Frequently Asked Questions

This is a trying time for all of us, and the Cook County Clerk’s Office realizes our customers’ plans and lives have been altered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We would like to answer some frequently asked questions about our office operations and fulfillment of Vital Records services under the current stay at home orders.

Generally, because all in-office, mail and online services have been suspended, and we have a greatly reduced staff who are working remotely, we have been unable to fulfill many requests for Vital Records, except in extraordinary circumstances. Answers to some specific questions follow.


Can I get a marriage license from the Clerk’s Office?

All in-office services of the Cook County Clerk’s Office have been suspended for the time-being as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent closure of the Clerk's office pursuant to the Governor's executive orders. Consequently, as the marriage license application process must be completed in-person, as per state statute, we are currently unable to process requests for marriage licenses.


We urgently need to get a marriage license so we can be married for insurance or medical reasons or our wedding date is happening within 10 days and we don’t have our marriage license – can you help?

The Cook County Clerk’s Office understands that there are couples who have an urgent need to be legally married, for medical, legal or insurance reasons. In and effort to assist these couples, or those with a marriage quickly approaching within the next 10 calendar days, the Cook County Clerk’s office can issue marriage licenses remotely via an online video call.

Please check our website cookcountyclerk.com/agency/vital-records for information pertaining to the Marriage Online process and check periodically for the latest information for when full office services will resume.


Our marriage license is expiring soon – what can we do?

As a marriage license is only effective for 60 days from the date of issuance; If couples are unable to conduct their marriage ceremony due to COVID-19, the Cook County Clerk’s office will permit couples one additional Marriage License free of cost if the couple returns the expired Marriage License and reapply for a Marriage License in person when business operations resume as usual.

Couples must complete all mandatory steps to obtain the additional Marriage License. The Cook County Clerk’s office will not issue a refund for a marriage license for any reason.


Can I get a copy of my Birth/Death/Marriage certificate?

The Cook County Clerk's office, pursuant to the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of all Cook County offices as a result of the Governor and County Board President’s executive orders, are currently unable to process requests for certified copies of Birth, Death and Marriage Certificates.

Additionally, all in-office, mail and online services have been suspended during this time.

Please check our website cookcountyclerk.com/agency/vital-records periodically for the latest information for when full office services will resume.

We do appreciate your patience during this challenging time.


I recently ordered a Birth/Death/Marriage certificate. What is the status of my order?

Due to the closure of the Cook County Clerk's office as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Governor and County Board President’s executive orders, we are currently unable to process requests for certified copies of birth, death and marriage records.  All mail and online services have been suspended at this time.

Please check our website, at cookcountyclerk.com/agency/vital-records periodically for the latest information for when full office services will resume.

Once our normal business operations are running at full capacity, we will complete your order.

We do appreciate your patience during this challenging time.


I ordered a Birth/Death/Marriage certificate before the closure of the Clerk’s Office. Why can’t I get it?

Our ability to fulfill orders placed before our offices had to close as a result of the Governors executive order has also been affected by the closure necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because we have not been able to staff our Vital Records offices since the closure of the Cook County Clerk’s Office, we have been unable to process requests for certified copies of birth, death and marriage records. Orders received in early January and February were also delayed due to the high demand of records for the Real ID, which caused the turnaround time to process mail orders beyond 6-8 weeks to fulfill.

Please check our website cookcountyclerk.com/agency/vital-records periodically for the latest information for when full office services will resume.

Once our normal business operations are running at full capacity, we will complete your order. We appreciate your patience during this trying time.


Are you fulfilling requests for Genealogical Records?

All genealogical mail and online services have been suspended as a result of the closure of the Cook County Clerk’s Office, necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent closure of the Clerk's office as a result of the Governor's executive orders. With the closure of the office, we have been unable to process requests for genealogical copies of birth, death and marriage records.

Please check https://genealogy.cookcountyclerk.com periodically for the latest information for when full office services will resume.  We appreciate your patience during this time.


Why can’t I get my Genealogical order that was placed before the Clerk’s Office closed?

If you have a pending genealogical record order and have not received the requested records, it is because your request requires extended researching at our archival location of our historical records. Because our offices are currently closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently unable to access our records stored remotely and thus complete your order.

As long as the Clerk’s Office remains closed we are unable to access genealogical records which require extended research and under normal circumstances can take up to 8 weeks to fulfill the requested order.

We are sorry the delays incurred by this office closure and inconvenience you may have experienced, as we appreciate your use of our Genealogy Online website to order your records.

Please check https://genealogy.cookcountyclerk.com periodically for the latest information for when full office services will resume.

Once our normal business operations are running at full capacity, we will complete your order.


Can you process my Notary Registration?

We are unable to process registration notices for Notary Certificates at this time, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of the Cook County Clerk's office as a result of the Governor's executive orders.

All in-office, mail and online services have been suspended as a result of the closure of all Cook County government offices. We urge you to check our website, at cookcountyclerk.com/agency/vital-records periodically for the latest information for when full office services will resume.  We appreciate your patience during this time.


What’s happening with requests for an Assumed Business?

As with all other services of the Cook County Clerk’s Office, we are currently unable to process requests for Assumed Business, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent closure of the Clerk's office following the Governor's executive orders. All in-office, mail and online services have been suspended at this time. Please check our website, https://assumednames.cookcountyclerk.com or cookcountyclerk.com/agency/vital-records periodically for the latest information for when full office services will resume. Thank you for your patience.


I recently mailed in my marriage license within the 10 days noted on the reverse side of the marriage license, when will my marriage license get recorded?

As with all other services of the Cook County Clerk’s Office, we are currently unable to record marriage licenses, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent closure of the Clerk's office following the Governor's executive orders. 

All in-office, mail and online services have been suspended at this time.  Your marriage license will be recorded when we receive it when our full office services resumes.  The 10-day return period will not affect the recording of your marriage license.  

Please check our website, cookcountyclerk.com/agency/vital-records periodically for the latest information for when full office services will resume. Thank you for your patience.