How To Get A Marriage License In Chicago

 How To Get A Marriage License In Chicago

Getting a marriage license is important if you want your wedding to be recognized by the state. To some who may not know, a marriage license is simply a document that shows that you’re getting married. Like most of the other states in the country, getting a marriage license in Illinois, where Chicago has been made to be as straight forward as possible. In this piece, we’ll offer helpful tips on how you can get a marriage license in this major city.


Before we dive fully into how you can get a marriage license, it is best that we discuss the eligibility terms as stipulated by the laws of the state.

  • To get a marriage license in Chicago, you’ll have to be 18 years and above. However, there is an exception to this. People under 18 (16 and 17) can get this license if they present a consent form from their parents or even from a presiding judge.
  • The people to be married must not be blood relatives. According to the laws of the state, those getting married must not be closer than third cousins. In situations like this, they’ll have to be 50 years and above and unable to bear children if they are to get a license.
  • Those seeking to get married must not be legally married to someone else without officially getting divorced.

How To Get A Marriage License In Chicago

To help prospective marriage mates we’ve made a step by step guide.

Step 1; Visit The County Clerk

This is the very first step to take if you are to obtain your license. To help you out, you can look up your county in the city directory. While most states may charge between $39 or $150, to get your marriage license in Chicago, you’d be required to make a payment of $60.

Depending on certain factors, you may be required by the clerk to come with a witness who must have known you and your other half for at least six months. While visiting the clerk, you are required to come with proof of identity. In addition to this, you’ll be required to present a valid driver’s license, passport, and birth certificate.

While visiting the clerk, it is advised that you are present with your fiance. Except for certain circumstances that have been stipulated by law, you are required to appear with your spouse.

Step 2; Fill The Application

With the number of people getting married in Chicago increasing annually, there is every possibility that you may have to wait for a long time before you obtain your license from the clerk. To prevent this long wait, it would be best to book an appointment earlier with the clerk. Once you have the form, the next thing to do would be to fill it out.

In Chicago, you’re required to provide two witnesses who’ll sign. A signature from the officiant or officiating minister will also be required if you are to have your license approved. According to the laws of the state, a retired or active judge may be an officiant. In addition, a religious leader may also be used as an officiant.

Restrictions And Timeline

  • Depending on certain factors, a marriage license is issued or given while you wait. You do not have to wait for a couple of days before your license is obtained.
  • In Chicago, your license is effective the day after it was issued. While most states will require applicants to wait for at least 72 hours before making use of this license, Chicago and the state of Illinois in general does not.
  • All marriage licenses that are approved in Chicago are only valid in Chicago and Cook County but are recognized in other states of the country.
  • Unlike some of the other states that have a 90 days validity period, the state of Illinois has a 60 days validity period. This simply means that your license becomes invalid if you do not have a wedding ceremony 60 days after the day the license becomes effective. For prospective marriage mates, it is advised that they apply for this license not less than two months to their wedding.

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Teresa Martinez

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