Illinois Marriage License

If you're getting married in Illinois, you must first apply for a marriage license. It'll cost you $15.00 to $75.00, and you'll have to use it within 60 days.

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Where to go

Where can I get a marriage license?

Illinois marriage licenses are issued on the county level, at the County Clerk Office, by the County Clerk.

Where can I use it once I get it?

Your marriage license can only be used in the county where you get it from; it is not valid throughout the entire state of Illinois.

Costs

How much is a marriage license in Illinois?

A marriage license costs approximately $15.00 to 75.00 USD. The cost can vary between each County Clerk Office, as each county is allowed to set its own price.

I've changed my mind; can I get my money back?

County Clerk Offices will not issue refunds for unused marriage licenses.

Attendance

Must we both be present when applying?

Both parties to the marriage must appear together when applying for a marriage license.

Waiting periods

Is there a waiting period to get a marriage license?

There is no waiting period to get an Illinois marriage license. You'll get your license the same day you apply for it.

How soon can I get married after getting a license?

Illinois law requires you to wait one (1) day after getting a marriage license before you're allowed to get married.

Expiration dates

When will my marriage license expire?

Your Illinois marriage license will expire 60 days after it's been issued. If you don't get married before time runs out, you'll have to start over and apply for a brand new license.

I need more time; can I get an extension on my license?

Extensions are not provided for expired (or near expiring) marriage licenses. If your license completely expires you must reapply and repay the same $15.00-75.00 application fee, wherein you'll be given 60 more days.

Residency requirements

What are the rules for residents and non-residents?

Whether you're a resident or non-resident of Illinois, the rules are the same; you must apply for a marriage license in the county where the marriage will take place. Your marriage ceremony must be held in the same county where you applied for your marriage license.

Age requirements

How old must I be to get married?

You must be 18 years old (or above) to get married in Illinois without parental consent.

16 to 17 years old

You must obtain the consent of both parents or legal guardians. It's not sufficient if only one parent/guardian acquiesces—both must agree.

Identification requirements

What forms of ID must I bring?

There are multiple types of identification to consider bringing when applying for a marriage license at your local County Clerk Office. They are as follows:

Provide one of the following:

  • Driver's License
    • Issued by any U.S. state or territory
  • State-issued Identification
    • Issued by any U.S. state or territory
  • Passport
    • Issued by any U.S. state or territory
  • Military Identification Card
    • Issued by U.S. Armed Forces
  • Military Dependent Identification Card
    • Issued by U.S. Armed Forces

If unavailable, provide two of the following:

  • Birth Certificate
    • Original or certified copy
    • Non-English document must be translated into English
  • Baptismal Record
    • Original or certified copy
    • Non-English document must be translated into English
    • Must show your date of birth
  • Passport
    • Issued by a foreign (non-U.S.) government body
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Permanent Resident Card
    • Issued by USCIS
    • Also referred to as an Alien Registration Card, Green Card, and Permanent Visa
  • Consular Identification Card
    • Issued by a foreign (non-U.S.) government body
  • Life Insurance Policy
    • Must show your date of birth
    • Must be in effect for at least one (1) year

16 to 17 years old

Provide the following:

  • Birth Certificate
    • Original or certified copy

Unacceptable documents (for the sake of clarity):

  • Personal Affidavit
    • Written testimony (often notarized) where you swear that something is true, such as your name and date of birth

Name Change

How do I go about changing my name due to marriage?

Undergoing a marriage-related name change in the state of Illinois (or any other state) involves notifying various government and non-government institutions. You'll typically start with updating your Social Security Card, driver's license, passport, and other federal/state/non-governmental institutions.

Keep in mind, your name does not automatically and legally change just because you get married or obtain a marriage license or marriage certificate; you must go through the steps of updating your identification documents, whether it's through an online name change service, or contacting the SSA, State Dept. and IL SOS directly.

Blood Tests

Am I required to get a blood test?

No, Illinois does not require you, nor your partner, to get a blood test as a condition for getting a marriage license.

Divorced

What if I've been previously divorced?

If you've been previously divorced, or have had an annulment or dissolution, there are extra bits of information that you must provide the County Clerk when applying.

If your last divorce, annulment, or dissolution took place within the past 60 days, provide the following:

Things you must know

You must know the date your divorce, annulment, or dissolution took place. You must know where your divorce was finalized; this is the location (city/town, state or country) where your divorce papers were filed.

Things you must bring

You will need to provide a copy of your divorce decree (aka divorce certificate). It must be an original or certified copy—not a photocopy. The County Clerk will not keep your certificate; it just needs to be examined for authenticity, and to confirm your previous marriage is over.

What if I'm separated from my spouse, but not yet divorced?

Illinois law forbids a marriage license be granted to anyone who is currently married or separated from their spouse. You must have your divorce finalized, or marriage annulled, before getting married again.

Widowed

What if I'm currently a widow or widower?

If your previous marriage left you as a widow or widower, within the past 60 days, the County Clerk Office will need to solicit basic information regarding the death of your spouse.

Things you must know

You must be able to specify the date your spouse died. You must specify where the death took place.

Things you must bring

You must bring the original or certified copy of the death certificate for review. The County Clerk will hand the death certificate back to you once it's been looked over.

Witnesses

Are witnesses required to attend my marriage ceremony?

Illinois does not require witnesses attend your ceremony. This is a convenience, as most other states do require at least one or two witnesses be present.

Can (or should) I still have witnesses attend?

While you can still have one or more witnesses be present, they won't serve any official purpose or role (during or after the ceremony) in concert with the officiant.

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