Same-sex marriages are legal in Maine.
How much does it cost?
The filing fee is typically $40.00.
When are the offices open?
The Stockton Springs Town Office is open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are closed on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays. For more information, check out the Stockton Springs Town Office website. We always recommend calling ahead to verify the office is open on the day you want to go.
How long does it take?
There is no waiting period in Maine beyond the 20 minutes or so it should take the clerk to complete the document that day.
Once we have the preliminary license, then what?
The clerk will give you your license and a packet for the person performing the ceremony on how to fill out the ceremony section of the license. The license and this instructional information should be given to the pastor, notary public, or other official performing the ceremony, who will fill out the ceremony section and obtain two witness signatures. The official must then send the marriage license back to the town clerk who issued it within seven days of the ceremony. You may not submit the license to the town clerk yourselves. Once the town clerk receives the completed license, he or she will record the marriage and the marriage license will be filed at the town office forever. After this is done, you may obtain a certificate of marriage from the clerk. The certificate is necessary for name changes on driver’s licenses, bank accounts, social security cards, etc. The fee for a certified copy of a marriage certificate is $15 for the first copy, $6 for each additional copy.
How do I learn more?
Check out the state’s website on getting a marriage license in Maine.
Featured photo by J Harper Photography