Illinois Outline

Illinois Marriage Laws

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 Clerk

507 Vermont St
Quincy, Illinois

Phone: (217) 277-2150
Fax: (217) 277-2155
Adams County Clerk website »

Alexander County Clerk

2000 Washington Avenue
Cairo, Illinois

Alexander County Clerk website »

Bond County Clerk

203 West College Avenue
Greenville, Illinois

Bond County Clerk website »

Boone County Clerk

601 North Main Street
Belvedere, Illinois

Phone: (815) 544-3103
Fax: (815) 547-8701
Boone County Clerk website »

Brown County Clerk

200 West Court Street
Mount Sterling, Illinois

Brown County Clerk website »

Bureau County Clerk

700 South Main Street
Princeton, Illinois

Phone: (815) 875-2014
Fax: (815) 879-4803
Bureau County Clerk website »

Calhoun County Clerk

102 County Road
Hardin, Illinois

Calhoun County Clerk website »

Carroll County Clerk

301 Main Street
P.O. Box 152
Mount Carroll, Illinois

Phone: (815) 244-0221
Fax: (815) 244-3709
Carroll County Clerk website »

Cass County Clerk

100 East Springfield Street
Virginia, Illinois

Cass County Clerk website »

Champaign County Clerk

1776 East Washington Street
Urbana, Illinois

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

Christian County Clerk

101 South Main Street
Taylorville, Illinois

Christian County Clerk website »

Clark County Clerk

501 Archer Ave.
Marshall, Illinois

Clark County Clerk website »

Clay County Clerk

Clay County Courthouse
Louisville, Illinois

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

Clinton County Clerk

850 Fairfax Street
PO Box 308
Carlyle, Illinois

Phone: (618) 594-2464 ext 630
Fax: (618) 594-0195
Clinton County Clerk website »

Coles County Clerk

651 Jackson Avenue
Charleston, Illinois

Phone: (217) 348-0501
Fax: (217) 348-7337
Coles County Clerk website »

Cook County Clerk

69 W. Washington St.
5th Floor
Chicago, Illinois

Cook County Clerk website »

Crawford County Clerk

100 Douglas Street
Robinson, Illinois

Phone: (618) 546-1212
Fax: (618) 546-0140
Crawford County Clerk website »

Cumberland County Clerk

140 Courthouse Square
Toledo, Illinois

Cumberland County Clerk website »

De Witt County Clerk

201 West Washington Street
Clinton, Illinois

De Witt County Clerk website »

DeKalb County Clerk

110 East Sycamore Street
Sycamore, Illinois

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

Douglas County Clerk

401 South Center Street
Tuscola, Illinois

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

DuPage County Clerk

P.O. Box 1028
Wheaton, Illinois

DuPage County Clerk website »

Edgar County Clerk

115 West Court Street
Paris, Illinois

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

Edwards County Clerk

50 East Main Street
Albion, Illinois

Edwards County Clerk website »

Effingham County Clerk

101 North 4th Street
P.O. Box 628
Effingham, Illinois

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

Fayette County Clerk

221 South 7th Street
Vandalia, Illinois

Fayette County Clerk website »

Ford County Clerk

200 West State Street
Paxton, Illinois

Ford County Clerk website »

Franklin County Clerk

202 West Main Street
Benton, Illinois

Franklin County Clerk website »

Fulton County Clerk

100 North Main Street
Lewistown, Illinois

Phone: (309) 547-3041
Fax: (309) 547-3326
Fulton County Clerk website »

Gallatin County Clerk

484 North Lincoln Boulevard West
Shawneetown, Illinois

Gallatin County Clerk website »

Greene County Clerk

519 North Main Street
Carrollton, Illinois

Greene County Clerk website »

Grundy County Clerk

111 East Washington Street
Morris, Illinois

Grundy County Clerk website »

Hamilton County Clerk

100 South Jackson
McLeansboro, Illinois

Hamilton County Clerk website »

