Common-law marriage has diverse names, from "marriage in fact", "marriage by repute and habit", "informal…
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.
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.
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 September 18, 2021 via executive order 2021-19.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Is common-law marriage allowed?
Illinois will only legally recognize a common-law marriage that took place before June 30, 1905.
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.
Is proxy marriage allowed?
Illinois does not allow marriage-by-proxy.
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.