INSTRUCTIONS FOR OBTAINING A MARRIAGE LICENSE IN MAINE
Information you will need prior to scheduling your Marriage License appointment (plan 1/2 hr):
Valid picture ID – Maine Driver’s License/ID card or Passport
Court Certified Divorce Decree of most recent divorce for each applicant (must have raised seal of originating court)
Proof of Canaan residency (if not on driver’s license)
Both must be present to sign in presence of the Town Clerk
Form requires names of applicant parents, including mother’s maiden name, and each parent's state of birth
Must be at least 18 years of age (if underage, see 5. Below)
- If both the members of the couple are residents of the same Town, you must obtain your marriage license in the Town where you both reside. After you obtain your license, you are free to marry anywhere within the State of Maine.
- If one person resides in one town, and the other person in another town, you can obtain your marriage license from one town or the other, but not both. Choose which town is more convenient for you especially if you need certified copies at a later date. After you obtain your license, you are free to marry anywhere within the State of Maine.
- If one of you resides in the State of Maine, and one of you resides out of State, then you must obtain your marriage license in the Town of the State of Maine where one of you resides. After you obtain your license, you are free to marry anywhere within the State of Maine.
- If both of you live out of State, you can obtain your license at any Town in the State of Maine. After you obtain your license, you are free to marry anywhere within the State of Maine. It is suggested that you obtain your license in the Town in which you are getting married in, because years down the road if you need a certified copy, you will remember where the license is filed.
- The first step to obtaining a marriage license is for the members of the couple to fill out the Marriage Intentions Form. The Marriage Intentions Form is a legal document. You are responsible and liable for providing the correct information and documentation required. You can obtain the Marriage Intentions Form at your Municipal Clerk’s Office or complete one online which is called a VS-2 State of Maine Intentions at: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/public-health-systems/data-research/vital-records/forms/index.shtml. Complete the information, and then print the form and submit to the Clerk’s office by mail or in hand to the town office.
- Once the Marriage Intentions Form is completed, the members of the couple must sign the Marriage Intentions Form in the presence of the Town Clerk. You must show your picture ID with your signature on it at this time. If you are not able to appear in front of the Town Clerk, you may sign the Marriage Intentions Form in the presence of a Notary Public of the State of Maine. You must show your picture ID with your signature on it at this time. However, you will still need to appear before the Municipal Clerk before your Marriage License is issued, as you need to sign the Marriage License in the presence of the Municipal Clerk. The only exceptions to this are if the bride or groom is incarcerated, or this is an imminent death situation. See the Municipal Clerk for clarification on these situations.
- If either or both members of the couple is divorced, widowed, or had their marriage legally annulled, the Municipal Clerk must see the certified document (a document with a raised seal on it) verifying how the previous marriage ended. Certified means that the documents are affixed with a raised seal and/or contain original signatures. Photocopies will not be accepted. You can obtain divorce decrees or annulment papers from the Court in the County where the divorce or annulment was filed. You can obtain a death certificate from the Municipal Clerk in the Town of the place of death. Please note that there is a 21 day waiting period requirement after a divorce. If you want to get married before the 21 day waiting period expires, you need to obtain a certified copy of the waiver of the 21 day waiting period which you can obtain from the Court where the divorce was granted.
- The members of the couple must be at least 18 years of age to obtain a Marriage License in Maine. If you are 16 or 17 years of age, you must obtain written consent from BOTH of your legal parents. Your parents must appear before the Municipal Clerk or a Notary Public of the State of Maine and provide identification at that time. You can obtain a consent form at the Town Clerk’s Office. If you are under the age of 16, you must obtain written consent from BOTH of your legal parents, and you must also obtain consent from a Judge of Probate. The Town Clerk will issue a notice to the Judge of Probate.
- The marriage license expires 90 days after being issued. There is no waiting period after your license is issued, and you are not required to have a blood test.
- The filing fee is $40.00.
- Couples who file in the Town of Canaan may appear in the Municipal Clerk’s Office Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm or Wednesdays 11:00am to 7:00pm. Please allow approximately 30 minutes for this process. The office is closed on weekends and all holidays, no exceptions. It is best to call the Town Clerk’s Office to schedule an appointment to obtain your marriage license, as the Municipal Clerk may have other obligations, scheduled clients or may be away from the office for various meetings and vacation days throughout the year.
When the Municipal Clerk completes your Marriage License, you will be given your license along with instruction information for the officiant. You will give the Marriage License and information sheet to the person performing your wedding ceremony. That person is responsible to fill out the ceremony section of the Marriage License and obtain two witness signatures in black ink. That person is also responsible to mail the Marriage License back to the Municipal Clerk who issued the license, within 7 days of the wedding ceremony.
Once the Municipal Clerk receives the Marriage License, they will file the it at the Town Office and with the state. After that time, the members of the couple may obtain a Certificate of Marriage from the Municipal Clerk’s Office. The cost is $15.00 for the first copy, and $6.00 for any additional copies ordered at the same time.