elderly woman signing a document at the office with managers

Become a Notary in Illinois in Six Easy Steps

Earn or Renew Your IL Notary Certification

American Safety Council® delivers a fast and efficient notary application process on NotaryofAmerica.com. Applicants can become a notary in Illinois or renew their notary status through one of two notary packages that boast affordability and ease. In six steps, an appointed notary public can begin notarizing documents in the state of Illinois.

Why Become an Illinois Notary Public?

Notaries act as impartial witnesses for people signing legal documents, and they are an important asset in many professional law offices, insurance companies, banks, real estate offices and more. As an Illinois notary public, you are responsible for preventing fraud and legitimizing a signature under the assumption that it is voluntary and the signer understands the nature of the document. Becoming a notary in Illinois gives you a special qualification in the workplace and the ability to perform notarial acts that open up greater job opportunities.

How to Become a Notary in Six Steps

In general, there are six steps to becoming a notary public in Illinois.

  1. Determine eligibility in the state of Illinois
  2. Fill out the application form by the Secretary of State
  3. Obtain a $5,000 notary bond from a notary or surety company
  4. Forward the application and bond to the Secretary of State and wait for approval
  5. Record commission with your county clerk once they receive commission from the Secretary of State
  6. Obtain an official seal and begin notarial duties

The notary public application process is made simple with step-by-step guidance, and the application itself can be completed within minutes. These steps will be detailed further, though many of these steps are streamlined through our automatically prepared documents and application components.

What You Will Receive Through Our IL Notary Package

When you become a notary, you will receive all of the items that you need to carry out your notarial duties. Our Illinois notary package includes:

  • Self-inking stamp
  • $5,000 notary bond—no need to obtain this independently
  • Included filing fee
  • Free access to online, state education resources
  • Four-year appointment (term) as an Illinois notary public

How We Simplify the Application Process

The majority of the notary public procedures can be completed in nearly five minutes thanks to an organized and efficient application process. 

How does NotaryofAmerica.com ensure an easy system?

  • Guidance—Receive step-by-step instructions for an easy-to-follow experience.
  • Online Prompts—Know what information to fill out with our helpful online application prompts.
  • No Rush—Go at your own pace or finish within minutes.
  • Secure System—Your personal information is always protected.
  • Prepared Documents—Speed up the process with an automatically prepared Illinois Notary application and accompanying documents.
  • Paid Filing Fee—Notary of America will take care of the required state filing fee.
  • Educational Resources—Get free access to handbooks, important addresses, glossary of terms, documents for foreign use and more.
  • Customer Service—Call or email questions and receive a quick response.

Where Do I Start?

Before you begin the notary public application, you must confirm that you are eligible to apply as a notary in the state of Illinois, as each state has its own requirements.

Step One: Eligibility

The state of Illinois requires applicants to meet the subsequent criteria:

  • Be a citizen of the United States or an alien admitted for permanent residence
  • Be an Illinois resident or employed in the state of Illinois for 30 days
  • Out-of-state applicants must be a resident of a qualifying border state
  • Aged 18 years or older
  • Be able to understand, read and write in English
  • Have no felony convictions
  • Have not had a notary commission revoked within the past 10 years

Once eligibility is determined, you may begin the application process.

Step Two: Illinois Notary Public Application

With the help of the Illinois Notary Service Application Wizard, you will fill out an application authorized by the Illinois Secretary of State. This is the application that you will sign, print and mail to the address provided.

Step Three: Obtain a $5,000 Notary Bond

Illinois requires a notary bond as a means of insurance in case the appointed notary makes a substantial error. This bond protects the notary’s client. Notary bonds can be obtained by an insurance company or any surety company that is qualified by the Illinois Department of Insurance.

Applicants who purchase our notary package can skip this step. NotaryofAmerica.com will provide you with a valid $5,000 bond as part of its notary public package. This bond will be mailed to you upon approval of your application.

Step Four: Illinois Secretary of State Approval

After mailing your signed application to the provided address, we will send the application to the Secretary of State for approval by its Index Department. Once it is mailed, you will have to wait for the Secretary of State to issue a commission to the county clerk of the county in which you reside.

Step Five: Record the Commission with the County Clerk

The county clerk will contact you upon receiving your commission. Recording the commission with the county clerk can be done in person or by mail. After recording is complete and the applicant has received their Illinois notary commission, the appointment is official. Failure to record with the county clerk will result in cancellation of your commission.

Step Six: Get Your Rubber Seal

In order to perform notarial acts, a notary public must get an official seal. The Illinois Notary Handbook outlines several requirements for notary seals in Illinois. Your notary seal must include:

  • The words “Official Seal”
  • Your official/legal name
  • The words “Notary Public,” “State of Illinois” and “My commission expires _____” with the appropriate expiration date
  • A serrated rectangular border no larger than one inch in height and two and one-half inches in length
  • Black ink capable of photographic reproduction

We include your notary seal as part of our course package.

senior businessman concentrate on stamping document , approve contract

How Long Does the Process Take?

