Marriage License

As you prepare for your new life together, there are many things that you need to consider, such as obtaining a marriage license. In order to get married in Knox County, you will need to obtain a certified marriage license from the Office of the Knox County Clerk. This brochure will answer the most commonly asked questions about obtaining a marriage license. We would like to offer our sincere congratulations on your forthcoming marriage.  Click here for the brochure.

To Obtain a Marriage License:

  • You must be getting married in Knox County
  • Both parties need to be present. Please come to the Office of the Knox County Clerk, Knox County Courthouse, First Floor, 200 S. Cherry St., Galesburg, IL
  • No appointment is necessary; however, parties must apply by 4:00 p.m. on weekdays.
  • You must not be related.
  • You must show some type of identification with your birth date on it, preferably a driver’s license or a State ID card
  • The fee is $30.00.
  • You must apply for the license at least one day in advance and no more than 60 days in advance
  • No blood test is required
  • Certified copies can be issued after the marriage ceremony has taken place and the license is returned by the person who officiated the ceremony.  Click here to order copies.

Information Required on the License Application:

  • Your names and current address (including cities, counties and states)
  • Your dates of birth, ages, states of birth and occupations
  • Your parents full names (including your mothers full maiden name), addresses of both, if living, and the states in which they were born
  • Your highest grade of completed education
  • If either of you have been previously married, you will need to know the month, day and year of the previous divorce or death, also the county and state where it became final

If Bride and/or Groom are Minors (16 or 17 years old):

  • Both parents are required to be present with identification and will have to sign a consent form
  • If one parent cannot be located, then the other parent will need to sign an affidavit attesting to that fact
  • If the bride and/or groom are under 16 years of age they are not eligible to apply. However, a judge can issue a court ordered marriage.

What If the Bride and Groom Want to Get Married by a Judge:

Knox County Judges no longer perform marriages at the Knox County Courthouse.  If you would like to be married by a Judge, there are two retired Judges who do perform ceremonies.  Please contact the office at 309-345-3815 for their contact information.

Does Illinois restrict some marriages:

Certain marriages are prohibited in Illinois. These include marriages entered into prior to the dissolution of an earlier marriage of one of the parties; those between an ancestor and a descendant or between a brother and sister, whether the relationship is by the half or the whole blood or by adoption; and those between an uncle and a niece or between an aunt and a nephew. Generally, marriages between cousins of the first degree are prohibited; however, first cousins may marry if:

  • Both parties are 50 years of age or older; or
  • Either party, at the time the couple applies for a marriage license, presents to the county clerk of the county in which the marriage is to take place a certificate signed by a licensed physician stating that the party to the proposed marriage is permanently and irreversibly sterile.

Are there any special requirements for those individuals who have been previously married?

Information regarding how previous marriages ended must be furnished in the application for a marriage license. This includes whether the former spouse died or was divorced and, if so, when and where the divorce was granted. A certified copy of the divorce decree(s) or certificate(s) of dissolution of marriage may be required by the clerk issuing the marriage license.

Is a marriage ceremony required?
No particular ceremony is required except that the parties must state in the presence of an authorized member of the clergy or a public official that they take each other as husband and wife.

Who can perform a marriage ceremony?
To be valid, a marriage ceremony must be performed by one of the following individuals:

  • A judge of a court of record or a retired judge of a court of record
  • A public official whose powers include solemnizing marriages
  • An officiant performing the marriage in accordance with the prescriptions of any religious denomination, Indian nation or tribe or native group

The person solemnizing the marriage must complete the marriage certificate form and forward it to the county clerk within 10 days after such marriage is solemnized.

What You Should Know About Legal Access to Vital Records:
In an effort to prevent identity theft and protect the privacy of those named on vital records, the Office of the Knox County Clerk works diligently to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of the records maintained by the County Clerk.  Click here to learn more about legal access to vital records.