Hancock County Clerk

500 Main Street
Carthage, Illinois

Hancock County Clerk website »

Hardin County Clerk

Main Street & Market
Elizabethtown, Illinois

Hardin County Clerk website »

Henderson County Clerk

Corner 4th & Warren
Oquawka, Illinois

Henderson County Clerk website »

Henry County Clerk

307 West Center Street
Cambridge, Illinois

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

Iroquois County Clerk

1001 East Grant Street
Watseka, Illinois

Phone: (815) 432-6960
Fax: (815) 432-3894
Iroquois County Clerk website »

Jackson County Clerk

1001 Walnut Street
Murphysboro, Illinois

Jackson County Clerk website »

Jasper County Clerk

100 West Jourdan Street
Newton, Illinois

Jasper County Clerk website »

Jefferson County Clerk

100 South 10th Street
Mount Vernon, Illinois

Jefferson County Clerk website »

Jersey County Clerk

200 N. Lafayette
Jerseyville, Illinois

Jersey County Clerk website »

Jo Daviess County Clerk

Jo Daviess County Courthouse
Galena, Illinois

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

Johnson County Clerk

400 Court Square
Vienna, Illinois

Johnson County Clerk website »

Kane County Clerk

719 South Batavia Avenue
Geneva, Illinois

Kane County Clerk website »

Kankakee County Clerk

189 East Court Street
Kankakee, Illinois

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

Kendall County Clerk

111 West Fox Road
Yorkville, Illinois

Phone: (630) 553-4104
Fax: (630) 553-4119
Kendall County Clerk website »

Knox County Clerk

200 South Cherry Street
Galesburg, Illinois

Phone: (309) 345-3815
Fax: (309) 345-3801
Knox County Clerk website »

Lake County Clerk

18 North County Street
Waukegan, Illinois

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

LaSalle County Clerk

707 East Etna Road
Ottawa, Illinois

LaSalle County Clerk website »

Lawrence County Clerk

1100 State Street
Lawrenceville, Illinois

Lawrence County Clerk website »

Lee County Clerk

112 East 2nd Street
P.O. Box 329
Dixon, Illinois

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

Livingston County Clerk

112 West Madison Street
Pontiac, Illinois

Phone: (815) 844-2006 ext. 128
Fax: (815) 842-1844
Livingston County Clerk website »

Logan County Clerk

601 Broadway Street
Lincoln, Illinois

Logan County Clerk website »

Macon County Clerk

141 South Main Street
Decatur, Illinois

Macon County Clerk website »

Macoupin County Clerk

157 North Main Street
Carlinville, Illinois

Macoupin County Clerk website »

Madison County Clerk

157 North Main Street
P.O. Box 218
Edwardsville, Illinois

Phone: (618) 692-6290
Fax: (618) 692-8903
Madison County Clerk website »

Marion County Clerk

100 East Main Street
Salem, Illinois

Marion County Clerk website »

Marshall County Clerk

122 North Prairie Street
Lacon, Illinois

Marshall County Clerk website »

Mason County Clerk

125 North Plum Street
Havana, Illinois

Mason County Clerk website »

Massac County Clerk

1 Superman Square
Metropolis, Illinois

Massac County Clerk website »

McDonough County Clerk

1 Court House
Macomb, Illinois

McDonough County Clerk website »

McHenry County Clerk

2200 North Seminary Avenue
Woodstock, Illinois

McHenry County Clerk website »

McLean County Clerk

115 E Washington Street
Bloomington, Illinois

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

Menard County Clerk

102 South 7th Street
Petersburg, Illinois

Menard County Clerk website »

Mercer County Clerk

100 SE 3rd Street
Aledo, Illinois

Mercer County Clerk website »

Monroe County Clerk

100 South Main Street
Waterloo, Illinois

Phone: (618) 939-8681 ext. 302
Fax: (618) 939-8639
Monroe County Clerk website »

