Post Content

""Congratulations, you tied the knot! You’re probably ready to kick back and enjoy your newlywed bliss.

But if you haven’t thought about it already, you might want to take care of some paperwork, especially if you decided to change your name.

Our first post filled you in on what you need to do before the wedding to make it official. Now, read up on some key things you’ll need to take care of in your first year of marriage, including how to get proof of your marriage, obtain new identification, and file taxes in the second part of our Getting Married in Massachusetts blog series.

Getting Proof of Your Marriage

There are many reasons why you may need to provide proof of your marriage, like changing your health insurance or getting a new license.

After your wedding, the officiant should file your marriage license with the city or town clerk in the place where you got it. You can pick up a copy of the license at the Registry of Vital Records in the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (HHS).

You can order a copy of your marriage certificate  online, by phone, by fax, or by mail. Service fees vary depending on how you order it. The original and any certified copy serve as proof of your marriage.

Changing Your Name and Getting a New ID

You can choose to change or keep your name when you get married in Massachusetts. If you’ve chosen to change your name, you should have included the new one when you filled out your marriage license before your wedding. Your name is automatically changed to the one listed on your certificate after your wedding.

After you get a copy of your marriage certificate, you can apply for identification with your new name, including a Social Security cardMassachusetts driver’s license, and U.S. passport. You should get your Social Security card first, because the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) will check your Social Security number when you apply for a new license.

Once you have a new license, you should also update your voter registration with your new name to avoid any issues at your polling place. If you’re taking your honeymoon right away or soon after your wedding, you might want to wait until after you get back to get all of your IDs changed over. The names on all of your documents, including plane tickets, need to match.

Keep in mind that you may also need to change your name with other organizations, including your employer, health insurer, bank, and more.

Changing Health Insurance After You Get Married

If you don’t have health insurance, you may be eligible to sign up for health insurance through the Massachusetts Health Connector within 60 days of your wedding. You’ll need to provide your marriage certificate to enroll.

Filing Taxes After You Get Married

Once you and your spouse are married, you can choose to file your state and federal income taxes as a couple, known as “Married Filing Joint,” or you can continue to file individually, known as “Married Filing Separate.” However you choose to file your taxes, you don’t need to provide proof of your marriage to the Department of Revenue (DOR) or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

If you file separately, there are limitations on the tax deductions and credits you can claim, so you should discuss both options with your spouse to figure out what makes sense for you. You may not be able to file a joint return in Massachusetts right away in certain situations, including if you and your spouse weren’t Massachusetts residents for the same portion of that year or if you weren’t legally married as of the last day of the year.

Marriages Outside of Massachusetts

If you’re a resident of Massachusetts getting married out-of-state or if you move here after you’re married, don’t worry. Ceremonies conducted in other states — as well as by designated people in foreign countries — are recognized as valid in the Bay State. To provide proof of your marriage or get new IDs in Massachusetts, just follow the same process with your out-of-state marriage certificate, as well as any additional steps you may need to take to convert an out-of-state license. Massachusetts doesn’t keep records of out-of-state marriages, so you’ll need to get your certificate from the state where you were married.

By taking care of all your newlywed paperwork up front, you and your spouse can relax and enjoy life as a married couple.

Do you have questions about getting married in Massachusetts? Ask us! Comment below or tweet @MassGov.

Written By:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Recent Posts

Honor Massachusetts Veterans This Memorial Day posted on May 24

Honor Massachusetts Veterans This Memorial Day

Massachusetts proudly supports and honors military members who have died fighting for our country. Memorial Day — May 29, 2017 — offers residents an opportunity to remember fallen heroes. The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) and the Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS) share information on Memorial Day   …Continue Reading Honor Massachusetts Veterans This Memorial Day

4 Things to Do When Applying for Financial Aid posted on May 17

4 Things to Do When Applying for Financial Aid

Each year, financial aid helps millions of students across the United States achieve their dreams of attending college. There are many free resources available to guide you through the application process. The Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA), a division of the Department of Higher   …Continue Reading 4 Things to Do When Applying for Financial Aid

The Prevailing Wage Program in Massachusetts posted on May 10

The Prevailing Wage Program in Massachusetts

Each year, many people help pave state highways, renovate public buildings, and take care of various public works projects across the Commonwealth. The Prevailing Wage Program in Massachusetts helps ensure that professionals doing public work projects are paid properly by determining the minimum hourly wage rates workers   …Continue Reading The Prevailing Wage Program in Massachusetts