Illinois Marriage Laws

Illinois Outline

Congratulations! If you've found yourself at this page it is likely that you are either planning to be married or have been asked to perform a wedding ceremony in Illinois. Ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church have successfully performed thousands of legal marriages in Illinois. The information provided below will walk you through the steps one must follow to become a minister and perform a valid wedding ceremony in the state of Illinois.

Quick Facts
  • ULC Ordination Accepted: Yes
  • Minister Registration Required: No
  • Minister's Residency: Irrelevant
  • Minister's Minimum Age: 18
  •  
  • Marriage License Waiting Period: 1 Day
  • Marriage License Valid For: 60 Days
  • Marriage License Return Within: 10 Days

1 How to Become an Ordained Minister in Illinois

If you haven't already, you should get ordained online with the Universal Life Church. Ordination is free and can be completed in just a matter of minutes. Thousands of legally valid marriages are performed by ULC ministers around the world every year. Begin the process by clicking the big blue button below!

2 How to Officiate a Marriage in Illinois

Next, you should contact the office of your local marriage authority (typically your county clerk). Let them know that you are a minister of the Universal Life Church in Seattle, and ask what they will require of you to officiate a legal marriage.

Select your county to quickly generate the contact information for your local marriage authority.



Select a county

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3 License to Marry in Illinois

After you've contacted your marriage authority, you should visit our online store to purchase whatever documentation will be required. We typically advise ministers in Illinois to get an Ordination Package and to add a Letter of Good Standing to his or her order. While Minister registration is not technically required in Illinois you may be required to present proof of your ordination to the county clerk before the marriages you perform will be accepted as having been legally solemnized. Having this proof of your ordination will also provide peace-of-mind to any couple that you intend to marry. Additionally, please attempt to leave at least 3 weeks between the date of the wedding ceremony and your order, to ensure that you receive all of your materials in advance.

Illinois does not require any specific ceremony for weddings, so the minister and the couple each have a great degree of autonomy in planning the special day. Currently, only DuPage County requires that a wedding ceremony include witnesses. In DuPage County, the law requires that marriage ceremonies require two witnesses who are able to comprehend what they are witnessing.

4 How to Perform a Wedding in Illinois

Now that you've done all of the above, you are ready to perform the wedding! Be sure that the couple has picked up their Illinois marriage license from the appropriate office. This license is valid for 60 days, and there is a mandatory 1-day waiting period between when the couple receives the marriage license in Illinois and when the ceremony may be legally performed. Please be aware that the signed license must be returned to the issuing office within 10 days of the wedding ceremony. At the Universal Life Church we receive several calls from wedding officiants in Illinois, after they've received their license to marry by getting ordained online, asking for guidance on how to perform a wedding ceremony. Once the legal matters have been taken care of, officiating a wedding (while a sometimes-daunting task) can be a great deal of fun. We would suggest that new Illinois wedding ministers concerned about the ceremony peruse one of our helpful wedding guides. The minister training section of our website should offer a helpful refresher for more experienced ministers.


Illinois Flag

Illinois Marriage Code

Marriage in Illinois is governed by Chapter 750 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes. Ministers who got ordained online with the Universal Life Church have successfully solemnized thousands of weddings in the state. Below, you will find that we have reproduced a relevant excerpt of this code.
Sec. 209. Solemnization and Registration.

(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, 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-5) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require any religious denomination or Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group, or any minister, clergy, or officiant acting as a representative of a religious denomination or Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group, to solemnize any marriage. Instead, any religious denomination or Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group, or any minister, clergy, or officiant acting as a representative of a religious denomination or Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group is free to choose which marriages it will solemnize. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a refusal by a religious denomination or Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group, or any minister, clergy, or officiant acting as a representative of a religious denomination or Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group to solemnize any marriage under this Act shall not create or be the basis for any civil, administrative, or criminal penalty, claim, or cause of action.

(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.

(b) The solemnization of the marriage is not invalidated by the fact that the person solemnizing the marriage was not legally qualified to solemnize it, if either party to the marriage believed him or her to be so qualified or 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. 98-597, eff. 6-1-14.)

