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Marriage License Application Information

How to apply for a license

The couple must apply together and in person. If either applicant lives in Wisconsin, they must apply in the county where one or both of them have physically resided for at least 30 days prior to the date of application. The license may then be used to marry in any county in Wisconsin. If both applicants live out of state they must apply in the county where the ceremony will take place.

How to pay for your license

License fee is $120 in cash. No checks, credit or debit cards are accepted. Payment is due upon application and is non-refundable.

Where to Apply

Marriage licenses are issued in the Dane County Clerk’s Office, Room 106A, City-County Building, 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Madison, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. We are open during the noon hour. You will need to arrive at the office early enough so that the application can be completed by 4 p.m. Check here for office closure dates.

All applications are taken on a first come, first serve basis.

When to Apply - Waiting Period

Application must be made at least six full calendar days before the license may be issued, but no more than 30 days prior to the wedding. You must then use your license within the next 30 days. A waiver of the waiting period may be granted for an additional fee of $25 if there are extenuating circumstances.

Ceremony Arrangements

Arrangement for the wedding must be set PRIOR to applying for a marriage license. (Legally a ceremony consists of five (5) people - the couple, the officiant and a witness for the bride and groom.). When you apply, you will have to tell us the date and location of the ceremony (the county and city, town or village the ceremony will take place in). In addition, we need the officiants name, address and phone written on paper.


Wedding officiants must be ordained either on-line or through a religious organization. The State of WI does not require registration or proof of ordination. As long as the officiant is ordained, they're able to perform the ceremony legally.

Civil Wedding Officiant List

Information for All Officiants and Applicants

Wedding Officiants (including officiants that are ordained online), you do not need to register with this office in order to perform ceremonies here in Dane County. Please provide the couple with your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address, so that they can give us this information at the time of application.


There are no appointments for marriage license applications. All marriage license applications are processed on a first come, first serve basis. Each application may take up to 20 minutes to process.

Marriage License Application Requirements


  1. Photo I.D. and Social Security number (we DO NOT need the Social Security Card). If the applicant does not have a Social Security number the space will be marked with “none”.

  2. A printed document proving where each of you have physically lived for the 30 days prior to the application, for example: a driver’s license if it has the current address on it, a lease, utility bill or bank statement. You must also know whether you live in a city, village or township and the county where you reside.

  3. A certified copy of a birth certificate issued by the state or county where you were born. Birth certificate must be legible, not tattered and torn. The hospital birth certificate is not acceptable. Photocopies of birth certificates are NOT acceptable.

    **If, and only if, you were born outside of the United States, you MAY substitute a passport, green card or naturalization papers, but a birth certificate is always preferable.**

    You must know how to correctly spell both of your parents full names – including mother’s FULL maiden name.

  4. If previously married, we must see proof of how the last marriage ended - a judgment of divorce (in WI the court document is called "Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Judgment of Divorce), a legal annulment or divorce/death certificate pertaining to the most recent marriage. A printout from CCAP is not acceptable. Divorced persons may not remarry until six months after the granting of the judgment of divorce regardless of which state the action took place.

  5. The legal age for marriage in Wisconsin is 18. If an applicant is 16 or 17 years of age a consent form needs to be signed by both parents or guardians before the County Clerk.

  6. If one or both of the applicants do not speak English, a third party needs to be present to interpret at the time of application. Couples cannot translate for each other.

To help save time, please have your officiant's information (first and last name, address and phone number) written on paper.

For further information call (608) 266-4124

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