If you plan to be married or joined by civil union in Winnebago County, Illinois, you need to purchase a license from our office. Your residence is not a consideration.
You must call the Winnebago County Clerk’s office between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday to have an application emailed to you. After filling out the application completely and legibly, you may email it back with a copy of both of your valid ID's and any other necessary documents previously discussed with the clerk you spoke with on the phone. At that time, the clerk will work with you to SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT to apply for and receive your license: 815-319-4250
YOU MUST SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT TO OBTAIN THE LICENSE. Due to high levels of demand, our schedule is filling up fast. Currently appointments are being scheduled two to three weeks in advance.
The couple must both come to the appointment together and we ONLY accept the couple to come into our office.
Winnebago County Clerk
404 Elm Street, Suite 104
WHO NEEDS TO APPLY FOR A MARRIAGE OR CIVIL UNION LICENSE IN WINNEBAGO COUNTY?
If you plan to be married or joined by a civil union in Winnebago County, Illinois, you need to purchase a license from our office. Your residence at the time of marriage is not a consideration.
WHERE DO WE GET OUR MARRIAGE OR CIVIL UNION LICENSE?
You must call the Winnebago County Clerk's Office between 8:00am and 5:00pm, Monday through Friday to have an application emailed to you. After filling out the application completely and legibly, you may email it back with a copy of both of your valid ID's and any other necessary documents previously discussed with the clerk you spoke with on the phone. At that time, the clerk will work with you to SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT to get your license. The couple must come into the office together at their appointed time to apply and receive their license.
WHEN SHOULD WE PURCHASE THE LICENSE?
You cannot use the license the same day you purchase it because Illinois State Law requires a ONE-day waiting period. After the one day, you will have 60 days to use the license. After the 60th day, the license is no longer valid. If another license is needed, you will have to make an appointment to apply for a new license as well as pay the license fee.
HOW MUCH DOES A LICENSE COST?
The fee for the license is $40.00 and must be paid in cash. We do not accept anything over a $50 bill.
WHAT IS THE AGE REQUIREMENT TO OBTAIN A LICENSE?
To be married or joined in a civil union without parental or guardian consent, both applicants must be 18 years of age by the date the license is effective.
DO WE NEED PROOF OF AGE?
Yes - If you are 21 or over, a valid drivers' license is acceptable. If you are under 21, you will be asked to provide additional proof of age. Any of the following will be acceptable as an additional form of proof: a certified birth certificate, a baptismal certificate (IF the baptism took place before the age of 7), a military ID or a passport.
I AM UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE, CAN I STILL GET MARRIED?
Yes - if you are 16 or 17 years old, you may obtain a license with proper approval and documentation. One of the following conditions MUST be met:
1. You must have the approval of BOTH PARENTS. This can be done by having the parent(s) fill out and sign the proper waivers (we will email them to you) and have them notorized. We will need those notorized waivers emailed in at the same time as your application and Valid ID's . We also need a copy of your parents' Valid ID's emailed as well. All documentation emailed must be brought in with you when you apply for your license.
2. A legal guardian can also give their consent in person. They will also have to fill out and sign the proper waivers (we will email them to you). Certified guardianship papers must be emailed to us along with the legal guardian(s) Valid ID's at the same time you email your application and Valid ID's. All documentation emailed must be brought in with you when you apply for your license.
WHAT DO WE NEED IF ONE OR BOTH OF US ARE DIVORCED?
Illinois State Law states that if the divorce occured in a state that requires a 6 or more month waiting period (such as Wisconsin), you will not be allowed to marry in Illinois until that time period has passed.
However, IF both parties are residents of Illinois at the time of obtaining the license, they are exempt from the above mentioned law.
IF it has been less than 6 months since your divorce (regardless of the state), we need to see a copy of the divorce decree signed by the judge. You will need to email this to us when you email your application and other necessary documents but you also need to bring the divorce decree signed by the judge with you to the appointment.
If it has been more than 6 months since your divorce, we will need to know the month and year the divorce was final.
ARE THERE REASONS THAT WE MAY NOT BE ALLOWED TO GET MARRIED OR JOINED BY A CIVIL UNION?
Yes - the following are a few circumstances that may prohibit you from being joined under Illinois Law:
1. A marriage or civil union is not allowed if one (or both) of you is already married or joined by a civil union.
2. A marriage or civil union is not allowed between an ancestor and a descendant or between a brother and sister, whether the relationship is by half or whole blood OR by adoption.
3. A marriage or civil union is not allowed between an uncle and a niece or between an aunt and a nephew, whether the relationship is by half or whole blood.
4. A marriage or civil union is not allowed between cousins of the first degree, except when the parties are 50 years of age or older OR one is permanently and irreversibly sterile. A doctor's certificate is required before the license is issued.
IMPORTANT REMINDERS ABOUT OBTAINING YOUR LICENSE:
---The license fee is $40.00 and must be paid with cash. We do not accept anything over a $50 bill.
---You cannot use the Winnebago County license in any other county or state.
---The license CANNOT BE USED FOR ONE DAY FROM THE DATE OF ISSUANCE and must be used within 60 days.
---No blood test is required.
FOR QUESTIONS OR FURTHER INFORMATION REGARDING MARRIAGE OR CIVIL UNION LICENSES, PLEASE CALL OUR OFFICE AT 815.319.4250.