Applying for a Civil Union License
Before formalizing a union in Chicago or suburban Cook County, a couple must obtain a civil union license from the Cook County Clerk's office.
As of June 1, 2011, under Illinois law, eligible persons can be united in a legally recognized relationship (Public Act 96-1513) . Both partners must:
- be 18 years of age or older
- not be blood relatives
Partners of same or opposite sex may enter into a civil union.
Couples must appear together at one of the Cook County Clerk's six locations. They must:
- fill out and sign a civil union license application
- present valid identification with proof of age
- pay a civil union license fee of $60
Timelines and restrictions
Civil union licenses are:
- issued while you wait
- effective the following calendar day after they are issued
- valid for 60 days
- effective only for ceremonies performed in Chicago and suburban Cook County
As of June 1, 2011, all county clerks in Illinois issue civil union licenses. Licenses should be obtained in the county where the ceremony is to occur.
After the civil union ceremony occurs
The officiant performing the ceremony must complete the bottom portion of the civil union license and mail or deliver it to the Clerk's office.
You may obtain a copy of your civil union certificate upon request.