Dearly beloved, tying the knot an easy task in Cook County

Ah, it is Valentine’s Day, and everywhere you look––at least for now, thoughts are turning to love and marriage.

Ah, it is Valentine’s Day, and everywhere you look––at least for now, thoughts are turning to love and marriage.

And in Cook County, it is easy to tie the knot, jump the broom, get hitched or get hooked up (add your own euphemism here).

For just $35 any couple of the opposite sex, at least 18 years old and not blood relatives, can obtain a marriage license that is valid for 60 days and active within 24 hours.

There’s no long application to fill out. No blood test to take and no pre-marriage or financial counseling needed. All that’s needed to obtain a license is both parties present and valid identification, such as a driver’s license or state ID.

If you have divorced within the last six months prior to applying for a license, you must bring a certified copy of a divorce decree or death certificate. Those divorced or widowed longer than six months must give the month and year when their marriage ended.

Teenagers 16 years old and up can also get a license, but their parent or guardian will have to appear in person to give sworn consent of the marriage, and the parents must show valid identification.

And for those who want to buck traditional ceremonies––including the headaches of planning and the nausea of the costs––can ride Cupid’s arrow on down to City Hall to be united in matrimony.

That’s all it took for Oscar and Rita Ross to get married 12 years ago.

“We did not want to spend a lot of money on a wedding so we just went to City Hall and did it the old fashioned way,” Ross recalls. “Of course the fee was $30 back then but hey, it’s worth the investment.”

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