Applying for a Marriage License
Residents of the State of Wisconsin
You MUST apply before the County Clerk of the County in which either is a resident for at least 30 days. They may be married in any county in the State of Wisconsin. When marriages are to occur outside the State of Wisconsin, the applicant must comply with the jurisdiction requirements of that County.
Non-Residents of the State of Wisconsin
You MUST apply before the County Clerk of the County in which they will be married.
When to Apply
There is a statutory five-day waiting period, exclusive of the day of application, required from the time of application until the license is issued. For example, if an application is completed on the 10th of a month, the license will be issued and can be used on the 16th of the month. Counting the day after issuance date, the marriage license is valid for exactly 30 days, and must be used in that period of time.
Since the license is valid for 30 days after issuance, application can be made up to 35 days ahead of the ceremony, but no further in advance. Licenses cannot leave the Clerks office until the license becomes effective. Couples should take into account that the office is not open Saturdays, Sundays or Courthouse holidays (New Year’s Day, Spring Holiday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Day). For example, if a couple is planning to be married on a Saturday, application would have to be made at least by the Friday preceding the week of the marriage to be able to pick up the license during office hours.
BEST “RULE OF THUMB” (considering weekends, etc.): Apply no less than 7 days before and no more than 35 days before the ceremony. A 6-day waiting period is required by law, but may be waived by the County Clerk if the applicant pays an additional $25 to cover the processing cost.
Though preferred, it is not necessary for bride and groom to both be present at same time of application. However, the statutory five-day waiting period will not begin until both individuals have signed-which MUST be done in person. You will need to provide documentary proof of identification and residence. Standard proof of this is a driver’s license, showing photo for identification and reflecting your current address. If a current address is not shown on the driver’s license, two pieces of mail with current address must be presented.
Certified copy of birth certificate required for all applicants.
The certified copy is that copy which has been obtained from the *County or **State level office where vital records are held and who are authorized to issue certified copies of such records. We CANNOT accept photocopies, certificates issued by hospitals, baptismal record, Birth Registration Notification forms, etc. Some birth certificates do not include the parents FULL names. In those cases, applicants must be able to state their parents full names (full first, full middle and mothers maiden names), correctly spelled.
If there have been previous marriages for bride and/or groom
Proof showing how and when the last marriage ended must be presented. (In the case where an applicant has been married more than once, only documentation from the last, most recent marriage is required).
Judgment of Divorce papers are needed. This is the document showing the names of the parties being granted the divorce, with the actual granting date clearly stated on it and a judge’s signature (the official who granted the divorce) usually found on the last page. There is a six-month waiting period after the divorce is granted. Thus, a person cannot be issued a marriage license if they have been divorced for less than six months. For example, if a divorce was granted on June 1, the soonest the couple could be issued a marriage license and could be married would be Dec. 1 of the same year.
Annulment papers must be presented. This would be annulment through the Court system, not through a church.
A death certificate must be presented.
Under the Child Support Enforcement law, Social Security numbers of the bride and groom must be recorded in the confidential section of the application/marriage license. The couple may either state these numbers to us, or bring the Social Security cards with them at time of application. If plans for the ceremony have been made by the bride and groom, applicants will be asked to provide the name of the officiant (person performing the ceremony), officiants address and phone number.
FEE $90.00 paid at time of application-CASH ONLY (checks not accepted). $25.00-Waiver fee if applicable.
Persons Who May Not Marry
Blood relatives nearer of kin than second cousin, except when the bride is 55 years of age or older.
Males or females under the age of 16.
Persons divorced less than six (6) months.
Males and females can marry without parents consent at 18 years of age.
At age 16 or 17, applicant is required to submit both parents or guardians consent to the marriage. Parent or Guardian Consent forms (obtainable in the County Clerks office) must be signed by both parents or guardian before the County Clerk, Deputy County Clerk or Notary Public.
Applicants under the age of 16 cannot marry under any circumstances.