Wisconsin Marriage License

If you're getting married in Wisconsin, you must first apply for a marriage license.
It'll cost you $50.00 to $120.00, and you'll have to use it within 30 days.

See FAQ Offices

Where to Apply

Where can I get a marriage license?

You can get a Wisconsin marriage license at the county clerk's office, but your residency decides which county you can apply and marry in.


How much does a marriage license cost?

A Wisconsin marriage license costs between $50 and $120, with $75 being the most common figure across counties.


How does my residency factor into applying?

Your residency—which is where you've lived the past 30 days—determines where you can apply and marry.

One of you is a Wisconsin resident?

If either you or your future spouse is a Wisconsin resident, apply for a marriage license in the county of either's residence.

Neither is a Wisconsin resident?

If neither of you live in Wisconsin, apply in the county where the marriage will take place.


Where can I use my marriage license?

If either of you is a Wisconsin resident, you can marry anywhere in the state. If neither of you are residents, marry in the county where you obtain your license.


What will the application ask of me?

The application will ask for your name, birth surname, residence, date and place of birth, social security number, ceremony date and location, officiant's contact information, and parents' names, birth surnames, and birthplaces.

Are foreign documents accepted?

Any non-English document or certificate you present must have a certified and notarized third-party translation.


What if I can't apply in person?

You and your future spouse must apply together in person. Applying absentee or by proxy is prohibited.

What if either of us can't speak English?

If either you or your fiancé can't speak English, bring a translator. You cannot translate for each other.

Age Requirements

How old must I be to marry?

Aged 18 and over?

If you're at least 18 years old, you don't need parental consent to marry.

Aged 16 and 17?

If you're 16 or 17 years old, whoever has custodial authority over you must consent to your marriage. Custodial authority goes by the following order: guardian, both parents, custodial parent, custodial agency, or probate judge.

Aged 15 and under?

Fifteen year olds and younger can't legally marry.

How can consent be granted?

Consent can be granted before the county clerk or using a notarized affidavit consent form. Consent forms are available at the clerk's office.

Waiting Period

How soon will I receive my marriage license?

You must wait five days after you submit your application to pick up your marriage license. For instance, apply Friday to pick up and marry on Wednesday.

Can the waiting period be waived?

The county clerk can waive the waiting period for $25. It's $10 for active duty military.


When will my marriage license lapse?

Your marriage license will expire 30 days after issuance.


What ID must I bring?

You must bring documents to prove your age, identity, and residency.

How to prove age?

Bring a certified copy of your birth certificate with raised seal. This applies to adults and minors.

How to prove identity?

Bring government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, passport, state-issued ID card, military ID card, or immigration papers.

How to prove residency?

If your photo ID doesn't show your current residential address, show mail that does, such as a bank, credit card, insurance, lease, medical, or utility statement.

Do I need to bring my social security card?

You do not have to bring your social security card. Just know your social security number if you have one.

Blood Test

Do I have to undergo a blood test?

You're not required to get a blood test before marriage. However, you'll be given information on fetal alcohol syndrome and how pregnancy is affected by cocaine use and other illicit drugs.


What if I'm divorced?

You can't marry within six months of divorce. Otherwise, bring a certified copy of your divorce decree or court annulment papers.

Can the remarriage delay be waived?

The mandatory six month wait between divorce and remarriage can't be waived.


What if my prior spouse died?

If you're a widow or widower, bring a certified copy of the death certificate for your previous spouse.

Name Change

How do I go about changing my name after marriage?

Changing your name due to marriage is straightforward when using your marriage certificate. You can use a marriage name change application to help prepare needed forms before or after you marry.


Are witnesses required at my ceremony?

You must have two competent witnesses aged 18 or over at your marriage ceremony. Afterward, they'll sign the marriage license. Although a maximum of four witness signatures is allowed, only two need to be competent legal adults.

The Ceremony

Who can preside over our marriage?

A judge, or licensed or ordained member of any religious denomination may solemnize your marriage.

Can I have a civil ceremony?

County clerks don't perform civil marriages. You'll have to make arrangements with a court commissioner or judge of the circuit or municipal court.

Can we have a self-solemnized ceremony?

Wisconsin law allows you and your fiancé to preside over your own marriage ceremony. You'll be responsible for returning the marriage license.

License Return

When does my marriage license have to be sent back?

Within three days after your marriage ceremony, your marriage license must be delivered to the register of deeds for recording within the same county as the county clerk that issued the license.

Marriage Certificate

How do I get a certified copy of my marriage certificate?

You can purchase a certified copy of your marriage certificate for $20 from either the register of deeds that recorded it or the state's vital records office.

