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.

See FAQ Offices

Where to Apply

Where can I obtain a marriage license?

You must apply for an Illinois marriage license at the county clerk's office in the county where the marriage ceremony will take place.

What about a civil union license?

Since June 1, 2011, county clerks have issued civil union licenses to adults aged 18 and over. Marriage and civil union requirements are virtually identical.


How much will the marriage license cost?

An Illinois marriage license costs between $15 and $75, depending on the county.


Does my residency matter?

There are no marriage license residency requirements.


Where can I use my license?

Your marriage license may only be used in the county where you apply, which must be the county where the marriage ceremony will occur.


What information will I have to disclose?

The marriage license application asks for your name, residence, date and place of birth, race, gender, occupation, marital history, education history, social security number, and parents' addresses, birth names, and birthplaces.


Do we have to apply as a couple?

You and your future spouse must apply together and in person. Absentee forms do not exist.

Age Requirements

How old must I be to marry?

Aged 18 and over?

If you're 18 years old or over, you're a legal adult who may marry without parental consent.

Aged 16 and 17?

If you're 16 or 17 years old, marriage requires sworn consent from your parents, a legal guardian, or a circuit court judge within the same county that you apply in. Consenting parents must bring ID. Consenting guardians must bring guardianship papers.

Aged 15 and under?

If you're 15 years old or younger, you cannot lawfully marry.

Waiting Period

How soon can I use my marriage license?

You'll receive your marriage license immediately. The one-day waiting period has been suspended on May 1, 2020 via executive order 2020-36 and extended until December 11, 2021 via executive order 2021-30.

Note 1: The one-day wait was meant to help prevent reckless, spur-of-the-moment marriages that might be regretted.


When will my marriage license expire?

Your marriage license will expire 61 days after issuance, which works out to 60 days plus the one-day waiting period.


What ID must I bring when applying?

Bring U.S. issued ID to confirm your name and age, such as a driver's license, state-issued ID card, military ID card, or passport. If you lack U.S. issued ID, you must contact your county clerk to determine acceptable alternatives for their specific office.

Are there any birth certificate requirements?

Showing a certified copy of your birth certificate is mandatory if you're a minor or your ID doesn't show your date of birth. Non-English certificates must be translated into English, certified, and notarized.

Blood Test

Do I have to get blood test?

The HIV blood test requirement was in effect between 1988 and 1989. Nevertheless, you'll be given pamphlets on STDs, fetal alcohol syndrome, and inherited metabolic diseases.


What if I've been divorced?

County clerks are authorized to request a certified copy of your last divorce decree. Come equipped, along with knowledge of when and where it was finalized. The same standard applies to a civil union, annulment, or any form of dissolution.


What if my previous spouse left me a widow or widower?

Some clerks will ask to see a certified copy of your late spouse's death certificate to confirm the date, address, and location of death. Either arrive prepared or contact the clerk's office ahead of time to determine if it's absolutely necessary to bring.


Are witnesses are required?

You don't have to bring witnesses to your marriage ceremony.

Name Change

How do I change my name after marriage?

Your marriage certificate authorizes you to change your name after marriage with essential government and nongovernment institutions. You can make use of an online marriage name change kit to transition to your new name.

License Return

When does my license need to be returned?

Your marriage license must be returned by mail or hand delivery no more than 10 days following your marriage ceremony so that it may be registered.

Marriage Certificate

How do I get a copy of my marriage certificate?

You can purchase a certified copy of your marriage certificate for $5 from either the county clerk that issued and registered your marriage license or the Illinois Department of Public Health. Other vital records—birth, death, divorce, civil union—are available as well.

Common-law Marriage

Is common-law marriage allowed?

Illinois will only legally recognize a common-law marriage that took place before June 30, 1905.

Cousin Marriage

Can I marry my first cousin?

You can marry your first cousin if you're both over 50 or either is permanently sterile. Sterility must be confirmed by a signed certificate from a licensed physician.

Proxy Marriage

Is proxy marriage allowed?

Illinois does not allow marriage-by-proxy.

Civil Ceremony

How can I get married in a civil ceremony?

The county clerk can direct you to a judge who will perform your civil ceremony. The fee varies by county, but is usually around $10.

Office Locations

Where will you apply?


Share your questions or comments


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  1. Where do we go if everything is closed due to Covid to get the marriage licenses? How long is the wait for the licenses once it is ordered?

    1. Hi Josephine. Illinois county clerk offices are still open during Covid to issue marriage licenses. Is there a specific office or county you're citing that's closed to the public?

  2. Hi there- can you get virtually married in Illinois- and do you have to live there and show proof of it. My partner is being transferred to Germany (army) and I am moving to Wisconsin, and in order for me and out unborn baby to move there we have to get married. Wisconsin does not have this option. Thank you so much

    1. Hi Kara. You can get virtually married in Illinois. For instance, Cook County, Illinois does virtual licensing and ceremonies.

    1. Hi Jacek. You'll have to contact the county clerk's office to determine if they'll require a third-party translator, if they have one in office that speaks you prospective spouse's language, or if they'll allow you to interpret.

  3. My spouse is coming here from another state. What does he need besides a driver’s license?

  4. If I am getting married at 17, and my birth mother will sign but she lives in another state, does she need to be in person? Or can she do it from there?

    1. Hi Caylin. Parental consent must be granted in person while filling out the consent form.

  5. What if am 16 and my boyfriend is 19 and we are wanting to get married because I am expecting but he is not a US citizen what does he need.

    1. Hi Mari. You will need consent from both of your parents to marry. Or approval from a circuit court judge in the county where you get your marriage license.

  6. Hi, I am living in Chicago but my fiance doesn't. Both of us are foreign. What documentation do we need? Can I schedule an appointment or is it first come first serve?


    1. What documentation do we need?

      Bring photo ID, and maybe your divorce decree (not all clerks will ask for this last bit).

      Can I schedule an appointment or is it first come first serve?

      You can schedule a virtual appointment. Otherwise, it's first come, first serve by walk in.

  7. Can a judge marry us and do we have to schedule after we obtain a license?

    1. Can a judge marry us

      You can ask the county clerk for a referral.

      do we have to schedule after we obtain a license?

      You should schedule your civil ceremony before you apply for your license, as availability is not assured the day you apply.

  8. my future husband is getting his last name changed before we get married. Does he need his new name on his ID before we get our marriage license?

    1. Does he need his new name on his ID before we get our marriage license?

      If your future husband wants his new name shown on the marriage license and subsequence certificate, he needs to update his ID before applying to get married. If you plan to take his new last name after marriage, he needs to update his ID so that you can make the change without pursuing a separate court order.

  9. What alternative documents can I use if I don't have an identification card to obtain an Illinois marriage license?

    1. Hi Amanda. You must contact the county clerk for a list of alternative documents they will accept.

  10. Do you have to get your marriage license notarized in Illinois?

    1. Hi Oniaaka. You don't have to get your marriage license notarized.

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