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FAQ

Birth, Death & Marriage Certificates Voting
Property Taxes Property Ownership/Deeds
Court Records Public Safety
Cook County State's Attorney Office Minority Business Owners
Taxes & Revenue Cook County Home Buyer's Program

Highway & Traffic

Picnic Permit

 

Birth, Death & Marriage Certificates

How do I get a birth/death/marriage certificate?

 

Voting

Where do I go to register to vote in Cook County?

Where do I go to vote?

 

Property Taxes

How are my property taxes calculated?

How does the Assessor's Office determine the value of my house?

I think the Assessor's office has overvalued my home. What can I do about it?

What is the Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Exemption and who is eligible?

Is there a branch of the Assessor's Office in our district?

 

Property Ownership/ Deeds

How can I find out who owns a piece of property?

Where can I go to look at the deed for my property?

 

Court Records

Where can I obtain copies of case records?

 

Public Safety

Where can I find out if a sex offender lives in my neighborhood?

How can I provide a safer environment for my child as s/he surfs the Web?

 

Cook County State's Attorney's Office

I'd like to create a community outreach unit in my area. Who do I contact?

Where do I go to file a complaint if I believe I am a victim of consumer fraud?

 

Minority Business Owners

I am a woman/minority who would like to open a business. Who do I contact?

 

Taxes & Revenue

Where can I pay my Home Rule Taxes?

 

Cook County Home Buyer's Program

How may I apply for the Cook County Home Buyer's Program?

 

Highway & Traffic

I would like to inquire about future highway improvement projects or traffic problems. Who do I call?

Picnic Permit

How do I apply online for a permit to hold a picnic in the forest preserves in Cook County?  Click here

 


Birth, Death, Marriage Certificates

How do I get a birth/death/marriage certificate?

There are four ways to obtain birth, death and marriage certificates:

  1. Visit one of the Cook County Clerk's offices in person. Please note that death records may be requested at suburban locations but cannot be received on the same day, due to processing. Please check in advance for availability of same day service for any other certificate request.

    Copies of certified marriage, birth or death documents may be purchased from one of the following locations:

    The Daley Center
    50 W. Washington, East Concourse Level
    Chicago, IL 60602
    312-603-6623
    Hours: M-F 8:30 a.m. 5:00 p.m.
    Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

http://www.cookctyclerk.com/sub/vital_records.asp

Office of the County Clerk
Skokie Courthouse
6600 W. Old Orchard Rd., Room 149
Skokie, IL
847-470-7233
Hours: M, T, Th, F 8:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday 8:30 a.m. 7:00 p.m.

Birth Certificates
In accordance with state law, you can get a copy of your own birth certificate or the birth certificate of your child. In order to get a copy of your child's birth certificate, your name must be on the birth certificate.

When making a request for a copy of a birth certificate, you must provide the following information:

  • the mother's full maiden name
  • the child's full name
  • the date and city of birth
  • a photocopy of a valid Government issued ID (Drivers License, or State ID Card)

Death Certificates
In accordance with state law, death certificates are open to relatives or persons who can prove a financial interest.

When making a request for a copy of a death certificate, you must provide the following information:

  • decedent's name
  • decedent's date of death
  • decedent's city of death

Marriage Certificates
Marriage certificates are open to the public.

When making a request for a copy of a marriage certificate, you must provide the following information:

  • the name of the groom (legal name used at the date of marriage)
  • the name of the bride (legal name used at the date of marriage)
  • the date and city of marriage

For additional information please contact the Clerk's office at 312-603-6623 or visit the Clerk's website at www.cookctyclerk.com.

  2.  Visit any currency exchange in Chicago or suburban Cook County.
       There is a $4 surcharge for certificates obtained through currency
       exchanges.

  3.  Mail your request directly to the Cook County Clerk with the pertinent
       information, preferably on one of their forms.  Click the following link to
       download the forms.
       Birth
       Death
       Marriage       The processing fee is $7 for the first copy and $2 for each additional copy
       of the same certificate requested at the same time. Please enclose a
       self-addressed stamped envelope and a check or money order to cover
       the applicable processing fee, along with a copy of the requestor's valid
       identification, to the Cook County Clerk; or
 

  4.  Charge your certificate request to Visa, Master Card, Discover or
       American Express by calling VitalChek at 312-603-7799. You can have
       your documents sent overnight for an additional fee.

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Voting

Where do I go to register to vote in Cook County?

BY MAIL

http://www.voterinfonet.com/sub/register.asp

David Orr
Cook County Clerk
69 W. Washington, 5th Floor
Chicago, IL, 60602.

