CONGRATULATIONS!! If you’re here, you’re more than likely planning your wedding, and also planning it in Illinois which is SO exciting! There are SO many things that go into a wedding day, but lucky for you as an Illinois resident things are relatively simple when it comes to what you need to obtain your Illinois marriage license, and your girl has TONS of experience when it comes to planning weddings, so let’s get to it!
Getting your Illinois marriage license is thankfully a pretty straightforward process, meaning you get to put more of your time and energy into the rest of your wedding planning! For starters, there are some general things you’ll need when it comes to acquiring your marriage licenses such as both people present, a specified monetary amount that varies by county, and a valid ID with proof of age such as a driver’s license, passport, state ID or Military ID. Both parties must also be over the age of 18 or 16/17 with a parent present.
One last important bit to note before we get into the specifics of each county is that your marriage license is only valid in the county you apply for it in. Meaning if you get your license in Kane county you can only be married in Kane county and no other county or state, so plan and apply accordingly!
Cook County has 6 locations where you are able to apply for your marriage license. Both parties must be present at the time and have a valid ID as mentioned above with proof of age. You also need proof of divorce if applicable, and the cost of the application is $60. Once you fill out and sign your marriage application you will have to wait for your marriage license on location, this means that you have to apply in person but you do receive your Illinois marriage license almost instantly. The license is not valid until 24 hours later and then is only valid for the next 60 days. Plan out your wedding day accordingly so that you have your license ready and available to you when you need it!
This county is the second largest county in Illinois and is located just outside of the city. Both parties must be present at the DuPage County Clerics Office in order to receive your marriage license for DuPage County. Proof of ID and age must be presented as well as proof of divorce if applicable. There is a $35 fee to apply for the marriage license and like Cook County you’ll receive your marriage license the same day, is not valid until 24 hours later, and is then valid for the next 60 days. Unlike Cook County, DuPage County allows you to start the application process for your Illinois marriage license online which you can do here!
This county is located just west of the city. Just like Cook and DuPage counties, Kane county requires both parties to be present at one of their two locations to apply and receive their Illinois marriage license. Valid ID and proof of age is required as well as proof if either party has been divorced or widowed within the last six weeks. There is a $32 cash fee for the application whether you apply in person or online. For online applications you have to pick up your marriage license in person which is when you’d make the cash payment. Lastly if you’re looking to have your wedding at the courthouse you will need to schedule your ceremony which you can do once you receive your marriage license.
South of Chicago and on the Indiana border sits Kankakee county. Applying for your Illinois marriage license in Kankakee County is very straightforward like the other counties in the state. Both parties have to be present to apply for the license with a valid ID showing proof of age. If divorced within the last year proof of divorce must be provided. There is a $30 fee for the application and it will be valid 24 hours after it is issued, and for the next 60 days after. You can also purchase additional certified copies of the marriage license for $10 and then $4 for any additional copies after the first.
Most of the counties in Illinois have pretty standard requirements for applying for and receiving your marriage license. Some important things to note are the 24 hour wait period and the 60 days of validity after the waiting period. Many counties allow you to apply online but you must go in person to receive your license. Check out the websites of the other counties listed below to make sure you’re following their guidelines if your wedding is in their county.
Be sure to double-check what county your wedding venue is in if you are having your wedding on the outskirts of Chicago or in the Chicago suburbs. Many counties blend together and don’t have straight boundary lines, so double-check with your venue to be sure you apply for the correct marriage license as they are only valid in the county you receive them in. Pay attention to the price for each county as it does vary! Lastly, you can take the legalities out of your wedding day and get legally married before your wedding day. This takes the stress and extra planning of needing your Illinois marriage license on your wedding day and your license needing to come from the same county your venue is in!
There’s SO much that goes into planning a wedding, getting your Illinois marriage license is just the start of it! Follow this guide to set yourself on the right track for planning your wedding. And if you need more help with planning your wedding day head over to my blog where I break down wedding timelines, planning, and location guides!