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How to Obtain Your Medical Cannabis Card

The Illinois Department of Public Health issues the Medical Cannabis Patient Registry Identification Card. Here’s a summary of what you’ll need to apply:

  • Physician’s diagnosis of a qualifying medical condition, or be diagnosed with a Terminal Illness
  • Proof of Illinois residency
  • Age of at least 18, unless you have epileptic seizures* or be diagnosed with a Terminal Illness
  • Have a signed Physician Certification form
  • Fingerprint, Fingerprint Consent Form found on page 3 of the application, and photo ID, unless diagnosed with a Terminal Illness

*For Younger Patients

Qualifying patients under 18 need a parent or guardian to serve as a primary caregiver, with a written recommendation of two physicians.

Details, Details

We’d like every qualified patient to have an easy experience obtaining a medical cannabis card. Sometimes, though, trying to get the card can be complicated or confusing. That’s why we assembled a checklist to help you get your card as easily and quickly as possible.

Medical Cannabis Card Checklist

If you have been diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition, here’s what you need to know to apply for a medical cannabis card.

Get It Right the First Time

Review the following checklist carefully. It may help to print a hard copy, too. Remember: Incomplete or improper applications can delay the card’s issue.

  1. Make an appointment with your doctor to talk about using medical cannabis.
    • If your doctor thinks it’s right for you, s/he must complete a Physician Written Certification Form and mail it to the Illinois Department of Public Health
    • Schedule your appointment within 90 days of submitting your personal application
    • Veterans: If you receive care from a VA facility, you can submit medical records from the VA about your qualifying medical condition during the past year instead of a Physician Written Certification Form
  2. Fill out your personal Patient Application Form completely and accurately.
    • On the form, you can choose a cannabis dispensary, but it’s not necessary
    • If you do not want to assign a caregiver, leave that section blank
    • Remember to sign the last page of your patient application
    • Do not send in your application without all of the following support documentation
  3. A 2” x 2” photo of yourself
    • You can have the photo taken by a passport photo service, OR
    • You can have a friend take the photo, but use a plain white background, look straight into the camera and make sure your entire face shows in the photo
    • Do not use a “selfie”
  4. At least two forms of ID indicating you are an Illinois resident
    • Acceptable ID forms include utility bills, bank statements, driver’s license and state ID (Check the Patient Application Form for a full list of acceptable ID forms)
    • The addresses on each ID document must match the address on your application
    • Do not send original ID documents – send only copies
  5. Proof of your age and address
    • Use a copy of a current and valid government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license
  6. If you are assigning a Caregiver, include a completed and signed Caregiver Application. Learn more about becoming a caregiver.
    • The Caregiver Application must be completed correctly
    • The person applying for the caregiver position must include a separate set of supporting documents much like those used in the Patient Application form
    • The Caregiver Application fee is $75
  7. Fingerprints
    Your fingerprints will be used to confirm your identity and check any criminal background you may have.

    • Use a service registered with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (Fees for this service vary. We suggest you get quotes from more than one agency.)
    • Fill out the Fingerprint Consent Form found on page 3 of the application and include the Transaction Control Number
    • After you are fingerprinted, you have only 30 days to submit the completed Fingerprint Consent Form together with your patient application
  8. Include application fee (payable by check, money order or, if applying online, credit card information).
    • The standard fee is $300
    • A reduced fee of $150 applies to veterans or people enrolled in Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability program
    • All fees are non-refundable
    • If you receive SSDI or SSI: Include a copy of a dated benefit verification letter that is less than one year old
    • Veterans: Include a copy of your DD214
  9. Check – and double-check – all your information and support documentation before mailing your package to:
    Illinois Department of Public Health
    Division of Medical Cannabis
    535 W. Jefferson St.
    Springfield, IL 62761-0001

    If you have questions about your application, please call or email: DPH Division of Medical Cannabis, 855-636-3688 or DPH.MedicalCannabis@Illinois.gov

Congratulations! You’re done with your application. According to the Department of Public Health, your application will be approved or denied within 30 days.