(Under Illinois law, if you register by mail, you cannot receive an absentee ballot in the mail the first time you vote. You must vote in person at either our Chicago office located at 69 W. Washington St. or at your local village hall.)

IN PERSON

Visit your Village Clerk at http://www.cookctyclerk.com/sub/elected_officials_detail.asp?TYPE_ID=5&Title=Municipalities, or Township Clerk at http://www.cookctyclerk.com/sub/elected_officials_detail.asp?TYPE_ID=5&Title=Townships, one of the six locations of the County Clerk's Office downtown or in the suburbs at http://www.voterinfonet.com/sub/contact.asp.

 

Where do I go to vote?

In Suburban Cook County visit: http://www.voterinfonet.com/sub/districts.asp
In Chicago, visit: http://66.107.4.19/pp_status.asp

For more information about these issues or any other issues relating to the Cook County Clerk's Office visit: http://www.cookctyclerk.com/

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Property Taxes

How are my property taxes calculated?

Your property tax bill represents your share of the budgets approved by local taxing bodies for their operations. Property taxes are one of the main sources of funding for local government services, such as park districts, fire districts, and especially public education. If you believe your taxes are too high, you should:

  1. Check with the Cook County Assessor's Office to be sure you are receiving those property tax exemptions to which you are entitled;

  2. Check your property's assessed value, and file an appeal with the Cook County Assessor's Office if you believe it is inaccurate; and

  3. Note the spending requests of your local governments.

How does the Assessor's Office determine the value of my house?

The value of your house is based on the sales of similar property in your neighborhood. Your property's characteristics, including its age and square footage, are also factors in the computerized mass appraisal method employed by the Cook County Assessor's Office.

I think the Assessor's office has overvalued my home. What can I do about it?

If you feel your home is overvalued, you are encouraged to file an Appeal with the Cook County Assessor's Office. This can be accomplished by calling or visiting the main office, or any of the branch offices, and filling out a "Residential Assessed Valuation Appeal" form.

You can also download the Appeal form from the Cook County Assessor's Website at www.cookcountyassessor.com. Should you need assistance filing an Appeal, their staff can help you in what is a fairly simple process.

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 What is the Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Exemption and who is eligible?

The Senior Freeze Exemption allows qualified senior citizens to apply for a freeze of the equalized assessed value (EAV) of their properties for the year preceding the year in which they first apply and qualify for this exemption. For example, a senior citizen who qualifies and applies for this exemption in taxable year 2013 will have the EAV of the property frozen at the 2012 EAV.

Those who qualify and receive this exemption should be aware that this does not automatically freeze the amount of their tax bill. Only the EAV remains at the fixed amount. The amount of dollars that the taxing districts ask for (levy) may change and thus alter a tax bill.

Who qualifies for a Senior Freeze Exemption?

To qualify for the Senior Freeze Exemption for the taxable year 2013, taxpayers must have:

  • been born prior to or in the year 1948,
  • a total household income of $55,000 or less for income tax year 2012,
  • owned the property or had a legal, equitable or leasehold interest in the property on January 1, 2012 and January 1, 2013,
  • used the property as a principal place of residence as of January 1, 2011 and January 1, 2012, and
  • been liable for the payment of 2011 and 2012 property taxes.

When do I apply for a Senior Freeze Exemption?

Those who are currently receiving the Senior Citizen Exemption will automatically receive an application form for the Senior Freeze Exemption.

You must file each year in order to continue to receive the Senior Freeze Exemption and the requirements must be met each year.

Are there other options available to seniors?

  • Senior Citizen Real Estate
  • Tax Deferral Program
  • Cook County Treasurer's Office 312/443-5100
  • Circuit Breaker Program
  • Illinois Department of Revenue 800/624-2459

 

To apply, contact the Cook County Assessor's Office Taxpayer's Service Department at 312-443-7550. You must file each year in order to continue to receive the Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Exemption and the requirements must be met each year. Or Click here

All the above forms should be mailed to:

Joseph Berrios
Cook County Assessor
118 N. Clark Street, 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60602

For more information, visit the Assessor's website at:  http://www.cookcountyassessor.com

Is there a branch of the Assessor's Office in our district?

Yes.  It is located at the Skokie Courthouse, 5600 Old Orchard Road (Room 149), Skokie.  The hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Call 847-470-7273.

http://www.cookcountyassessor.com/officelocationsskokie.aspx

For more information about these issues or any other issues relating to the Cook County Assessor visit:

www.cookcountyassessor.com

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Property Ownership/Deeds

 

How can I find out who owns a piece of property?

