How to Get Married Online in Illinois (Step-by-Step Guide)

December 8, 2023
6 min

In Illinois, getting married online has become more popular as more and more couples choose the ease and convenience of virtual marriages. The increasing trend of obtaining a marriage license online is evidence of people's shifting preferences as they emphasize the convenience and simplicity of getting married virtually.

With Courtly's help, we'll navigate the digital marriage landscape in Illinois in this step-by-step guide. 

In-Person Wedding Requirements in Illinois

In Illinois, obtaining a marriage license is a simple procedure as long as the prerequisites are met, the required documentation is prepared, and the deadline is kept in mind.

To initiate the application, couples are required to personally visit the county clerk's office in the county where their wedding ceremony is planned. During this visit, they must complete a marriage license application, present a valid state ID and pay the applicable license fee.

The county clerk's offices charge different amounts for marriage licenses. For example, Sangamon County costs $75, whereas Cook County—home of Chicago—charges $60. Debit cards, credit cards, cash, checks, and money orders are all acceptable forms of payment.

Illinois distinguishes itself by having no waiting period for a marriage license issuance. County Clerk's Offices, operating Monday through Friday, provide the license immediately. However, there is a one-day waiting period before the license becomes valid, extending for 60 days from the date of issuance. Following the marriage ceremony, the officiant is responsible for completing the bottom section of the license and submitting it to the County Clerk's Office via mail or in person.

It is essential to note that common law marriages are not recognized in Illinois. To be legally married in Illinois, couples must obtain a marriage license from the county clerk's office in the county where their wedding ceremony is planned.

Obtaining a Marriage License from Illinois Online

Although couples may begin the marriage license application online, it must be completed in person at the County Clerk's Office.

Due to the reduced travel distance, the in-person requirement is more convenient for Illinois residents. This is because the County Clerk's Offices provide same-day marriage licenses that are good for 60 days from the day of issuance. This allows couples to get the license during their stay in town for planning purposes. It's important to remember that non-residents may have to sign an affidavit stating that their marriage is not void in their home state.

In Macoupin County, obtaining an online marriage license is facilitated through the online marriage application tool, accessible on the official website of the Macoupin County Clerk. Couples can utilize this tool to review the application questions or complete the entire form.

However, couples are required to personally appear at the County Clerk's office located in the Macoupin County Courthouse. During this visit, they must fill out and sign a marriage license application, presenting valid identification as proof of age. The associated marriage license fee is $75.

It's important to note that even if the initial steps are taken online, couples must finalize the application process by appearing at the County Clerk's office. This in-person requirement ensures the completion of the necessary procedures.

For applicants with a history of divorce, it is mandatory to provide the date of finalization when applying for a marriage license.

Regarding timelines and restrictions, marriage licenses in Macoupin County are promptly issued, effective from the following calendar day after issuance. These licenses remain valid for 60 days but are restricted to being effective solely within Macoupin County. The entire process is designed to be efficient, with licenses issued on the spot, ensuring minimal wait times for couples.

Courtly: Simplifying the Online Marriage Process in Illinois

Courtly is a convenient solution for couples seeking a simplified marriage process, allowing them to complete the entire procedure remotely without the need for extensive documentation. Through Courtly's efficient approach, couples can swiftly obtain a valid U.S. marriage certificate with ease.

Step-by-Step Guide for Getting Married Online in Illinois with Courtly

1. Create an Account

Begin by creating an account on Courtly. Click on the "Get Married" icon located in the top right corner of the website and follow the provided prompts. Once the account setup is complete, you gain access to the Courtly platform.

2. Choose Ceremony Format, Setting, and Officiant

Select your preferred ceremony format, venue, and style to align with your preferences. Depending on the chosen date and time, Courtly will pair you with one of their legally qualified U.S. officiants.

3. Confirmation and Payment

After choosing your wedding package, proceed to make the payment. Upon successful completion of the payment process, Courtly will send you an email confirmation, affirming the initiation of your wedding plans.

4. Online Marriage Celebration

Gather your family and friends online to celebrate your marriage. Whether choosing to tie the knot from the comfort of your home or any location with a reliable internet connection, the online ceremony typically concludes within about 15 minutes.

couple getting married remotely with a licensed officiant via zoom

After the online wedding, a digital copy of your U.S. marriage certificate will be provided by Courtly. Additionally, Courtly ensures the delivery of a printed copy within 1 to 2 weeks. Moreover, you can download your digital marriage license within 24 hours after the ceremony.

Are Online Weddings Legal in Illinois?

Before the pandemic, specific areas had strict rules requiring the physical attendance of both the officiant and the couple for a marriage to be recognised legally. In addition, marriage licenses had to be obtained and returned in person at the county clerk's office by the couple.

In 2019, the Utah County marriage license office teamed with the information technology departments to pioneer an innovative, all-digital marriage license application process. With the use of this innovative technology, couples no longer need to physically visit the office to obtain and return their marriage licenses.

Utah's online marriage procedure is notable for its inclusivity since it welcomes individuals from all parts of the world. Marriages performed lawfully in one state are generally recognised throughout the United States, demanding compliance with both state and federal regulations. As a result, states will recognise the marriage of couples who legally tied the knot under Utah's system.

Are Online Weddings Legal Outside the US?

To ensure the legal recognition of your marriage in other countries, you may need to obtain an Apostille certification. This specialized certificate serves as official verification of your marriage license's authenticity and validity, making it acceptable in all countries that have ratified the Hague Apostille Convention of 1961. It effectively grants your marriage document international validity, enabling its easy recognition and acceptance abroad.

While court officials in the United States have the legal authority to perform online wedding ceremonies, some countries may not recognize these ceremonies, especially if your partner is from another country. Additional steps may be required to comply with the specific requirements of the country where you intend to use your marriage certificate.

Acquiring an Apostille certification can effectively address these concerns and ensure the acceptance of your marriage license abroad. However, before utilizing your marriage certificate, it is crucial to conduct thorough research and consult with the relevant authorities or embassies of the country in question to fully understand their recognition requirements.


Couples seeking a convenient, efficient, and flexible approach to marriage may find Courtly's online marriage service to be an ideal solution. Courtly's streamlined process bypasses the complexities and paperwork often associated with traditional in-person marriages, offering a practical alternative for those seeking a simpler path to marital union. Additionally, Courtly facilitates the prompt acquisition of a valid U.S. marriage certificate with minimal documentation requirements.

Let us handle the paperwork.

Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online, including providing a licensed officiant who can perform a remote ceremony.

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