View the Illinois Statutes on the official state site
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Adams County

507 Vermont Street
Quincy, Illinois

Adams County website »

Alexander County

2000 Washington Ave
Cairo, Illinois

Alexander County website »

Bond County

200 W. College Avenue
Greenville, Illinois

Phone: (618) 664-3208
Fax: (618) 664-2257
Bond County website »

Boone County

1212 Logan Avenue, Suite 103
Belvidere, Illinois

Boone County website »

Brown County

200 W Court St, Room 5
Mt Sterling, Illinois

Brown County website »

Bureau County

700 South Main St.
Princeton, Illinois

Bureau County website »

Calhoun County

106 N County Rd.
Hardin, Illinois

Calhoun County website »

Carroll County

301 N. Main St
Mt Carroll, Illinois

Carroll County website »

Cass County

100 East Springfield Street
Virginia, Illinois

Cass County website »

Champaign County

1776 East Washington Street
Urbana, Illinois

Phone: (217) 384-3720
Fax: (217) 384-1241
Champaign County website »

Christian County

101 S Main St
Taylorville, Illinois

Christian County website »

Clark County

501 Archer Av
Marshall, Illinois

Clark County website »

Clay County

111 E. Chestnut, Room 106
Louisville, Illinois

Phone: (618) 665-3626
Fax: (618) 665-3607
Clay County website »

Clinton County

850 Fairfax Street PO Box 308
Carlyle, Illinois

Phone: (618) 594-6620
Fax: (618) 594-0195
Clinton County website »

Coles County

651 Jackson Ave Room 122
Charleston, Illinois

Coles County website »

Cook County

118 N Clark St
Chicago, Illinois

Cook County website »

Crawford County

100 Douglas St
Robinson, Illinois

Crawford County website »

Cumberland County

140 Courthouse Sq.
Toledo, Illinois

Cumberland County website »

De Witt County

201 W. Washington St.
Clinton, Illinois

Phone: (217) 935-7780
Fax: (217) 935-7789
De Witt County website »

DeKalb County

110 East Sycamore Street
Sycamore, Illinois

Phone: (815) 895-7149
Fax: (815) 895-7148
DeKalb County website »

Douglas County

401 S. Center St.
Tuscola, Illinois

Phone: (217) 253-2411
Fax: (217) 253-2233
Douglas County website »

DuPage County

421 N. County Farm Road
Wheaton, Illinois

DuPage County website »

Edgar County

115 West Court Street Room J
Paris, Illinois

Phone: (217) 466-7433
Fax: (217) 466-7430
Edgar County website »

Edwards County

50 East Main Street
Albion, Illinois

Edwards County website »

Effingham County

101 N. 4th St.
Effingham, Illinois

Phone: (217) 342-6535
Fax: (217) 342-3577
Effingham County website »

Fayette County

221 South Seventh Street Room 106
Vandalia, Illinois

Phone: (618) 283-5000
Fax: (618) 283-5004
Fayette County website »

Ford County

200 W State St # 101
Paxton, Illinois

Phone: (217) 379-9400
Fax: (217) 379-9409
Ford County website »

Franklin County

100 Public Square
Benton, Illinois

Phone: (618) 438-3221
Fax: (618) 435-3405
Franklin County website »

Fulton County

100 N Main St.
Lewistown, Illinois

Fulton County website »

Gallatin County

484 N. Lincoln Blvd. W
Shawneetown, Illinois

Gallatin County website »

Greene County

519 North Main Street
Carrollton, Illinois

Greene County website »

Grundy County

111 E. Washington St.
Morris, Illinois

Grundy County website »

Hamilton County

100 South Jackson
McLeansboro, Illinois

Hamilton County website »

Hancock County

500 Main Street
Carthage, Illinois

Hancock County website »

Hardin County

1 Market & Main St.
Elizabethtown, Illinois

Hardin County website »

Henderson County

307 Warren St
Oquawka, Illinois

Phone: (309) 867-2911
Fax: (309) 867-2033
Henderson County website »