The answer depends on what information is available. If you have just an address, you must first find the Property Identification Number (PIN) from the County Clerk's office. If you have a probable name or PIN, just come to one of our locations and our staff will help you search for ownership information. The legal description and PIN numbers are available through the Cook County Clerk's office.

 

Where can I go to look at the deed for my property?

Currently, the only place you can view your documents is at the Cook County Recorder's downtown office:

118 N. Clark Street, Room 120
Chicago, Illinois 60602
Phone: (312) 603-5050
Fax: (312) 603-5063
TDD: (312) 603-7628

 

For more information about these issues or any other issues relating to the Recorder of Deeds visit: http://cookrecorder.com/

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Court Records

 

Where can I obtain copies of case records?

To obtain copies of case records, a person must come to the courthouse. If the person is unable to come to the courthouse, the person must provide as much if not all of the following:

  1. Case number
  2. Plaintiff Name(s)
  3. Defendant Name(s)
  4. Division or District
  5. Filing Date
  6. Disposition Date
  7. Records Requested
  8. Reason for Request

For a listing of each court division, or for more information:

 http://www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org/

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Public Safety

 

Where can I find out if a sex offender lives in my neighborhood?

Visit the Offender Search page at http://www.isp.state.il.us/sor/

 

 

How can I provide a safer environment for my child as s/he surfs the Web?

The Cook County Sheriff's Office has created an online brochure called "Mind Your Own Business Internet Safety Tips" that provides useful information about how to protect your child while online. It can be found at http://www.cookcountysheriff.org/brochure/index.html.

 

For more information about these issues or any other issues relating to the Sheriff's Office visit: http://www.cookcountysheriff.org/

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Cook County State's Attorney's Office

 

I'd like to create a community outreach unit in my area. Who do I contact?

The Cook County State's Attorney's Community Outreach Service Unit works with community service agencies and organizations, schools and youth groups to inform the Cook County citizens of their rights under the law and of the services offered by the State's Attorney's Office. The unit also works through schools and youth groups to present alternatives to gangs, drugs and crime. For more information call (312) 603-8710.  http://www.statesattorney.org/communityoutreach.html

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Where do I go to file a complaint if I believe I am a victim of consumer fraud?

As with any matter in which you feel you have been a victim of a crime, first contact your local police department to report the matter. For follow-up assistance you may call the Consumer Fraud Division of the State's Attorney's Office at (312) 603-8700. There is also information available on this website by looking under "About the Office"/Public Interest Bureau/Consumer Fraud Division, or under "Office Services."

For more information about these issues or any other issues relating to the State's Attorney's Office visit: http://www.statesattorney.org/

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Minority Business Owners

 

I am a woman/minority who would like to open a business. Who do I contact?

The Department of the Contract Compliance is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Cook County Minority Business Enterprise/Women's Business Enterprise Ordinance. Call or stop by the office at 118 N. Clark Street, Room 1020, 312/603-5502.

 

For more information about these issues or any other issues relating to the Office of Contract Compliance visit: http://www.co.cook.il.us/agencyDetail.php?pAgencyID=33

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Taxes & Revenue

Where can I get answers to questions regarding the Cook County Home Rule Taxes?

Contact the Department of Revenue Office at 312/603-6870.

 

 

Where can I pay my Home Rule Taxes?

Walk-in payments for the Home Rule Taxes are accepted at the Department of Revenue Office located at 118 N. Clark Street, Room 1160.

For more information about these issues or any other issues relating to the Department of Revenue visit: http://www.cookcountyil.gov/department-of-revenue/

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Highway & Traffic

Who do I call to inquire about future highway improvement projects or traffic problems?

Call 312/603-1660.

For more information about these issues or any other issues relating to the Highway Department visit: http://www.co.cook.il.us/agencyDetail.php?pAgencyID=8


 

Picnic Permit

How do I apply for a permit to hold a picnic in the forest preserves in Cook County?

Permits are needed for picnics with 25 or more people.  All Picnic Permits must be purchased several working days prior to the picnic date. The Picnic Permit chairman must apply for the Picnic Permit in person and must be 21 years or older to purchase a Picnic Permit. A valid drivers license is required upon purchase of a Picnic Permit.

Picnic permits may be purchased online here

Visit the Forest Preserve website for more information about fees, rules, permit types or to apply: http://fpdcc.com/permits/

 

For more general information on the Forest Preserve District of Cook County,visit www.fpdcc.com.

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