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How to Get an Illinois Same-Sex Marriage License & Same-Sex Marriage Certificate

Lesbian & Gay Marriage in Illinois - Same-Sex Marriage IL




When did Same-Sex Marriages in Illinois become Legal?

Same-Sex Marriages were legal in Illinois on June 1, 2011.

Because there is a 24 hour waiting period - the earliest you can have your Same-Sex Marriage is June 2, 2011.


What is an Illinois Same-Sex Marriage?

A Same-Sex Marriage is a legal relationship granted by the state of Illinois. Couples who enter into a Same-Sex Marriage in Illinois are entitled to the same benefits and protections that state law provides to married couples.


Where do we get an Illinois Same-Sex Marriage License?

Chicago Same-Sex Marriage Licenses are issued through the Cook County Clerk office. You must apply for your Same-Sex Marriage License in the county where your Same-Sex Marriage will be held - list of Illinois county clerk's offices.


How much does an Illinois Same-Sex Marriage License Cost?

In most counties, the license costs $30. Some county offices do not accept all methods of payment - so bring cash with you to the clerk's office.


Is there a Waiting Period and County Requirement?

  • Yes. There is a 24 hour waiting period between the time you apply for your Same-Sex Marriage license and the time you have your legal Same-Sex Marriage ceremony
  • Because of this - the earliest date that you can legally have your Same-Sex Marriage ceremony is June 2, 2011
  • The License is only valid in the county where it was issued a day after it is issued and is valid for the following 60 days 


Can my Illinois Same-Sex Marriage License Expire?

Yes. You must have your Same-Sex Marriage ceremony and have your Same-Sex Marriage certified in that county within 60 days by an authorized person or the license becomes invalid. Once you have the Same-Sex Marriage certified, it becomes and remains valid until it is dissolved.  


Do we need to be residents of Illinois?

You do not have to be a resident of Illinois or a resident of the county.


Who can enter into an Illinois Same-Sex Marriage?

You can enter into a Same-Sex Marriage in Illinois if you are a same-sex or opposite-sex couple in a committed relationship.


  • You and your partner must both be at least 18 years old
  • Neither of you can already be in a marriage, Same-Sex Marriage, or similar legal relationship
  • Illinois does not allow Same-Sex Marriages between relatives  


Do we both need to apply for a license?

Yes. Both you and your partner must appear at the county clerk’s office to apply for a Same-Sex Marriage license.


  • You must each show proof of your identity, such as a driver's license or state-issued photo identification
  • Both you and your partner must sign the application witnessed by the county clerk


What do we do with the Illinois Same-Sex Marriage License?

You must deliver the license to the person who will certify your Same-Sex Marriage. Your license then becomes a Same-Sex Marriage certificate.


  • Your Same-Sex Marriage Certificate must be returned to the county clerk’s office where it was issued within 10 days of the ceremony so that it can be officially registered by the clerk
  • The Same-Sex Marriage Certificate is not a complete legal document until it has been recorded in the county clerk's office where it was issued


EnGAYged Weddings would like to thank our couples and the following photographers who can be viewed on our Gay Wedding Planning Forum :


  • Same Sex Wedding Photo
  • Prideful Engagements
  • Melissa Koren Photography
  • Elle Wedding Photography 


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