In an effort to assist couples who have an urgent need to be legally married (e.g., hospice care or legal issues) or those with a marriage quickly approaching within the next 30 calendar days, the Cook County Clerk’s Bureau of Vital Records, will issue Marriage Licenses remotely via an online video call. The new process will be available starting Friday, April 3, 2020.
In order to apply, couples must establish and meet the following criteria/prerequisites:
- Couples in hospice care who can verify that they have an officiant to perform their marriage and a physician to verify their care
- Couples with a wedding ceremony scheduled within the next 30 calendar days who can verify that they have an officiant available to perform their wedding ceremony, and that they have a dire circumstance requiring an immediate marriage
What (the prerequisites will be verified by the couples):
- Couples must have proper identification
- Couples must have proper documentation from officiant and/or physician (if hospice care)
- Couples must provide written circumstances stating the reasons for the immediate marriage request
- Couples must have a valid email address
- Couples must have access to the internet, a computer, printer/scanner, working video camera, and access to Zoom online meeting
- Couples must be able to return signed documents to the Cook County Clerk's Bureau of Vital Records
- Couples must complete the online marriage application prior to their vitrual video meeting
Couples who meet the criteria/prerequisites will be able to pre-register for a marriage license on the Cook County Clerk’s Office website and will be emailed their scheduled appointment time and URL to access and submit an online marriage application. 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. Then the couple will be contacted via phone during their scheduled appointment to complete the Marriage License process by virtual video call to have the license issued. Appointments will be scheduled Monday through Friday, one per half-hour during the business day between 10am-2pm. The officiant is not required to be present during the call.
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 card and $1.25 to use a debit card.
All marriage licenses are effective 1 day after issuance and valid for 60 days from the date of issuance.
This process has been implemented in order to issue Marriage Licenses during the COVID-19 pandemic only for those applicants with an immediate/emergency need. Once the Cook County Clerk’s Bureau of Vital Records business operations resume as usual, marriage licenses will be issued in-person and not remotely..