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How To Apply For Your Marriage License


How To Apply For Your Marriage License

Krista Dentice

While the topic of your marriage license is not the most glamorous, it’s definitely an important one, and one that many couples have questions about. So I decided to break down the details for you. 


The first thing to know is that you must apply for your marriage license more than seven days before your wedding date, but fewer than thirty days prior.  I know, it’s not a large window! Since it is such a time sensitive task, you will want to make sure you are prepared and know exactly what to bring with you.

Two of the most important things to note are:

1. You and your fiancé must BOTH be present to apply for your marriage license. Depending on your work schedules, you may need to plan this well in advance and possibly even take some time off work. As you will see below, the courthouse hours are not the most accommodating. 

2. You will both need to bring your certified birth certificates. Now, I don’t know about you, but I didn’t have mine just lying around.  Luckily my mom is organized and had it tucked away in a safe place.  Sometimes people need to request a new copy of theirs, so make sure you look into this well ahead of time (anything to avoid causing extra last minute wedding stress!).


If you live in Milwaukee County:

  • Office of the Milwaukee County Clerk, County Courthouse - Room 105

  • 901 North Ninth Street, Milwaukee

  • Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

If you live elsewhere in Wisconsin, you must apply before the county clerk of the county in which you reside. Your marriage license issued can then be used anywhere in the State of Wisconsin.

If neither of you live in Wisconsin, but you are getting married in Wisconsin, you must apply in the county in which you will be getting married.

How much?

The fee is $110, which can be paid via cash or credit/debit card, NO personal checks are accepted.

What to bring

  1. Each of you must show valid photo ID, such as a valid driver's license.

  2. As I mentioned above, each of you must also bring a certified birth certificate, meaning that it has been issued by a government agency. Photo copies, "Certificates of Birth" issued by hospitals, and "Birth Registrations" are not acceptable – You will be sent home.

  3. Each of you must provide your social security numbers.

  4. One of you must show proof of residency with a current Milwaukee County address (this does not apply to out-of-state residents). Some examples include: Wisconsin Driver's License or State I.D. Utility bill, Bank statement, Lease agreement

  5. You must provide the name, address, and telephone number of the officiant that will be performing your wedding ceremony.

  6. If either of you have been previously married, you will need to provide a filed copy of the final judgment of divorce, a certified divorce certificate, legal annulment, or certified death certificate. 

We’ve applied, now what?

Your marriage license will be available and ready to be picked up seven days after completing your application. Either of you can pick up the license in person with a valid photo I.D. My suggestion is not to wait until exactly seven days prior to your wedding to apply….I don’t think either of you want to have to worry about picking up your marriage license the day of your wedding! 

When I applied, there was also an option to have the license mailed to my home for a small additional fee. Let’s face it, I’m a busy person and driving downtown in the middle of the work week isn’t always ideal, so that’s the option I chose. :)

The End!

The best part of this process if that once you hand over your marriage license to your officiant (often at the rehearsal, otherwise on the wedding day), the rest is in their hands! Just make sure not to forget it!

Where to apply if you live in another county:

Dane County

  • City-County Building, 210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Madison

  • Dane County Clerk’s Office, Room 106A

  • Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

  • Fee: $120 cash only

Ozaukee County 

  • County Clerk’s Office

  • Ozaukee County Administration Building

  • 121 W. Main St., Room 128

  • Port Washington, WI53074

  • 262-284-8110 or 262-238-8110

  • Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30a.m. – 4:00p.m.

  • Fee: $100.00 via cash or check (no out of state checks)

Racine County

  • Racine County Courthouse

  • County Clerk’s Office

  • 1st Floor, North end of the building

  • 730 Wisconsin Avenue

  • Racine, WI 53403

  • 1-800-242-4202 or 262-636-3121


Or in western Racine County at:

  • City of Burlington

  • 300 N. Pine Street

  • Burlington, Wisconsin 53105

  • 262-342-1161

  • Fee: $100.00 cash only


Sheboygan County 

  • Jon G. Dolson

  • Sheboygan County Clerk

  • Administration Building

  • 508 New York Avenue, Rm 129

  • Sheboygan, WI53081

  • (920) 459-3003

  • Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

  • Fee: $85.00

Washington County

  • Washington County Courthouse

  • County Clerk's Office, Room 2027

  • 432 E. Washington Street

  • West Bend, WI 53095

  • (262) 335-4735 or (262) 335-4301

  • Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:15 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.

  • Fee: $100 cash or check (no out of state checks)

Waukesha County

  • Waukesha County Administration Center

  • 515 W. Moreland Blvd. - Room 120

  • Waukesha, WI 53188

  • Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 - 4:30 p.m.

  • Fee: $105.00 cash only