Requirements for the Couple
- Min. Age of Couple:
- Age 18 or Age 16 with Guardian Consent
- Not Required
- Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
- Second Cousins
- Marriage Equality:
Any two persons wanting to get married in the state of Illinois must be at least 18 years old. Minors over 16 years of age will need the consent of both their parents or legal guardians to wed. In the event that one parent can’t be reached, and the second files an affidavit swearing that every effort has been made to do so, the court may order the clerk to issue a marriage license regardless.
Illinois forbids the legal union of all relatives closer than second cousins, although it will make exceptions for first cousins if either both are over the age of 50, or one is infertile.
Same sex couples and non-state residents are welcome to marry in Illinois.
(750 ILCS 5/202) (from Ch. 40, par. 202)
Sec. 202. Marriage License and Marriage Certificate.)
(a) The Director of Public Health shall prescribe the form for an application for a marriage license, which shall include the following information:
(1) name, sex, occupation, address, social security number, date and place of birth of each party to the proposed marriage;
(2) if either party was previously married, his name, and the date, place and court in which the marriage was dissolved or declared invalid or the date and place of death of the former spouse;
(3) name and address of the parents or guardian of each party; and
(4) whether the parties are related to each other and, if so, their relationship.
(b) The Director of Public Health shall prescribe the forms for the marriage license, the marriage certificate and, when necessary, the consent to marriage.
(Source: P.A. 80-923.)
Marriage License Requirements
- Who Picks Up License:
- The Couple
- Where License is Valid:
- County of Issuance
- Marriage License Pick-Up:
- In Person Only
- Cost of License:
- Varies by County
- Accepted I.D. Types:
- Standard Government Issued ID
- Proof of Divorce Required (If Applicable):
- Blood Test Required:
Couples looking to secure a marriage license in the state of Illinois must both present themselves before a clerk in the county in which the ceremony will take place. They will be asked to complete a written application on which each will state their names, sex, occupations, addresses, social security numbers and their place and date of birth. All previous marriages must be revealed, and certified copies of divorce decrees provided if those occurred within six months of the application. Couples must also divulge if they are related in any way, and provide the names and addresses of any guardians consenting to the marriage if they are minors.
The fee for a marriage license will vary depending on the Illinois county in which the application is made.
Sec. 203. License to Marry. When a marriage application has been completed and signed by both parties to a prospective marriage and both parties have appeared before the county clerk and the marriage license fee has been paid, the county clerk shall issue a license to marry and a marriage certificate form upon being furnished:
(1) satisfactory proof that each party to the
marriage will have attained the age of 18 years at the time the marriage license is effective or will have attained the age of 16 years and has either the consent to the marriage of both parents or his guardian or judicial approval; provided, if one parent cannot be located in order to obtain such consent and diligent efforts have been made to locate that parent by the consenting parent, then the consent of one parent plus a signed affidavit by the consenting parent which (i) names the absent parent and states that he or she cannot be located, and (ii) states what diligent efforts have been made to locate the absent parent, shall have the effect of both parents' consent for purposes of this Section;
(2) satisfactory proof that the marriage is not
(3) an affidavit or record as prescribed in
subparagraph (1) of Section 205 or a court order as prescribed in subparagraph (2) of Section 205, if applicable.
Marriage License Facts
- ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
- Mandatory Waiting Period:
- 1 Day
- License Valid For:
- 60 Days
- License Must Be Submitted:
- Within 10 Days of Ceremony
Once satisfied that all the information provided checks out, the clerk will issue the couple a marriage license and certificate that will be effective as of the following day, unless a court determines it effective immediately for special circumstances.
The license will then only be valid in the county where it was issued, and for a period of no longer than 60 days. It must be returned to the same clerk within 10 days of the ceremony, or at the end of the license’s 60-day expiry, even if no marriage takes place.
(750 ILCS 5/207) (from Ch. 40, par. 207)
Sec. 207. Effective Date of License.) A license to marry becomes effective in the county where it was issued one day after the date of issuance, unless the court orders that the license is effective when issued, and expires 60 days after it becomes effective, provided that the marriage is not invalidated by the fact that the marriage was inadvertently solemnized in a county in Illinois other than the county where the license was issued.
(Source: P.A. 95-775, eff. 1-1-09.)
