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A Guide to Getting A Marriage License in the Great State of Maine

Updated: Dec 3, 2023

With its sweeping rugged coastline, vibrant autumn foliage, and charming New England seaside towns, Maine provides an utterly romantic backdrop for tying the knot. If you’re considering a Pine Tree State wedding, here is everything you need to know about obtaining a marriage license and making your wedding or elopement official in Maine:

A guide to getting a marriage license in Maine

Acquiring Your License

Marriage licenses are issued at the local town or city level in Maine.

  • If both of you are residents of the state of Maine, you should both apply at the town office where at least one of you is a resident. If you are residents of different Maine towns, you both may apply in one town or the other - you do not need to apply separately in each town.

  • If one is from out of state, then both of you should apply in the town where one holds residency.

  • If neither of you is a resident of Maine, then you may apply in any Maine town office. It need not be the same town where you plan to be married.

The marriage license application involves providing photo ID, or official divorce documents if applicable and takes just minutes to complete. Licenses cost around $40 depending on the town. Your marriage license is valid for 90 days and can only be used within the State of Maine. There is no waiting period from the time your marriage license is issued until your wedding can take place.

The person performing the ceremony is responsible for filing the marriage certificate with the town office that issued the marriage license.

You should call the town office where you intend to apply well in advance to learn about their specific requirements. Many towns in Maine have small offices with limited hours or may only be open 1 day a week. You'll want to plan ahead if you're traveling to Maine for your wedding to ensure you have ample opportunity to get your license when they're open.

Legal Officiants

Several options exist for legal officiants to make your ceremony official once properly licensed. Ordained ministers, licensed preachers, Maine judges or attorneys, and licensed marriage officiants from businesses providing these services can all perform legally binding nuptials.

The officiant files your signed marriage certificate with the issuing town once the “I dos” conclude. Then you’re ready to celebrate newlywed status surrounded by Maine’s spectacular natural venues!

As a licensed marriage officiant myself, I'm also authorized to sign your marriage license which means you can lead your own ceremony with personally written vows or tap a friend or family member to lead your event without needing to become ordained. You get full creative liberty during your ceremony.


If you plan to elope, you will need two witnesses beyond the officiant who'll need to sign your license. I've handled this before by leading a 1-minute, formal ceremony at the start of the day typically at the couple's bed and breakfast, and asking two staff members to witness before we trek out into the wilderness to find a quiet place to exchange the true vows. However, if you plan to elope with a few friends or family members in tow, you'll be all set!

Crafting Your Dream Wedding

Fulfilling any remaining marriage requirements is typically quick and straightforward through town offices eager to help couples seal the deal!

Reach out anytime with questions about exchanging vows immersed in Maine’s beauty from mountain valleys bursting with fall foliage to ocean cliffside ceremonies framed by lighthouses. Let’s make your wedding vision come alive!

As a Maine Wedding Photographer specializing in weddings of under 100, intimate weddings, elopements, minamonies, and micro-weddings across the State of Maine, I'm here to document your wedding day in an unobtrusive, heartfelt way to maximize your ability to say present while capturing authentic, natural moments. Get in touch to discuss your plans!


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