How to get legally married in the state of Illinois.


Marc and Joey. Photo by Kelly Guenther.


When does marriage equality go into effect in Illinois?
June 1, 2014, although couples that live in specific counties can be married before the June 1 date: Cass, Champaign, Cook, Grundy, Jackson, Mason, McLean and St. Clair.

Do I have to live in Illinois to get married there?
No. Any couple can get married as long as other qualifications are met.

Where can I apply for a marriage license?
At an Illinois County Clerk’s Office.

Is a blood test required?

Is there a waiting period to get the marriage license?
24 hours.

How soon after applying for a license can I get legally married?
24 hours.

Are there witnesses required in order to get legally married?
Only in DuPage County.

How much is the marriage license application fee?
Between $30 and $60, cash only.

How long is the marriage license valid for?
60 days, and only in the county it was registered in.

Can I apply online for a marriage license?

Do we both have to be there to apply for our marriage license?

What paperwork is required when I apply for my marriage license?
You need to bring a valid photo ID, such as a driver’s license, passport or birth certificate.

Who can officiate the marriage ceremony?
Active or retired judges, ordained ministers and certain public officials may perform marriages. A retired judge is not allowed to receive payment for officiating a wedding ceremony. Ministers of the Universal Life Church Monastery may officiate marriage ceremonies in Illinois as long as they are they can prove they are in good standing with the ULC Monastery.

If I don’t live in Illinois, will my marriage be recognized by my home state?
The marriage will be respected in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Hawaii, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington State and Washington, D.C. In Nevada, the marriage will be seen as a domestic partnership.

Is my Illinois marriage recognized by the U.S. federal government?
Yes, it is!

If I get legally married in Illinois, will I still need special legal paperwork to protect my family?
Yes, if you plan to travel with your partner beyond the state of Illinois, it will be necessary for you to hire an attorney to draw up paperwork to protect your family in case something happens in a state where your marriage is not recognized. Read our expert advice on how to legally protect your relationship and children.

Is a divorce decree required?
Yes. You’ll need to provide the city, state, country of each previous marriage and the ending status, such as, by divorce or death. Home and work telephone numbers for both you and your ex(s) are also requested.

How do I change my name?
You’ll need to use an online name change form if you’d like to change your last name. This can be found here.

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The Chicago History Museum is putting on a fabulous wedding event—and we’re sponsoring it! Check out the One Love Wedding Event (happening on April 10, 2014) and get the full scoop!