Before getting married in Chicago or suburban Cook County, couples must obtain a Marriage License from the Clerk’s Office Bureau of Vital Records. Couples can now apply for a Marriage License online. Pursuant to Executive Order 2020-36, signed by Governor Pritzker on May 1, 2020, authorizes our office to use videoconferencing technology to enable couples to apply for a Marriage License.
The Virtual Marriage License process will be by appointment only on a First Come/First Served basis based on calendar availability. The change goes into effect starting Monday, July 13, 2020.
- CRITERIA / PREREQUISITES
In order to apply, couples must establish and meet the following criteria/prerequisites:
What (the criteria will be verified by the couples):
- Couples must have valid identification
- Couples must attest to being physically situated in the jurisdiction where the marriage is legally allowed to occur within the State of Illinois as set forth in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, 750 ILCS 5/203
- The Application is an affidavit where couples must list your name; current address; city, state, zip code, county and country; country of birth; date of birth; name and country of birth of your parents; Social Security number; and marital history
- When you sign the affidavit, you are making a sworn statement that there are no legal impediments to the marriage
- If you were married before, you must indicate all prior marriages, how prior marriages ended, when prior marriages ended and where prior marriages ended
- All divorces, annulments, and dissolutions must be finalized before you apply for a new Marriage License
- You may be asked to produce the final divorce decree if you were divorced within the last 6 months
What (the prerequisites will be verified by the couples):
- Couples must have a valid email address
- Couples must have access to the internet, a computer, printer/scanner, working 2-way audio/video camera, and access to Zoom online meeting
- Couples must be able to transmit, by email, signed documents to the Clerk’s Office Bureau of Vital Records during virtual video meeting
- Couples must complete the online marriage application prior to their virtual video meeting
Couples who meet the criteria/prerequisites will be able to pre-register for a Marriage License on the Clerk’s office website and will be emailed their scheduled appointment time and URL to access and submit an online marriage application. The couple will then be contacted via phone during their scheduled appointment to complete the Marriage License process by virtual video meeting to have the license issued.
Please note: It is imperative that the couple complete the online marriage application prior to their assigned virtual video meeting. Failure to be prepared for the assigned virtual video meeting will result in the couple having to restart the process by resubmitting a new questionnaire.
Appointments will be scheduled Monday through Friday, one per half-hour during the business day between 9am-2:30pm. The officiant is not required to be present during the virtual video meeting.
The fee for a marriage license is $60 and the form of payment accepted is MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express credit cards or debit cards. There is a $1.75 convenience fee to use a credit/debit card.
- DURATION OF THE MARRIAGE LICENSE
- All marriage and civil unions licenses are effective 1 day after issuance
- All marriage and civil union licenses are valid for 60 days from the date of issuance.
- Note: A marriage or civil union ceremony taking place after the expiration date is not valid.
- IMMEDIATE UPDATES/CHANGES
The previous Priority Online Marriage License process implemented in order to issue Marriage Licenses during the COVID-19 pandemic only for those applicants with an immediate/emergency need during the Cook County Clerk's Office shutdown has been changed over to this new process. Marriage Licenses can also be issued in-person at any of the Cook County Clerk’s Office, Bureau of Vital Records business operations for those with an immediate/emergency need.