Marriage in Illinois

If you want to get married in the Windy City—or anywhere else in Illinois—you are going to need to do some planning. You need to familiarize yourself with the marriage regulations of the state so that you can plan the wedding of your dreams without running into any glitches.

Identification Requirement

In order to get your marriage license, both members of the couple need to show proof of their identification and proof of their age. Acceptable documents are:

  • Driver's license
  • State identification card
  • Passport
  • Military identification card
  • Illinois Department of Public Aid card

If either member of the couple does not have any of the above-mentioned identification forms, presenting two from the following list will suffice (no affidavits will be accepted):

  • Certified copy of a birth certificate
  • Baptismal record with a birth date on it
  • Foreign passport
  • Naturalization papers
  • United States resident alien card
  • Life insurance policy in effect for at least one year with a birth date
  • Consulate identification card

Getting the Marriage License

It isn't necessary for either member of the couple to be an Illinois resident—anyone can get married in this state. There is, however, a 24-hour waiting period to get married after getting the license.

If either person has been married before, that person must provide a certified copy of the divorce decree if the divorce was within the last six months.

The marriage license is payable in cash only—no checks or credit cards are accepted. The fee varies depending upon the county in which the couple is getting married; however, it is typically about $30.

Marriages involving Minors

If either member of the couple is age 16 or age 17, that person must provide a certified copy of his or her birth certificate along with another form of identification that verifies the date of birth. Additionally, it is necessary to have each parent, legal guardian, or a judge come before the county clerk at the time of the application and give his sworn consent to the marriage. Parents and guardians will need to provide identification as well—driver's licenses, state identification cards, Illinois Public Aid cards, or passports. If a parent is deceased, a death certificate or proof of guardianship must be shown. Alternatively, a court order waiving consent may be shown.

Anyone under the age of 16 cannot get married in the state of Illinois.

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