Maine Marriage License Questions and Answers
You will likely find the answers to most of your questions below. But as always, please feel free to Email me or call! Let’s start with answers to Maine marriage license requirements first…
Maine Marriage License Requirements/Recommendations
How and where to apply: Couples apply for a Maine marriage license by filing their “intentions” at the appropriate town office.
If both partners reside in Maine but in different towns, the license can be obtained from either town (your choice).
Out of state residents can apply at any town office. They do not need to apply at the town office in the town they plan to be married in. Therefore, out of state couples have completely free rein…File in any town you like and marry in any town you like.
If one partner lives in Maine and the other lives out of state, the marriage intentions should be filed at the town office of the Maine resident.
When to apply: A Maine marriage license is valid for 90 days after the date of issuance. The best time to apply for your license is about 2 months before you plan to marry. This leaves enough time to gather any required documentation you may need or resolve any unforeseen issues.
Waiting period: Maine does not require a waiting period. Most marriage licenses are issued on the spot. However if the clerk is busy, you may need to wait until the clerk has time to complete the paperwork. This is the exception, not the rule.
Cost of Maine marriage license: The clerk will collect a fee of $40 when you file your marriage intention form. Remember that many town offices in Maine do not accept credit or debit cards. The safest way is to bring cash.
Required documentation: You and your spouse will need to visit the town clerk together. Be sure you each have a valid photo ID. In addition, if either of you has been married previously, you will need an attested/sealed copy of whatever document dissolved your last marriage. For example: If you are divorced, be sure to obtain an attested copy of your divorce decree from the court in which it was issued. If you are widowed, obtain a sealed/attested death certificate for your late spouse from either the Office of Vital Records or the town clerk where your late spouse lived at the time of his/her passing. Photocopies of divorce decrees and death certificates will not be sufficient. They must be official documents sealed, attested or stamped by a clerk at the office from which you obtain them. As a side note: If you are obtaining a divorce decree or death certificate which is not written in English, you will need to obtain a translated and attested copy.
Filing the license after the ceremony: The town office will provide you with an original Maine marriage license when you visit them. Keep it safe. When we meet, I will take the license from you. It is best to hand it to me in person as opposed to mailing it. From that point, Maine law requires me to complete the marriage license and deliver it back to the town office. I will provide you with instructions on how to go about obtaining an attested copy of the license after the marriage for personal business purposes (name changes, banking, insurance, etc.).
Witnesses: Two witnesses are required to sign a Maine marriage license. The witnesses do not need to be over the age of 18, but they must be old enough to understand what they are signing.
Special considerations for out of state couples: If you are traveling in from another state, be sure to visit the town office as soon as you arrive. Many of our small town offices here do not keep regular hours. If you are flying in on Friday morning and plan to be married on Saturday evening, you may find the town office closed on Friday. Visit early or better yet, call ahead. A Listing of telephone numbers for Municipal Clerks/Registrar’s is provided and includes a simple search feature: State of Maine Listing of Municipal Clerks/Registrar’s
Booking & Payment
Reserving your date: Call or email as far in advance as possible to confirm my availability on your wedding date. Saturday afternoons between June and August are highest in demand and begin filling up around the first of the year. Unusual calendar days also fill up (such as 11/12/13). There is no such thing as reserving too soon.
Booking fee: A non-refundable booking fee of $100 is required in order to book your wedding date on my calendar. This fee can be paid by cash, check, money order or credit card. The booking fee is sometimes waived or reduced depending on the size of the ceremony and the date the ceremony is to be held.
Remaining balance: The remaining balance can be paid anytime up until the day of the wedding ceremony (or rehearsal if you choose to have one). Balances paid on the day of the rehearsal or wedding must be paid in cash.
Last minute weddings: I am always happy to accommodate last minute plans. Evening reservations are often available even on Saturdays during the summer. Elopements can be scheduled almost anytime. In fact, it is not unusual for couples to call and marry on the same day.
Maine accent: Yes, I actually was asked this by a bride via email. Though I was born and brought up here in Maine, I do not have a thick Maine accent (not by New England standards at least). As in, I don’t say “cah” or “dooryahd”. I do say “wicked” from time to time but probably will not incorporate it into your ceremony.
Themed weddings: I am glad to participate in themed weddings. However, if I am required to wear anything resembling a bustier, an extra charge will apply and it will be significant.