Apply For A Wisconsin Marriage License

How do my fiance and I get a marriage license in Wisconsin?

Marriage licenses are issued at the county level in Wisconsin. You and your fiance will need to go to the appropriate County Clerk’s office together to apply for your license. You should apply in the county where one of you has resided for the last 30 days if at least one of you is a Wisconsin resident. If neither of you have residency, then you should apply in the county where the wedding will occur.

What should we bring with us to the County Clerk's office?

In Wisconsin, both applicants will need to provide photo ID and a certified birth certificate to prove age and identity. If you were born outside of the US, you can use a passport, green card, or naturalization papers instead of a certified birth certificate. You will also need to provide your social security number and proof of where you have actually resided for the previous thirty days, regardless of whether you live in Wisconsin or not. Proof of residency can be in the form of a utility bill, lease, or driver’s license if the address stated on the license is your correct actual residence. The marriage license application will ask you to provide the full names of your parents, including their middle names and your mother’s maiden name. Be sure that you have this information with you when you go to apply for the license.

Are there extra requirements if I was previously married?

Yes, in Wisconsin you'll need to provide special information. If this is not your first marriage, you will need to present documents that show that your most recent marriage was legally dissolved. This means that you will need to present a certified copy of the final divorce decree, annulment papers, or your previous spouse’s death certificate before the license will be issued. Wisconsin also does not allow you to remarry until six months after the final divorce judgment was granted, even if the divorce action did not take place in Wisconsin. If it has been less than six months, your application for a new marriage license will be denied.

Does Wisconsin have a waiting period before the license can be used?

Yes, Wisconsin has a mandatory waiting period of six days before the license will become valid. This means that under normal circumstances, you must apply for your license more than six days before your wedding. For an additional fee, the waiting period can be waived but only under limited circumstances. Most counties in Wisconsin will only waive the waiting period in three situations: if both applicants are out of state residents coming to Wisconsin to be married, one of the applicants is active duty military, or one of the applicants is terminally ill. The County Clerk’s office will have more information on how to waive the waiting period. Once the license becomes valid, it is good for thirty (30) days throughout the state of Wisconsin.

What do we need to pay for a marriage license in Wisconsin?

Because marriage licenses are issued at the county level, the cost depends on which county you apply in. For example, Adams County currently charges $65 for the marriage license and $10 for the waiting period waiver while Sheboygan County charges $75 for the license and $25 for the waiver. Generally, the cost of the license ranges from $60 to $105 and the cost of the waiver ranges from $10 to $25.  


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This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.


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