Henry County

307 West Center Street
Cambridge, Illinois

Phone: (309) 937-3575
Fax: (309) 937-2796
Henry County website »

Iroquois County

1001 East Grant Street room 104
Watseka, Illinois

Iroquois County website »

Jackson County

1001 Walnut Street
Murphysboro, Illinois

Jackson County website »

Jasper County

204 W. Washington Street, Suite 2
Newton, Illinois

Jasper County website »

Jefferson County

100 South 10th Street, Room 105
Mt. Vernon, Illinois

Phone: (618) 244-8020
Fax: (618) 244-8023
Jefferson County website »

Jersey County

200 N. Lafayette
Jerseyville, Illinois

Jersey County website »

Jo Daviess County

330 North Bench Street
Galena, Illinois

Phone: (815) 777-0161
Fax: (815) 777-3688
Jo Daviess County website »

Johnson County

117 N 5th St
Vienna, Illinois

Johnson County website »

Kane County

719 S. Batavia Ave., Bldg. B
Geneva, Illinois

Kane County website »

Kankakee County

189 E. Court St.
Kankakee, Illinois

Phone: (815) 937-2990
Fax: (815) 939-8831
Kankakee County website »

Kendall County

111 W Fox St
Yorkville, Illinois

Kendall County website »

Knox County

200 S. Cherry St.
Galesburg, Illinois

Knox County website »

Lake County

18 N County Street Room 101
Waukegan, Illinois

Phone: (847) 377-2400
Fax: (847) 984-5822
Lake County website »

LaSalle County

707 E Etna Rd.
Ottawa, Illinois

Phone: (815) 433-0774
Fax: (815) 433-9198
LaSalle County website »

Lawrence County

1100 State Street
Lawrenceville, Illinois

Lawrence County website »

Lee County

112 E 2nd St
Dixon, Illinois

Phone: (815) 288-3309
Fax: (815) 288-6492
Lee County website »

Livingston County

112 W Madison St.
Pontiac, Illinois

Phone: (815) 844-2006
Fax: (815) 842-1844
Livingston County website »

Logan County

601 Broadway Street
Lincoln, Illinois

Phone: (217) 732–4148
Fax: (217) 732–6064
Logan County website »

Macon County

141 South Main Street, Room 104
Decatur, Illinois

Macon County website »

Macoupin County

201 East Main
Carlinville, Illinois

Phone: (217) 854-3214
Fax: (217) 854-7349
Macoupin County website »

Madison County

157 North Main, Suite 109
Edwardsville, Illinois

Madison County website »

Marion County

100 E Main St #206
Salem, Illinois

Marion County website »

Marshall County

122 North Prairie St.
Lacon, Illinois

Phone: (309) 246-6325
Fax: (309) 246-3667
Marshall County website »

Mason County

100 N. Broadway
Havana, Illinois

Mason County website »

Massac County

1 Superman Square, Room 2A
Metropolis, Illinois

Massac County website »

McDonough County

One Court House Square
Macomb, Illinois

Phone: (309) 833-2474
Fax: (309) 837-1154
McDonough County website »

McHenry County

667 Ware Road Suite 107
Woodstock, Illinois

McHenry County website »

McLean County

115 E. Washington St.
Bloomington, Illinois

Phone: (309) 888-5190
Fax: (309) 888-5932
McLean County website »

Menard County

102 South Seventh Street
Petersburg, Illinois

Phone: (217) 632-3201
Fax: (217) 632-4301
Menard County website »

Mercer County

100 S.E. 3rd St.
Aledo, Illinois

Phone: (309) 582-7021
Fax: (309) 582-7022
Mercer County website »

Monroe County

100 S. Main St.
Waterloo, Illinois

Monroe County website »

Montgomery County

#1 Courthouse Square
Hillsboro, Illinois

Phone: (217) 532-9530
Fax: (217) 532-9581
Montgomery County website »

Morgan County

300 West State Street
Jacksonville, Illinois

Phone: (217) 243-8581
Fax: (217) 243-8368
Morgan County website »

