Both partners must appear together in person at the time of application.

Who May Apply

Unmarried people who are 18 years of age or older and not blood relatives can apply for a marriage license, as can first cousins 50 years or older. People 16 and 17 years of age must provide the following information: sworn consent, in person, from each parent or legal guardian before the county clerk at the time of application, as well as a certified copy of their birth certificates and a second form of identification to show their date of birth. Those giving consent must provide proper identification, including a valid driver’s license, state ID, or a valid US passport. If the legal guardian is giving consent, a certified copy of his or her guardianship papers must be provided.

What to Provide

You must provide one of the following pieces of information to receive your marriage license: valid U.S. driver’s license or state ID, valid U.S. passport, or U.S. Armed Forces identification card. If the above is not available, you must provide two of the following: a certified copy of your birth certificate, U.S. naturalization papers or resident alien card, a valid foreign passport, life insurance policy that has been in effect for at least one year, a baptismal record showing the birth date of the applicant, or a consulate identification card. Some counties may require divorce decrees and/or death certificates of former spouses. Counties may vary when it comes to forms of acceptable ID. Call your county clerk to verify what documentation you should bring.

Civil Unions

Civil unions are still legal, valid, and offered to all couples in the state of Illinois. It is not required that a civil union be converted into a marriage. If couples would like to convert their civil union into a marriage, the marriage license fee will be waived if the couple applies for their licenses and has their ceremony within 60 days of the date their civil union was actualized. If a couple does not live in Illinois, they may still apply for a marriage license in an Illinois county, provided they have a ceremony in that county within 60 days.


Depending on your county, the cost to obtain a marriage license is $20-$60. Certain counties only accept cash, so call ahead to confirm what types of payment the clerk will accept. If you intend to request multiple copies of your marriage license, be prepared to pay a small replication fee.

Waiting Period/ Expiration of License

A marriage license becomes effective twenty-four hours after it is issued. After the document becomes effective, couples have 60 days to hold their ceremony and make their marriage official. The couple must hold their ceremony in the same county that issued their marriage license.

Where to Go

Call your County Clerk’s office to verify requirements, hours, and additional locations. We recommend getting two or three certified copies of your marriage certificate for name change and/or filing purposes.


Downtown Chicago – Daley Center 50 W. Washington St. East Concourse (Lower) Level – 25 Chicago, IL 60602 312.603.7790


110 E. Sycamore St. Sycamore, IL 60178 815.895.7149


421 N. County Farm Rd. Wheaton, IL 60187 630.407.6500


111 E. Washington St., Room 12 Morris, IL 60450 815.941.3222


719 S. Batavia Ave., Building B Geneva, IL 60134 630.232.5950


189 E. Court St. Kankakee, IL 60901 815.937.2990


18 N. County St., Room 101 Waukegan, IL 60085 847.377.2411


667 Ware Rd., Room 107 Woodstock, IL 60098 815.334.4230


302 N. Chicago St. Joliet, IL 60432 815.740.4615

Edited by Christina Oddo