"I'm thrilled this day has finally come," Clerk David Orr said. "This will be a joyous day for all couples - gay and straight - who want to make history as part of the inaugural group of civil unions."
Couples are advised to line up at the Daley Center, 50 W. Washington St., before 6 a.m. at the northeast door. The doors will open at 6 a.m. and the Vital Records office will open at 7:30 a.m. Couples should take the escalators down to the lower level (Pedway) and line up outside the Vital Records office, Room CL-27.
Civil union licenses will be available for same-sex and heterosexual couples. The clerk's office is advising couples to obtain their licenses from the downtown office and not from suburban locations.
After the license is obtained, couples must wait one day before their civil union can be performed. Licenses must be returned to the County Clerk within 10 days of the civil union and the license is only valid for a ceremony held within 60 days of the license being issued.
In addition, 20 local businesses have donated celebration presents for prospective couples. The first couple in line at 7:30 a.m. will receive a gift package. Other presents will be distributed by raffle and all couples in line by 7:30 a.m. will be eligible. After obtaining their licenses, all couples will be invited back to a party room for a small celebration.
All couples need to meet the following criteria to obtain a license:
- Be at least 18 years old;
- Not be related to one another;
- Have valid, current identification, such as a driver's license, state ID or U.S. passport;
- Pay a $35 license application fee. Cash preferred. MasterCard, American Express & Discover accepted. Personal checks and Visa will not be accepted.
- Couples who are currently registered as Domestic Partners in Cook County will receive a $20 discount and their domestic partnership will be automatically dissolved.
- Any couple planning to participate in a June 2 ceremony - including the Millennium Park event hosted by the City of Chicago, Lamda Legal, Equality Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Judges -MUST obtain a license from the Clerk's office on June 1.