Your marriage application is a legally binding certificate, so you’re expected to fill it out honestly! However, if you did make a mistake (whether intentionally or not), you might be wondering what the consequences for lying on your marriage license application might be.
Your wedding day should be a cause for celebration, whether you choose a small, intimate ceremony or something more fun. You don’t want to spend that special day worrying about your marriage license.
As a general rule, we always recommend being honest on your marriage application. However, if you made an accidental mistake or just didn’t feel like you had a choice, we’ll help you learn about what to expect.
Legal Repercussions of Lying on Your Marriage License Application
In America, a marriage license is a legally binding document in the eyes of your state. While individual rules and regulations can vary from state to state and county to county, this is more or less the same nationwide. As such, if you lie on it and your county clerk certifies it as true, you are legally at fault.
Whether you may or may not face legal repercussions depends on the laws in your city and state, as well as the extent that you (or your spouse) lied on the application.
In most cases, minor infractions will never cause an issue. For example, if you mark yourself as “single” on your application even though you were previously divorced, it may never come to light in the first place unless you bring it to the courts’ attention.
However, larger infractions, such as when a couple works together to lie on the application (for tax reasons, immigration reasons, etc.), the consequences can be much more significant. If the court finds that you lied to exploit the marriage process, your marriage may be invalidated, and you may face charges.
The words “marriage invalidation” may seem very scary, especially if you believe you may be guilty of lying on your marriage license. However, the chances that your marriage will be invalidated are small.
While cities and states vary in how they treat lying on your marriage certificate, most courts view small mistakes as “inconsequential” to your marriage. Plus, most of these small issues never come to light since many municipalities do not actively look into past marriage applications.
If you and your partner want to apply for a new marriage license, you could face denial if you lie on it conspicuously. In this case, you would need to request a new document and fill it out with the correct information for a better chance at approval.
Can I Get Into Legal Trouble for Lying on My Marriage License?
Lying on your marriage license is, in fact, a crime. You could face charges for doing so, even if your chances of conviction are low. However, certain factors and choices can make you more likely to get in legal trouble.
For example, in some states, you cannot be delinquent on child support payments before applying for a new marriage license. If you are late on these payments and attempt to file for a marriage license anyway, you may see legal repercussions. If your ex-spouse brings you to court over it, your marriage license dishonesty will most likely end up exposed.
This is not something Boston, MA, residents need to worry about since Boston does not include this question on marriage license applications. However, in a similar legal situation where your ex-spouse takes you to court, you could still end up exposed.
What Does a Boston, MA Marriage License Include?
Boston, MA, marriage licenses are relatively straightforward. If you want to learn how to get married in a broader sense, you can do so here on our website. Those who wish to get married in Massachusetts must meet these criteria:
- Both parties must be 18 years of age or older (minors must complete a Marriage Without Delay/Marriage of Minors form)
- Both parties must bring a form of government-issued photo ID to prove their ages
- Both parties must bring or know their SSNs
- The couple must pay a $50 application fee
- The couple must visit the county clerk in person to fill out the “Intention of Marriage” form
Both parties must answer the following questions on the Massachusetts Marriage Intention form:
- Full names (first, middle, last, and surnames)
- Dates of birth
- Places of birth (city, state, and country)
- Current marital status and the status of any past marriages, including whether there was a divorce, annulment, death, etc. Divorcees must provide the final divorce date, and those with annulments must provide the related annulment papers
- Parents’ names, including the mother’s maiden name, if applicable
- Whether each parties’ parents were married when they were born
Once each person fills out their portion of the Marriage Intention form, they’ll receive a slip with information about the marriage license, when it can be picked up, and how long it lasts. In Massachusetts, the marriage license expires after 60 days, and it can be picked up three days after filling out the Marriage Intention form.
More About Marriage Licenses in Massachusetts
Don’t forget that in the state of Massachusetts, same-sex couples can legally marry. Additionally, if you want a close friend or relative to officiate your ceremony instead of a justice of the peace, you can do so! Simply have them fill out a One-Day Marriage Designation form before the ceremony.
Keep in mind that your new Boston city hall marriage license is valid anywhere in the state of Massachusetts, but only in the state of Massachusetts. If you and your partner would like to marry in a different state, you’ll have to apply for a license there. Regardless of where you get married, always try to avoid lying on your marriage license!
If you want to learn more about city hall weddings and other useful marriage information, browse our site, sign up for our email list, or send us a message via our Contact Us page.