Moultrie County

10 S. Main St., Suite 6
Sullivan, Illinois

Phone: (217) 728-4389
Fax: (217) 728-8178
Moultrie County website »

Ogle County

105 S. 5th Street; Suite #212
Oregon, Illinois

Phone: (815) 732-1115
Fax: (815) 732-1189
Ogle County website »

Peoria County

324 Main Street
Peoria, Illinois

Phone: (309) 672-6056
Fax: (309) 672-6054
Peoria County website »

Perry County

3764 State Routes 13-127, Room 204
Pinckneyville, Illinois

Phone: (618) 357-5116
Fax: (618) 357-3365
Perry County website »

Piatt County

101 W Washington St
Monticello, Illinois

Piatt County website »

Pike County

121 E. Washington Street
Pittsfield, Illinois

Phone: (217) 285-6812
Fax: (217) 285-5820
Pike County website »

Pope County

310 E Main St.
Golconda, Illinois

Pope County website »

Pulaski County

500 Illinois Avenue
Mound City, Illinois

Pulaski County website »

Putnam County

120 North 4th Street
Hennepin, Illinois

Phone: (815) 925-7129
Fax: (815) 925-7549
Putnam County website »

Randolph County

#1 Taylor Street Room 202
Chester, Illinois

Phone: (618) 826-5000
Fax: (618) 826-3750
Randolph County website »

Richland County

103 West Main
Olney, Illinois

Phone: (618) 392-3111
Fax: (618) 393-4005
Richland County website »

Rock Island County

1504 Third Avenue
Rock Island, Illinois

Phone: (309) 558-3569
Fax: (309) 786-7381
Rock Island County website »

Saline County

10 East Poplar Street
Harrisburg, Illinois

Saline County website »

Sangamon County

200 S. Ninth – Room 101
Springfield, Illinois

Phone: (217) 753-6700
Fax: (217) 535-3233
Sangamon County website »

Schuyler County

102 South Congress St PO Box 200
Rushville, Illinois

Phone: (217) 322-4734
Fax: (217) 322-6164
Schuyler County website »

Scott County

35 East Market Street
Winchester, Illinois

Scott County website »

Shelby County

300 E. Main
Shelbyville, Illinois

Shelby County website »

St. Clair County

#10 Public Square, 2nd Floor
Belleville, Illinois

Phone: (618) 277-3505
Fax: (618) 277-4213
St. Clair County website »

Stark County

130 West Main
Toulon, Illinois

Stark County website »

Stephenson County

50 West Douglas, Suite 500
Freeport, Illinois

Stephenson County website »

Tazewell County

11 S. 4th Street, 2nd Fl. Suite 203
Pekin, Illinois

Phone: (309) 477-2264
Fax: (309) 477-2244
Tazewell County website »

Union County

309 West Market Street Room 116
Jonesboro, Illinois

Union County website »

Vermilion County

6 North Vermilion Street
Danville, Illinois

Phone: (217) 554-1900
Fax: (217) 554-1914
Vermilion County website »

Wabash County

401 Market Street
Mount Carmel, Illinois

Wabash County website »

Warren County

100 West Broadway
Monmouth, Illinois

Warren County website »

Washington County

E Elm St
Nashville, Illinois

Washington County website »

Wayne County

301 East Main Street
Fairfield, Illinois

Wayne County website »

White County

301 E Main Street
Carmi, Illinois

Phone: (618) 382-7211
Fax: (618) 382-2322
White County website »

Whiteside County

200 E Knox Street
Morrison, Illinois

Phone: (815) 772-5189
Fax: (815) 772-7673
Whiteside County website »

Will County

302 North Chicago Street
Joliet, Illinois

Phone: (815) 740-4615
Fax: (815) 740-4699
Will County website »

Williamson County

407 N Monroe
Marion, Illinois

Williamson County website »

Winnebago County

404 Elm Street Room 405
Rockford, Illinois

Winnebago County website »

Woodford County

115 N Main Street Room 202
Eureka, Illinois

Phone: (309) 467-2822
Fax: (309) 467-7391
Woodford County website »