Requirements for the Minister
- Min. Age of Minister:
- Age 18
- Not Required
- Document(s) Required:
- Varies by County
- Online Ordination Recognized:
- Relevant Office of Registration:
- County Clerk
- Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
- After the Ceremony
- Minister I.D. # Issued:
The state of Illinois sanctions a wide range of civil and religious officials authorized to solemnize weddings on its soil. This includes most judges, either serving or retired and not removed from office, all county clerks presiding over more than 2 million inhabitants, public officials and mayors, as well as any recognized head of a religious denomination, Indian Nation/Tribe or Native Group. All must be at least 18 years old. Retired judges and mayors are barred from receiving any compensation for officiating a wedding.
Bear in mind that ministers ordained online by the Universal Life Church will be recognized by the state of Illinois as legal ‘religious’ actors, without prejudice to their own state or country of residence, gender or personal beliefs.
(a) A marriage may be solemnized by a judge of a court of record, by a retired judge of a court of record, unless the retired judge was removed from office by the Judicial Inquiry Board, except that a retired judge shall not receive any compensation from the State, a county or any unit of local government in return for the solemnization of a marriage and there shall be no effect upon any pension benefits conferred by the Judges Retirement System of Illinois, by a judge of the Court of Claims, by a county clerk in counties having 2,000,000 or more inhabitants, by a public official whose powers include solemnization of marriages, by a mayor or president of a city, village, or incorporated town who is in office on the date of the solemnization, or in accordance with the prescriptions of any religious denomination, Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group, provided that when such prescriptions require an officiant, the officiant be in good standing with his or her religious denomination, Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group. Either the person solemnizing the marriage, or, if no individual acting alone solemnized the marriage, both parties to the marriage, shall complete the marriage certificate form and forward it to the county clerk within 10 days after such marriage is solemnized. A mayor or president of a city, village, or incorporated town shall not receive any compensation in return for the solemnization of a marriage.
Wedding Ceremony Requirements
- Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
- Minister Required to be Present:
- Number of Witnesses Required:
- Min. Age of Witnesses:
- Couple's Consent Required:
- Pronouncement Required:
Illinois law states that no church, mosque, synagogue, temple or non-denominational ministry should feel obliged to host any marriage ceremony that violates any of its religious beliefs or practices, shielding them from civil or criminal liability.
Other than that, the state leaves it to couples and ministers to plan their ceremonies as they see fit, in accordance with their customs and traditions. Although no witnesses are required, any ceremony must include a solemn declaration to consent to marry between each person in the couple, then pronounced by the wedding officiant, for the union to be officially solemnized.
(a-10) No church, mosque, synagogue, temple, nondenominational ministry, interdenominational or ecumenical organization, mission organization, or other organization whose principal purpose is the study, practice, or advancement of religion is required to provide religious facilities for the solemnization ceremony or celebration associated with the solemnization ceremony of a marriage if the solemnization ceremony or celebration associated with the solemnization ceremony is in violation of its religious beliefs. An entity identified in this subsection (a-10) shall be immune from any civil, administrative, criminal penalty, claim, or cause of action based on its refusal to provide religious facilities for the solemnization ceremony or celebration associated with the solemnization ceremony of a marriage if the solemnization ceremony or celebration associated with the solemnization ceremony is in violation of its religious beliefs. As used in this subsection (a-10), "religious facilities" means sanctuaries, parish halls, fellowship halls, and similar facilities. "Religious facilities" does not include facilities such as businesses, health care facilities, educational facilities, or social service agencies.
- Officiant's Title on Marriage License:
- Church/Ordaining Body:
- Universal Life Church Ministries
- Address of Church:
- Minister's Home Address
Once the marriage has been solemnized, the minister or magistrate who presided over the ceremony will be responsible for filling out the marriage certificate in full – noting the date and place of marriage, as well as their own name, title, ordaining body (the Universal Life Church) and home address, if such information is required – and returning it to the same county clerk that issued it within 10 days.
The clerk will then forward that information to the Illinois Department of Public Health, rendering the marriage a permanent part of the state record.
(750 ILCS 5/210) (from Ch. 40, par. 210)
Sec. 210. Registration of Marriage Certificate.) Upon receipt of the marriage certificate, the county clerk shall register the marriage. Within 45 days after the close of the month in which a marriage is registered, the county clerk shall make to the Department of Public Health a return of such marriage. Such return shall be made on a form furnished by the Department of Public Health and shall substantially consist of the following items:
(1) A copy of the marriage license application signed and attested to by the applicants, except that in any county in which the information provided in a marriage license application is entered into a computer, the county clerk may submit a computer copy of such information without the signatures and attestations of the applicants.
(2) The date and place of marriage.
(3) The marriage license number.