Proxy Marriage

Can I get married by proxy?

Wisconsin doesn't allow marriage by proxy. You must attend your marriage ceremony in the flesh.

Prohibited Marriage

Can I marry my cousin?

You can marry your first cousin if you're a female aged 55 or over, with a signed physician's affidavit that says you're permanently sterile.

Can I marry another relative?

Beyond the first cousin caveat above, you can't marry anyone closer to you than a second cousin, even if related by adoption.

Common-law Marriage

Can I establish a common-law marriage?

Wisconsin doesn't recognize common-law marriage established in any jurisdiction.

Vow Renewal

Can I get a marriage license for a vow renewal?

Wisconsin law doesn't permit a marriage license to be issued for vow renewals.

Office Locations

Where will you apply?


Share your questions or comments


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  1. Hi there,

    What are the requirements for marriage license? I am originally from the Phillippines (born and raised there) and my Partner is born and raised here in Madison. Do we have to set up an appointment?

    Thank you, Shine

    1. Hi Shine. Since your partner lives in Wisconsin, you must apply in their county of residence. Specifically the Dane County Clerk's office.

      You'll have to make an appointment to apply between 9am to 3pm Monday through Friday.

    1. Hi Tara. You may have to setup an appointment. It depends on the county. Which county are you applying in?

  2. Hello.

    I live in Eau Claire County and my fiancé lives in Douglas County, which is where we will be married. Should we get the marriage license in Douglas County since that is where the wedding will take place?

    Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi LaNae. Since your both residents of Wisconsin, you may apply in either county, then get married anywhere in the state.

  3. Hi. I am originally from Wisconsin but live in California. My future spouse is a resident of Mexico and does not have a SSN from the USA, only his passport and visa. We are flying to Wisconsin so that my family can attend. We would like to have a family member marry us at my family home. We would apply and pay to waive the waiting period.

    Is this possible?


    1. I am originally from Wisconsin but live in California.

      You'll still have to apply as a nonresident. Meaning you'll have to apply in the county where your marriage ceremony will take place.

      future spouse is a resident of Mexico and does not have a SSN from the USA

      That's fine

      only his passport and visa

      That's good enough.

      Is this possible?

      That's all possible.

  4. Good morning,

    Just wanted to make sure that there was nothing special that needed to be done to have my brother, who got ordained online, to perform the ceremony at my daughters wedding. He is a resident of Iowa, my daughter and husband to be are residence of Dane County and will be getting married in Sauk County.

    Thanks for the information Rita

    1. there was nothing special that needed to be done to have my brother, who got ordained online, to perform the ceremony

      There's nothing extra that needs to be done.

      He is a resident of Iowa,

      You don't have to be a resident of Wisconsin to lawfully officiate a marriage in the state.

  5. Do we have to have a ceremony or any sort of wedding to get a marriage license?

    1. Hi Linda. It seems that you're asking this question backwards. You don't need to have a ceremony to get a marriage license, but you must hold one afterward to be married. But the "ceremony" need not be elaborate.

      You and your partner can self-officiant and declare yourselves married. You'll still need two adult witnesses to attend. But the event could take place anywhere, without fanfare.

  6. Hello I was wondering if there is still a waiting period if I am a resident (never married) but plan to marry someone from MN that got divorced recently (less than 6 months)?

    1. Hi CL. Yes, the six-month divorce waiting period still applies. Residency is a nonfactor.

  7. Hi, my husband and I would like to apply for a marriage license. He's a US citizen and I'm a refugee from Laos. I have a social security number and driver's license and my lawyer says I can use that and apply. What else would I need to bring?

    1. What else would I need to bring?

      You may be asked to present a certified copy of your birth certificate as well.

  8. Hi, I'm a Wisconsin resident and my fiancé is from Haiti on a K1 visa. Does his passport and visa suffice for proofs? What documents do I need as a citizen? Thank you.

    1. Does his passport and visa suffice for proofs?

      You may want to contact the county clerk's office to inquire if they'll need his birth certificate as well.

      What documents do I need as a citizen?

      There is no citizenship verification.

  9. I am from Michigan and my fiance is from Wisconsin. Is there a way around both of us having to be there to get the marriage license?

    1. Hi Steph. At best, you can contact the county clerk to inquire if they offer videoconference marriage license applications. But make sure to verify if they mandate pickup of one or both parties, assuming they don't mail out your license.

  10. What if you don't send in your marriage license within three days of your ceremony?

    1. Hi K. Marriage licensing offices throughout the county will often record late delivered marriage licenses. They return gap would have to be egregious for them to reject your license and have you resort to completing a delayed marriage license request.

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