Marriage License & Certificate



Marriage License:
What You Need to Get Married

The key: you must get your marriage license from the county you will be married inregardless of where you live.

By Illinois state law, you can get your marriage license

  • no sooner than 60 days before your wedding
  • but no later than the day before your wedding

You need to apply together, in person, and bring the proper identification and money (sometimes cash) with you. If you are divorced, you need to know the date or may need to bring a copy of the divorce decree. Click on the county’s web site, below, that you are getting married in for details.

Bring the marriage license to the rehearsal (if you have one) or the wedding and give to Rev. Phil as soon as he arrives. Make it the best man’s job.

It is a crime — a misdemeanor — if Rev. Phil does not mail it in. It is important to you, so he will mail it in.

BTW, the marriage license is not what makes you legally married. It is not valid until signed by a proper official — like Rev. Phil — and returned to the county clerk.

The marriage license is a legal document so be careful with it.

Click on the county you will be getting married in for information on getting a marriage license:

Marriage Certificate:
What You Need to Prove That You Are Married

How to prove that you are married — so you can change your name, so you can add a spouse to your insurance, for voter registration? Get a marriage certificate, (sometimes called a marriage record). You get it from the county in which you got married.

It will not automatically come to you — you must fill out another form and make another payment (it’s government). Rev. Phil does not get a copy — so he can not send you one.

Tip: order copies of your marriage certificate/record at the same time as you apply for your marriage license. 

It’s typically about $14 for first one and $4 for every one ordered at the same time. Order a bunch of copies – it’s cheaper, you’ll need them. It’s not legally binding to make a Xerox of one. It has to have the county’s seal embossed in the paper.

You can order it later (i.e. if you did not order at the time you applied for your marriage license). You can apply for it by mail, sometimes online. Unlike your marriage license, you do not need to appear in person.

It typically takes 4-6 weeks after your wedding to receive. It’s all up to the county. But you will never get it if you don’t apply for it and, most importantly to the county, pay for it.

When you go to the driver’s license facility to get an updated driver’s license, remember to update your voter registration (or register to vote if you have not done so.) Failure to do so will mean you can not vote in the next election.

Click on the county you got married in for marriage certificate/record info:

The Next Step



Meet Rev. Phil for a Complimentary One Hour Consultation! (a $100 Value)

Rev. Phil will email you a number of dates and times when he can meet you — evenings and weekends, with several Panera Bread locations to choose from.

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