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Crawford County Clerk
Marriage License Requirements


The following information should help you in preparation before applying

for your marriage license.

v  WHERE TO APPLY:  Wisconsin residents must apply in the County Clerk’s office in which one or both have resided for at least 30 days prior to the date of application.  The marriage may then be performed in any county in Wisconsin.  If both applicants are out-of-state residents, the license must be issued in the county where the ceremony will be performed.

·         Crawford County Clerk, Administration Building,

225 North Beaumont Road, Suite 210

Prairie du Chien, 608-326-0201


v  APPLICATIONS TAKEN:  Marriage license applications are taken in the County Clerk’s office, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Both applicants must apply in person.  The office is open over the noon hour.  The Administration Building is closed on Saturday, Sunday and legal holidays.


v  MARRIAGEABLE AGE:  Any person who has attained the age of 18 years may marry.  If a person is between the ages of 16 years and 18 years the license will only be issued with the written consent of the parents, guardian or custodian.  Consent forms are available at the County Clerk’s office and must be signed by both parents or guardians in front of a notary public or the County Clerk.


v  WAITING PERIOD:  Applications must be made at least 5 FULL days before a license is issued.  The 5 day waiting period begins after the date of application and ends on the 6th day, which is also the issuance day.  Keep in mind that licenses are not issued on weekends or holidays.  The ceremony may take place on the date the license is issued or any time within the 30 days thereafter.  The 5 day waiting period may be waived upon prior approval of the County Clerk for an additional $10 fee.


v  DATE AND LOCATION OF MARRIAGE:  Applicants should be prepared to provide the date of the marriage and the correct spelling of the officiant’s name and address.  The applicants should also know the municipality (city, village or township) and the county in which the ceremony will take place.


v  MARRIAGE LICENSE FEE:          $75 – Cash or check only.


v  REQUIREMENTS:  Any documents not in English must be translated by either an official professional translator or by a third party.  A form is available from the County Clerk’s office.

 o   Applicants must present a certified copy of their birth certificate.  A certified birth certificate must bear the official embossed seal.  We cannot accept photocopies, certificates issued by hospitals or baptismal records.

o   Copies of judgment of divorce and legal annulment papers from the last previous marriage must be presented.  It is not lawful for any person, who is or has been a party to an action for divorce in any court in this state, or elsewhere to marry again until 6 months after the judgment of divorce is granted.

o   A signed death certificate must be presented if your last previous marriage was terminated by death.

o   Social Security numbers must be provided.

o   Proof of residence must be provided.  Your residence for marriage license purposes is where you physically lived for the past 30 days.  A current driver’s license with a current address is the best proof.  If this is not available, each applicant must provide 2 proofs of residency.


v  CEREMONY:  Any ordained clergyman of any religious denomination or society, licentiate of a denominational body, family court commissioner, court commissioner may perform the ceremony.  The two parties themselves in accordance with the customs, rules and regulations or any religious society, denomination or sect to which either party belong.  Any officiating person must be at least 18 years of age.

o   Neither our office nor the State Vital Records Office is able to confirm the legality of a religious officiant. 

o   The marriage must be performed in the presence of two (2) competent adult witnesses (18 years or over) other than the officiating person.


v  WHO MAY NOT MARRY:  No marriage shall be contracted between persons who are nearer of kin than 2nd cousins (except where the female is 55 years of age or older, or where either party, at the time of application for a marriage license submits an affidavit signed by a physician that either party is permanently sterile.



 Primary Identification                                  Secondary Identification

Requires ONE of the following:     OR   Requires TWO of the following

Wisconsin Driver’s license with photo

Government issued employee ID badge with photo

Wisconsin ID with photo

U.S. Passport

Out-of-State Driver’s License/ID with photo

Check/Bank Book


Major Credit Card


Health Insurance Card


Recent dated, signed lease


Utility Bill or traffic ticket




1. What is the process for applying for a Declaration of Domestic Partnership?  

  • Partners who meet the criteria apply for a declaration of domestic partnership apply with the County Clerk in the county where they reside.  They must provide necessary documentary proof and information.
  • Five days after the application is made, the County Clerk issues the Declaration to the couple.  The Clerk may issue the Declaration sooner, if an additional processing fee is received.
  • The Couple completes the Declaration of Domestic Partnership, signing it before a Notary, and submits the Declaration to the Register of Deeds.  The Register of Deeds records the Declaration and forwards the original to the State Registrar of Vital Statistics.  The domestic partnership is not effective until the Declaration is filed at the Register of Deeds Office.
  • If a couple needs to show proof of the domestic partnership (to obtain benefits), they may purchase certified copies of the declaration from the Register of Deeds or from the State Vital Records Office.

