GETTING MARRIED - GUIDELINES
Both persons must be present when filling out the marriage intentions at Town Clerk's Office
Come prepared - make sure you know correct spelling of parents names in full (including their middle names)
Intentions may be filed in any Clerk's Office in Massachusetts for Massachusetts Weddings
Permanent Record of Marriage is maintained by community where intentions were filed and also Vital Records in Boston
Licenses are not filed in the community where marriage occurs unless intentions were filed there
Cost to file Intentions - $25.00
Certified Married License copies after marriage are $10.00 each
Applicants must provide the chosen surname (last name only) to be used after marriage. Either party may continue to use his/her current surname, take the surname of the other party, hyphenate a combination of surnames, or use any other surname of their choice as long as there is no intent to defraud.
Prerequisite for Applicants intending to marry in Massachusetts
Before an Intention is signed under oath, it is important that certain criteria are met.
These criteria include:
Prerequisites with time limitations: waiting period and divorce
Legal Impediments to Marriage: age, consanguinity/affinity, sex, and other impediments
Proof of where parties reside and/or intend to continue to reside
Requirements to appear, swear, and sign under oath
The mandatory waiting period between the date Intentions are filed and the date the license can be issued is three (3) days
Exception: Court Waiver - Parties, after filing Intentions, may petition a judge of a probate or district court for a waiver to the three-day waiting period. Upon such order, the license may be issued without delay. Certified copy of Court Order must be provided to receive License.
No longer required
By statute, neither party may marry if either party is currently married to someone else.
If divorced you must provide proof that divorce is final - show copy of divorce nisi - party is still married for 90 days after divorce nisi.
Cannot file intentions until divorce is final.
If divorced within last two years, you must bring in your divorce decree.
Must be 18 years of age and not blood related - Statutes also require that proof of age is presented, when legal age is in doubt
Each party must indicate any relationship to the other party by consanguinity (blood/genetic relationship) or affinity (relationship through marriage of their relatives). Certain relationships are prohibited by Massachusetts statute and other may be prohibited by statutes where the party resides or intends to continue to reside.
At this time, domestic partnerships and civil unions are not impediments to marriage under Massachusetts law.
Residence & Intent to Continue to Reside
Before issuing a license to marry a person who resides and intends to continue to reside in another state, the officer having authority to issue the license shall be satisfied, by requiring affidavits or otherwise, that such person is not prohibited from intermarrying by the laws of the jurisdiction where he/she resides
Adequate evidence of each party's residence and intended residence could be:
Utility bill; bank or credit card statement; telephone listing; current voter registration; Driver's license; automobile registration; copy of state of federal tax returns; deed; purchase and sale agreement; or lease of residential property.
Be certain that each party has read and indicates understanding of the oath that appears above the signature lines.
Dog owners whose pets are not licensed by March 31st of each year are subject to a $10.00 fine on the first day of April and an additional $5.00 per month fine for each month thereafter.
Owners whose dogs are still not licensed will receive a $50 violation for keeping an unlicensed dog per Mass General Laws in addition to registration and late fees.
According to Reading's General By-Laws adopted August 2, 2006 the licensing fee is set as follows:
$10 for every altered male or spayed female dog
$20 for every unaltered male or unspayed female dog
Print the dog license form and bring or mail
Proof of current rabies and proof of neutering or spaying are required
Dog kennels - residents that have 4 or more dogs must license them as a kennel by January 15 each year.
Print the dog kennel license form and bring or mail
New residents can receive a current year license for free if you have already licensed you dog in another community in Massachusetts - bring in current year dog tag as well as rabies and spay/neuter certificates
General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires:
that all dogs, six (6) months of age or older, be licensed by March 31st (140 M.G.L. 137)
$50 fine for violating statute (140 M.G.L. 137, 141 and 173A)
BUSINESS CERTIFICATES (110 MGL 5 & 6 and 227 MGL 5A)
The primary purpose of filing a business certificate is to protect consumers or creditors by identifying the names and addresses of the owners of the business. The filing of a business certificate does not protect a business name as does a corporate filing or a trademark registration. A business certificate filing is commonly called a "d/b/a‚" (doing business as).
The filing of a business certificate may be used in connection with a court case to show when a business name was first used in a community and to enjoin another business from using an identical or similar name. If you need information on legal protection of a business name you should contact the Secretary of the Commonwealth's Office, Corporations Division or your own lawyer.
Any person conducting a business, individually or as a partnership, in the commonwealth under any title or name other than his real name, must file a business certificate with the clerk of the city or town in which the business has an office. The term person includes a corporation.
The certificate must include the full name and residence of each person conducting the business; the place, including street and number, where the business is conducted; and the title under which the business is conducted. The certificate must be signed under oath by each person conducting the business, certifying that the statements contained in the certificate are true. The certificate may be signed in the presence of any of the following: the town clerk, the assistant town clerk, a person designated by the town clerk, or a person authorized to take oaths, such as a notary public. Each person wishing to file a business must produce evidence of his identity.
Please stop by Town Clerk's Office for Business Certificates. Fee for filing a business certificate is $40.00 - expires in 4 years
Amendments and Discontinuances to Business Certificates
If a business is discontinued, or if the information related to the business or the individuals conducting the business changes after the original filing, a statement of discontinuance or of the new information must be filed with the clerk of each city or town in which the original business certificate was filed.
If several individuals are conducting the business and one withdraws or retires, the person withdrawing or retiring should file the form. If an individual, who has filed a business certificate, dies, the administrator or executor of his estate may file the discontinuance.
If an individual wishing to change a business name, it is suggested that they file a discontinuance of the old business and file a new business certificate under the new business name.
Please stop by Town Clerk's Office for Business Certificates or Link to get discontinuance form
Fee for filing a discontinuance is $20.00
Business Certificate Exemptions
The following are exempted from filing a business certificate with the town clerk:
Corporations doing business under its true corporate name which is required to file records and reports with the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Corporations Division
Partnership doing business under a title which includes the true surname of any partner
Association which has complied with 159 MGL Sections 5 & 6 related to common carriers whose agents must file information with the State Treasurer
Partnership, joint stock company or association conducted under a written instrument or declaration of trust, provided that the names of the trustees, with a reference to the instrument or declaration of trust, have been filed on a business certificate
TAX LIENS & UCC FILINGS
State Tax Liens and Releases are received in the Office of the Town Clerk from the Department of Revenue. It is very important that we receive our Book and Page numbers to complete the release. When the lien or release is received, it is time stamped, a copy is filed in the Clerk's office and a copy is returned to the State Department of Revenue.
The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) as adopted in Massachusetts provides a means of perfecting a secured interest (Lien) in real estate or personal property that is offered as collateral. If the property is located within the Town, a record of the lender's interest must be filed with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, UCC Division, 17th Floor, 1 Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108. Once filed, the lien serves as notice that the identified property is subject to an encumbrance or competing claim. A lien must be renewed every five years to remain effective.