Peoria County Clerk Rachael Parker is asking the Peoria County Board to approve her proposal to waive the fee charged for a Marriage/Civil Union license for those who need to reapply due to canceling or postponing their wedding due to COVID-19 social distancing. The proposal unanimously passed the County Board’s Ways and Means Committee yesterday and will go before the full Peoria County Board at its May 14 meeting.
Many couples who had planned to marry before the restrictions of COVID-19 were put in place may see their license expire. By State of Illinois statute, the licenses cannot be extended past the original 60-day issuance.
“We currently have thirteen licenses that will expire by April 30, and another forty-seven that will expire by May 30. We’re looking to waive the fee for these couples that need to reapply, as they had canceled their plans due to COVID-19 restrictions,” says Peoria County Clerk Rachael Parker.
A Peoria County Marriage License costs $75, which includes a $5 required charge remitted to the State of Illinois’ for its Domestic Violence Fund. The County Clerk’s Office is asking for the $70 fee for a new license be waived for those couples that were issued a license between February 1 and April 30 when a ceremony was not conducted.
“Should the board pass this resolution, we would need couples to reach out to us. These would not be automatic waivers, just for those that contact us making us aware of the fact that they could not go through with their ceremony due to COVID-19 restrictions and their license has or will be expiring,” County Clerk Parker explains. “Also, couples that are still looking to get married at this time, or those planning ahead for when the stay-at-home order is lifted, can still obtain licenses at this time.”
Marriage/Civil Union licenses continue to be issued while the Peoria County Courthouse is closed to the public. The County Clerk’s Office has utilized Google Hangouts to interact with couples virtually and verify their identities. The license is then mailed to them.