An approved notary should expect to receive the notary seal and bond within four to six weeks.

Become a Notary Public in Illinois Today

Apply as an Illinois notary, complete your application and bond form and get approved by the Illinois Secretary of State. Take a few minutes to fill out your application and let NotaryofAmerica.com do the rest.

Renewing Your Illinois Notary

NotaryofAmerica.com offers convenient notary renewal for an affordable price. Renewing a notary appointment is similar to obtaining a notary for the first time. Here is how it works:

  • The Secretary of State will notify you 60 days prior to your appointment expiration. The notification will include a preprinted application and bond form to resend.
  • Confirm that you are still eligible to become a notary public in the state of Illinois.
  • Resend your completed application and bond form to the Secretary of State.
  • Once approved, record your commission with your county clerk.
  • Update your notary seal with the appropriate information.

NotaryofAmerica.com can make this process faster by supplying you with the other components you need to apply.

Why Should I Renew My Illinois Notary Appointment?

Once your appointment expires, your notarial acts and official seal are no longer legally valid. Continuing to act as an Illinois notary public can result in serious legal consequences. Besides legality, there are plenty of professional reasons to renew your status as a notary public in Illinois.

  • Continue to grow your professional opportunities in the workplace by maintaining your value as a notary public.
  • Keep your notary public status updated on your resume.
  • Expand your services as a newly self-employed professional.
  • Continue carrying out existing notary duties required by employers in law offices and other businesses that handle important documents.

What Do I Get with the Renewal Package?

  • $5,000 notary bond
  • $10 State filing fee
  • Self-inking stamp
  • Illinois Notary Service Application Wizard
  • Free online access to state education resources

Renew Your Notary Appointment Today

Renew your status as a notary public in Illinois with a fast and convenient application process. Continue to perform your notarial duties in the workplace with the help of an assisted application program and an inexpensive notary package.

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Notary in Illinois

Does the notary bond also insure the notary public?

The $5,000 notary bond only insures the notary’s client. However, a notary public can purchase an Illinois Errors and Omissions insurance policy with NotaryofAmerica.com. Errors and omissions insurance protects the notary from costly lawsuits in the event of a mistake. This insurance is inexpensive and can cover double or more of the amount of the notary bond.

Can a notary perform duties anywhere in the state of Illinois?

Yes, an appointed notary can give their stamp of approval in any county of Illinois as long as they still reside or work in the county of which they were commissioned. The notary public should also indicate which county the document was signed on the required certificate, if necessary.

My name, address or place of employment has changed. What should I do?

The state’s obligatory procedure depends on the nature of the change:

  • Address or Employer Change Within Same County—The Illinois Secretary of State requires a notary who moves to a new address or changes employers within the same county to report the change to their office.
  • Address or Employer Change Outside of the Current County—A notary public who moves to a non-resident county or a different county within Illinois must submit a resignation to the Illinois Secretary of State. The notary may reapply for a new notary commission.
  • Name Change—A change in last name requires that the notary submits a resignation to the Secretary of State. However, the notary may reapply for a new notary appointment under the changed name.

What Illinois bordering states qualify for notary approval?

According to the Illinois Secretary of State, the qualifying states are Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin.

Do out-of-state applicants receive a four-year commission?

No. Non-resident applicants are appointed for a one-year term. This includes appointed notaries within the qualifying bordering states.

Is a notary certificate valid if the county clerk makes an error with my name or information?

Notary commissions with errors should be reported to the county clerk and replaced with a corrected certificate to maintain validity.

Can an employer or client look up my status as a notary public?

Yes. Your status as a notary public is recorded and searchable on an Illinois Secretary of State registry. There are several ways to look up a notary public:

  • By last name
  • By last name, first name
  • By commission number
  • By city
  • By zip code

Is a notary public required to document their notarial acts?

While it is not required in the state of Illinois, it is suggested that a notary public documents each notarial act in a notary journal for legal purposes.

What additional resources does NotaryofAmerica.com provide?

A prospective or current Illinois notary can access additional notary educational courses and materials, including free resources provided in the notary packages, as well as notary supplies. You may purchase new notary seals and other products to assist with your notarial tasks.

Sources:

Illinois Secretary of State: http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/index/notary/home.html

Illinois Secretary of State: https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/i230.pdf

Illinois Secretary of State: https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/i160.pdf

Illinois Secretary of State: http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/index/notary/faq.html

Illinois Secretary of State: http://www.ilsos.gov/notary/

Rock Island County: http://www.rockislandcounty.org/uploadedFiles/ipub1620.pdf