Illinois Lien Waivers Guide and FAQs

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Illinois Lien Waiver FAQs

Illinois Lien Waivers Overview

Illinois Lien Waiver Rules


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lien waivers not regulated
No Specific Form

Illinois does not require the use of any specific lien waiver form in order for the waiver to be enforceable. Any form may be used.


lien waivers do not need to be notarized
Notarization Not Required

Illinois lien waivers are not required to be notarized in order to be effective.


icon-can't waive lien rights
Cannot Waive Rights in Contract

Illinois statute specifically disallows any waiver of a right to claim a lien prior to performing work or furnishing materials to the project. However, a lien may be subordinated by agreement, subject to some limitations.


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Can Waive Rights Before Payment

Illinois does not prohibit lien waivers prior to payment, provided the work the waiver is subject to has already been provided.

Lien waivers are pretty complex documents. But they are also unassuming because of how frequently they get exchanged on construction jobs across the country, and in Illinois. A lien waiver is basically a receipt that payment has been made for work or materials on a job. These documents are exchanged at the time of payment, and commonly attached to subcontractor pay applications or vendor invoices.

There are different types of lien releases for different types of situations. And these documents have significant consequences for everyone on a job — as it connects directly to everyone’s right to cash! Also, one pesky aspect of lien waivers is that the process of sending, requesting, tracking, and collecting lien waivers is an administrative pain that slows down the payment on a project.

Knowing everything you can about lien waivers will allow you to make your process faster. And if your process is faster, your cash will move faster; and that’s good news for everyone on the project!

Illinois lien waiver laws

Illinois lien waivers are mostly unregulated, at least with respect to the language and form of the lien waivers in order to be effective. This doesn’t mean that anything goes, however.

Illinois does not provide lien waiver form templates, or otherwise provide guidance as to what the language or form of a lien waiver should be in order to be effective. Parties on an Illinois construction project have the freedom to choose the exact format and language of lien waivers.

However, there are some limitations on how and when contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers can waive their lien rights in Illinois. Illinois does have some limited protections around the rights of the parties, even though it does not have specific regulations on the lien waiver document and exchange process itself. Illinois statutes specifically disallow any waiver of a right to claim a lien prior to performing work or furnishing materials to the project. However, an Illinois lien may be subordinated by agreement, subject to some limitations, and such subordination can end up working like a waiver.

In Illinois, like everywhere, construction stakeholders must be mindful of the impact of a lien waiver. Though the documents are routinely exchanged, they can be consequential. The resources, forms, guides, and frequently asked questions about Illinois Lien Waivers on this page will help you get it right.

Illinois Lien Waivers FAQs

Illinois's lien waiver rules and requirements can be difficult to understand. This can create some difficult situations for construction participants in Illinois, who have to navigate providing waivers in order to get paid as quickly as possible, but without giving up more than they bargained for. We have answers to some of the most common questions about Illinoiss lien waiver rules below.

Illinois Lien Waiver FAQs

Does Illinois require a specific statutory lien waiver form?

No, Illinois does not require or provide statutory forms for lien waivers. Because the form and content of lien waivers aren’t regulated under Illinois’ Mechanics Lien Act, careful attention should be given to the actual terms of the waiver to ensure you’re not waiving more than intended.

• See: Should You Sign That Lien Waiver?

What are the requirements for an Illinois lien waiver? What makes a lien waiver binding?

In order for an Illinois lien waiver to be valid and enforceable, it it must be done by express agreement clearly stating an intent to waive mechanics lien rights.

Lien waivers will fall under two main categories: progress payments or final payments. Progress waivers will be structured either as an “amount paid” waiver which states the amount of payment made in exchange for the waiver, or a “to-date” waiver which waives lien rights for the value of all labor/materials provided up to the “through date” provided on the waiver. A final payment waiver will waive all lien rights associated with the project.

Are unconditional lien waivers prohibited in Illinois?

No, as long as the lien waiver is by express agreement, an unconditional lien waiver is still valid and enforceable. However, if you have yet to receive payment, a conditional waiver is always the safer option.

• See: Conditional v. Unconditional Lien Waivers, What’s the Difference?

Is there a specific statutory prohibition on lien waivers in advance of payments, furnishing of work, or furnishing of materials in Illinois?

Yes. Under 770 ILCS 60/1(d) Illinois specifically disallows any waiver of a right to claim a lien prior to performing work or furnishing materials to the project. However, a lien may be subordinated by agreement, subject to some limitations.

This subordination can sometimes have the same ultimate effect as a lien waiver.

Must Illinois lien waivers be notarized?

No. Illinois does not require mechanics lien waivers to be notarized in order to be effective.

Furthermore, electronic signatures are valid on lien waivers in Illinois, as well.

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Recent Questions & Answers
About Illinois Lien Waivers

How can you find out if a contractor has a lien waiver on your property?

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How to file a lien in Illinois

Need to file a Illinois mechanics lien? File your mechanics lien with Levelset, the lien experts quickly and easily. Or you can follow the 3 steps below to file a lien yourself with Levelset's free information.
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Free Illinois Lien Waivers Forms & Templates

Illinois doesn’t really regulate the language on lien waivers. This means that you need to be sure about what your lien waiver says before providing it to another party since it’s easy to end up waiving more than you bargained for. Using these forms provided by Levelset is safe, easy, stress-free, and fair for everyone involved. When used correctly, these forms don’t waive more than intended, are fair, and can’t be used against the singing party.

When used correctly, the forms provided here for free by Levelset are clear and fair to all parties. You can download them free, or use our free system to send or request your Illinois lien waiver form.

Free Illinois Lien Waiver Forms

These Illinois lien waiver forms are clear, fair, and drafted by construction attorneys. Make it easy, and use forms from the source you can trust.

Illinois Partial Conditional Lien Waiver Form - free from

Illinois Partial Conditional Lien Waiver Form

This waiver – the Conditional Waiver and Release on Progress Payment – should be used when a progress payment on the project is expected. There...

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Illinois Final Unconditional Lien Waiver Form - free from

Illinois Final Unconditional Lien Waiver Form

This IL final unconditional waiver (also called a final unconditional lien release) should be used when the final payment for a project has been made...

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Illinois Partial Unconditional Lien Waiver Form - free from

Illinois Partial Unconditional Lien Waiver Form

This il partial unconditional waiver (also called a partial unconditional lien release) should be used when a progress payment on the project has been received....

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Illinois Final Conditional Lien Waiver Form - free from

Illinois Final Conditional Lien Waiver Form

This il final conditional waiver (also called a final conditional lien release) should be used when the final payment for a project is expected but...

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