Where To Apply
- Wisconsin residents must apply in the county where at least one applicant has resided for the last 30 days.
- If neither applicant is a resident of Wisconsin, the couple must apply in the Wisconsin county where the marriage will be performed.
- Both applicants must apply in person in the County Clerk’s office. We suggest that applicants arrive no later than 3:15 p.m. on any given day.
- If applicants are attempting to obtain a license close to a holiday, it is recommended to call the office to double check potential holiday hours.
Fee, Waiting Period, & License Expiration
- The cost is $60 payable by check, cash or by credit card. (We accept Mastercard, Discover, VISA and American Express.)
- The marriage license is issued after a five-day waiting period which starts counting the day after the license was applied for. The license is valid for 30 days.
- Under special circumstances, the waiting period may be waived on approval of the County Clerk. The waiver fee is $10.
Required Documents Needed
In Wisconsin, applicants who were previously married will have to show how the last marriage ended. If the applicants were divorced, in Wisconsin, they MAY NOT marry for six (6) months from the date of the final divorce. A certified document of how the marriage ended must be provided. This document will be either a Judgment of Divorce or an Annulment, it must be signed and stamped by the Judge of that Circuit Court.
If the spouse of an applicant is deceased, the applicant will have to provide a certified copy of the death certificate which then shows how that marriage ended.
Other documents that will also be needed when you are applying for a marriage license are:
- Valid driver's license or government issued ID card showing applicant's residence. If the residence address is incorrect, also bring one of the following showing the new residence:
- Utility bill (not less than 90 days' old)
- Credit card statement
- University, college or technical college ID card
- Property tax statement.
- Certified copy of Birth Certificate - this information is very important. This document is issued by the state where the applicant was born. It must be a certified copy that contains a raised seal on it. Many confuse this with the original birth record from the hospital where the applicant was born. If it says anything at all describing a hospital, or is signed by a doctor, it is the wrong document - check and double check.
- A photocopy will not be accepted.
- A certification of birth registration or a certificate issued by a hospital will not be accepted.
- If you were previously married please bring proof of how the last marriage ended, such as the following:
- Certified copy of a death certificate
- Court stamped and signed copy of the divorce decree (judgment of divorce) or annulment.
Wedding Information Needed
- Date of Wedding
- Location (county, city, village or township)
- Officiant name, address and telephone number
The age requirement is 18 years or order. Applicants 16 or 17 years old will need a signed consent form is required. The consent form must be signed by the parent(s), legal guardian, custodian (appointed by a court), or person having actual care, custody and control of the applicant.
The consent form is an official oath; it states the person signing swears he/she does in fact have the legal authority to give consent and that the consent is given. It must be signed in the presence of the County Clerk or in the presence of a Notary Public and it must be presented to the County Clerk at the time of license application.
- If applicant is 16 or 17 years old the age requirement terms will apply.
- If applicant is 18 years or older, the terms of each specific guardianship will apply.
returning a marriage license
The marriage license must be filed with the Register of Deeds Office within three (3) days following the wedding ceremony. A marriage license may be mailed or delivered in person.
- Wisconsin residents that obtain a marriage license in the county they reside in should follow one of these two examples:
- If applicant lives in Bayfield County and gets married in a different Wisconsin County, they will get their license at the Bayfield County Clerk's Office and will return the license to the Register of Deeds Office in the County where the marriage was held.
- If applicant lives in Bayfield County and gets married in Bayfield County, they will get their license at the Bayfield County Clerk's Office and will return the license to the Bayfield County Register of Deeds Office.
- Out of state applicants will apply and receive their marriage license in the county they are marrying in and must return it to the Register of Deeds Office in the same county.
- For example: Any out of state applicants that are getting married in Bayfield County will apply for their marriage license at the Bayfield County Clerk's Office and return the license to the Bayfield County Register of Deeds Office.
Documents Not In English
If any of the above needed documents are not in English, documents need to be translated into English, prior to the filing for the marriage license. A Certificate of Translation must then accompany the original documents when applying for the marriage license.