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What Does It Take to Get a Marriage License in Illinois?

By Nottage and Ward on September 24, 2015

Whether this is your first marriage or simply your first marriage in Illinois, you may have questions about the state’s marriage license requirements. All fifty states handle marriage licenses differently, but all states now recognize a marriage that was legally contracted in any other state. In other words, if your Illinois marriage license is valid here, it’s valid in every U.S. state.

Most people who marry in Illinois don’t need to consult an experienced Chicago family law attorney – only to understand the rules. There are three basic requirements for an Illinois marriage:

  • The marriage must be licensed. To get a marriage license, the couple must each prove they are 18 or older and that the marriage is not prohibited by state law. A 16 or 17 year old can marry with parental consent or a court order. State law prohibits several types of marriages, including those between people who are too closely related or a marriage in which one person is already married to someone else.
  • The marriage must be solemnized. A “solemnized” marriage is one that is witnessed and “signed off on” by an authority with the power to do so. The leaders of many faith denominations have this power, as do some court personnel. You will have to wait at least 24 hours between picking up your license and solemnizing your marriage.
  • The marriage must be registered. Once the marriage is solemnized, the signed paperwork is dropped off at the county clerk’s office, usually with a payment of the license fee (which varies from $30 in Vermilion County to $75 in Champaign County).  Congratulations – your marriage is complete!

If you have any questions about marriage licenses in Illinois, don’t hesitate to call Nottage and Ward, LLP at (312) 332-2915.

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Posted in: Marriage Rights

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