  2. Who may apply for domestic partnership?

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Both parties must be at least 18 years of age and must be competent (to enter into a legal contract such as a domestic partnership).
  • Neither party may be married.
  • Neither party can be currently in a legal domestic partnership with another party. (See the topic “What documents are needed to apply for a declaration of domestic partnership” for additional information on waiting periods between domestic partnerships.)
  • The parties must share a common residence
  • The parties must be of the same sex.
  • The parties cannot be closer in relationship than first cousins (even if they are related by adoption or by half-blood).   (Wis. Stat. § 770.05)

           3. Where do you apply for domestic partnership? 

  • Applicants must apply in person at the County Clerk’s office in the county in which one or both of the partners have resided for the last 30 days immediately prior to application.

 4.  What paperwork is involved? 

  • See Question 5 for documents that applicants must bring to show proof of identity, residency, and eligibility to register for domestic partnership.
  • Partners will complete an application form at the County Clerk’s office.
  • When the County Clerk issues the declaration of domestic partnership (generally after five days), the partners sign the declaration in the presence of the County Clerk or Deputy County Clerk or another notary public.
  • The partners then file the completed declaration with the Register of Deeds in the county that issued the declaration.  There is no time limit for filing the declaration after it has been issued.  However, the domestic partnership does not go into effect until the date the declaration is accepted and filed at the Register of Deeds Office. 
  • The partners can purchase certified copies of the declaration at the Register of Deeds Office to use as proof of the domestic partnership.  Copies may also be purchased at the State Vital Records Office.

 4. How much does it cost? 

  • The fee for applying for a declaration of domestic partnership is set by each county board.  By law, it is the same fee that the county charges for issuing a license to marry which is $75.
  • There is usually an extra charge (up to $10.00) for waiving the 5-day waiting period (waivers are granted at the discretion of the County Clerk).
  • There is no charge for filing the completed declaration with the Register of Deeds Office.
  • There is a fee for obtaining copies of the declaration.  Certified copies of the declaration can be purchased from the Register of Deeds or from the State Vital Records Office.  The fee is $20.00 for the first copy and $3.00 for each additional copy of the same declaration (ordered at the same time).

 NOTE:  Under vital records law, it is illegal for anyone besides the Register of Deeds or the State Vital Records Office to make copies of the Declaration of Domestic Partnership document, including the partners themselves.

 5. What documents are needed to apply for the declaration of domestic partnership (to establish the domestic partnership)?

 Each applicant must bring in the following documents:

  • Certified copy of birth certificates.  In rare instances, if it would be impossible for an applicant to obtain a certified copy of his or her birth certificate, the County Clerk has the discretion to accept another form of identification (example: foreign passport or immigration document).  NOTE:  Applicants should apply for a copy of birth certificates far in advance of the date of application for the domestic partnership.  Failure to apply in time for a copy of the birth certificate is not a sufficient reason for the County Clerk to waive this requirement.

 NOTE: (Applicants cannot use a photocopy of a certified copy of a birth certificate or a hospital souvenir birth record.  Neither of these is legally acceptable as a substitute for a true certified copy of a birth certificate.)

  • Current (non-expired) Photo Identification.
  • Proof of residency.  If the photo ID does not contain the current address, the applicant can bring in a dated utility bill or government correspondence if it is addressed to the applicant (by name) with the applicant’s street address (mail sent to a post office box doesn’t fulfill this requirement).
  • Proof of how last domestic partnership or marriage ended.  If an applicant was in a prior legal domestic partnership in Wisconsin (filed under the provisions of the 2009 Domestic Partnership Law, Wis. Stat. chapter 770) or if an applicant was previously married, the applicant must supply documentary evidence of how the last legal domestic partnership or marriage ended.
  • Also, each applicant must provide his or social security number (if the applicant has a social security number).

 6. Is there a waiting period between a divorce or termination of a domestic partnership and declaration of a domestic partnership? 

  • There is a 90-day waiting period between the termination of one domestic partnership and application for another domestic partnership.
  • There is no waiting period between the death of a domestic partner and application for a declaration of domestic partnership.
  • There is no waiting period between a divorce or annulment from a former spouse and application for a declaration of domestic partnership.
  • There is no waiting period if the domestic partnership ended because of the subsequent marriage of one of the domestic partners.






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