Civil Union Licenses


Civil union licenses obtained in Lake County may not be used in any other county. Both applicants must apply in person for the civil union license. A license becomes effective in the county where it was issued one (1) day after the date of issuance (unless the court orders the license is effective when issued) and expires sixty (60) days after it becomes effective. Applicants who do not speak or understand English must provide their own third-party interpreter. The civil union application process takes approximately 20-25 minutes to complete.

To obtain a license for civil union to take place in Lake County, both applicants must apply in person at the County Clerk’s office and be 18 years of age.

Identification Requirements
Both applicants must present identification and proof of age. A valid U.S. driver’s license, valid U.S. state identification card, valid U.S. passport, or valid U.S. military identification card are accepted.

If you do not have the above forms of identification, alternative identification accepted includes any two (2) pieces: a certified copy of a birth certificate (certified English translation required for foreign certificates), a valid foreign passport, U.S. naturalization papers, a valid U.S. resident alien card or an official consulate identification card. Personal affidavits are not acceptable.

Previous Marriage or Civil Union
Applicants must provide the date, county, and state in which any previous marriage or civil union ended. If the marriage or civil union ended within the last six months, a certified copy of the death record, divorce, dissolution or annulment decree bearing the original inked stamp or raised seal (a photocopy is not sufficient) is required.

Social Security Number (if applicable)
If a social security number has been issued to you, you will be asked to provide the number on your civil union application.

Effective Date
Licenses must be obtained at least one day prior to the civil union. The civil union must take place in Lake County and occur within 60 days of the date the license is issued. After 60 days, any license not completed (no civil union performed) is invalid.

$35 for civil union license application
$10 for first certified copy
$4 for each additional certified copy

Payment may be made in cash or by check/money order payable to the Lake County Clerk. Some credit and debit cards are accepted with an additional processing fee. At the time of issuance, applicants may order and prepay for certified copies of the completed license to be mailed to them once it is signed and returned by the officiant.

Medical Examination
No medical tests are required.

Ceremonies Performed by a Judge
Once the license is issued to the applicants and the civil union is established by a qualified person, the officiant must complete the certification information and sign the license in order to certify the civil union. Judges for the 19th Judicial Circuit Court are available to perform civil unions without appointments during the times listed below.

Judges are available:
Monday - Friday 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Lake County Courthouse and Administrative Complex
18 North County Street
Waukegan, Illinois
Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Babcox Justice Center
20 South County Street
Waukegan, Illinois
Sunday 9:00 a.m. ONLY Babcox Justice Center
20 South County Street
Waukegan, Illinois

The judges of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit do not schedule appointments and perform ceremonies only after regular court business is completed. If you are planning to have your ceremony near or on a holiday, call Court Administration at 847.377.3600 to confirm the judges’ availability.

You must bring to the ceremony:
  • Valid civil union license
  • $10 cash for the ceremony fee
  • Identification documents presented at the time you applied for the civil union license
Witnesses are not required, and rings are optional.
Judges require you to provide a third-party interpreter if either person does not speak or understand the English language.

For additional information about judicial services, please call the Court Administrator's Office at 847-377-3600.

For recorded information about obtaining a civil union license, call 847-377-2401. If you wish to speak with a member of the County Clerk staff, please call 847-377-2411.

To read the state statute authorizing civil unions, refer to Public Act 096-1513 on the Illinois General Assembly website.

Requesting Copies of a Civil Union Record

Civil Union Record Request Form (PDF)

Certified copies of a completed civil union license cost $10.00 for the first copy and $4.00 for each additional copy.

Due to the cost and the inability to re-purpose the state-mandated security paper used to issue vital records, once an order for certificate copies is processed our office cannot offer any refunds.

Request a Record Electronically

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