Montgomery County Clerk

1 Courthouse Square
Hillsboro, Illinois

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

Morgan County Clerk

300 West State Street
Jacksonville, Illinois

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

Moultrie County Clerk

10 South Main Street
Sullivan, Illinois

Moultrie County Clerk website »

Ogle County Clerk

105 S. 5th St
Oregon, Illinois

Phone: (815) 732-1110
Fax: (815) 732-3477
Ogle County Clerk website »

Peoria County Clerk

300 Main Street
Peoria, Illinois

Phone: (309) 672-6059
Fax: (309) 672-6063
Peoria County Clerk website »

Perry County Clerk

3764 State Route
Pinckneyville, Illinois

Phone: (618) 357-5116
Fax: (618) 357-3194
Perry County Clerk website »

Piatt County Clerk

101 West Washington
Monticello, Illinois

Phone: (217) 762-9487
Fax: (217) 762-7563
Piatt County Clerk website »

Pike County Clerk

100 East Washington
Pittsfield, Illinois

Pike County Clerk website »

Pope County Clerk

400 Main Street
Golconda, Illinois

Pope County Clerk website »

Pulaski County Clerk

500 Illinois Avenue
P.O. Box 218
Mound City, Illinois

Pulaski County Clerk website »

Putnam County Clerk

120 North 4th Street
Hennepin, Illinois

Putnam County Clerk website »

Randolph County Clerk

1 Taylor Street
Chester, Illinois

Phone: (618) 826-5000 ext 191
Fax: (618) 826-3750
Randolph County Clerk website »

Richland County Clerk

103 West Main
Olney, Illinois

Richland County Clerk website »

Rock Island County Clerk

210 15th Street
Rock Island, Illinois

Phone: (309) 786-4451
Fax: (309) 786-7381
Rock Island County Clerk website »

Saline County Clerk

10 West Poplar Street
Harrisburg, Illinois

Saline County Clerk website »

Sangamon County Clerk

200 South 9th Street
Springfield, Illinois

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

Schuyler County Clerk

102 South Congress Street
Rushville, Illinois

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

Scott County Clerk

101 East Market Street
Winchester, Illinois

Scott County Clerk website »

Shelby County Clerk

301 East Main Street
Shelbyville, Illinois

Shelby County Clerk website »

St. Clair County Clerk

10 Public Square
Belleville, Illinois

St. Clair County Clerk website »

Stark County Clerk

130 West Main Street
Toulon, Illinois

Stark County Clerk website »

Stephenson County Clerk

15 North Galena Avenue
Freeport, Illinois

Stephenson County Clerk website »

Tazewell County Clerk

11 South 4th Street
Pekin, Illinois

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

Union County Clerk

311 West Market Street
Jonesboro, Illinois

Union County Clerk website »

Vermilion County Clerk

6 North Vermilion Street
Danville, Illinois

Phone: (217) 431-2607
Fax: (217) 554-1914
Vermilion County Clerk website »

Wabash County Clerk

401 North Market Street
Mount Carmel, Illinois

Wabash County Clerk website »

Warren County Clerk

100 West Broadway
Monmouth, Illinois

Warren County Clerk website »

Washington County Clerk

101 East Saint Louis Street
Nashville, Illinois

Washington County Clerk website »

Wayne County Clerk

301 East Main
Fairfield, Illinois

Wayne County Clerk website »

White County Clerk

301 East Main
Carmi, Illinois

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

Whiteside County Clerk

200 East Knox Street
Morrison, Illinois

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

Will County Clerk

302 North Chicago
Joliet, Illinois

Phone: (815) 740-4626
Fax: (815) 740-4699
Will County Clerk website »

Williamson County Clerk

200 West Jefferson
Marion, Illinois

Williamson County Clerk website »

Winnebago County Clerk

400 West State Street
Rockford, Illinois

Phone: (815) 987-3050
Fax: (815) 969-0259
Winnebago County Clerk website »

Woodford County Clerk

115 Main Street
2nd Floor
Eureka, Illinois

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