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How to become an Illinois Notary

Abbreviation: IL   |   21st State   |   Statehood: December 3, 1818 |
How to Become an Illinois Notary:
To become an Illinois notary public, a person must meet all of the requirements listed below:

  1. Be 18 years of age or older
  2. Be a resident of the State of Illinois for at least 30 days, or a non-resident of a state bordering Illinois who has worked or maintained a business in Illinois for 30 days preceding the application
  3. Be a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States
  4. Be able to read and write the English language
  5. Never have been convicted of a felony
  6. Not have had a notary commission revoked during the past 10 years
In order to receive an Illinois notary public commission, a person must:

  1. Meet the eligibility requirements
  2. Properly complete and submit a notary application form to the Secretary of State with a $10 filing fee and include the $5,000 bond
  3. Each notary public application must include a legible photocopy of the applicant’s driver’s license or a state-issued identification card
  4. After the applicant is approved for appointment, a specimen signature and a filing fee of $5.00 must be recorded with the county clerk where the applicant resides or where the non-resident works or maintains a business. If the appointment is not filed with the county clerk within 60 days, the county clerk will return the commission to the Secretary of State and the commission will be cancelled.
  5. Click here to download the application forms.

    Apply Online to Become an Illinois Notary

Non-Resident Illinois Notary:
Permitted. Persons who are residents of a state bordering Illinois whose place of work or business is within a county in Illinois may apply if they have been in Illinois for 30 days, but only if the laws of their state authorize residents of Illinois to be appointed and commissioned as notaries public in their state. The bordering states of Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, and Wisconsin offer such reciprocation. Non-residents must also meet the same qualifications as Illinois residents. The appointment and signature must be recorded with the county clerk where the applicant works or maintains a business. Non-resident applications can only be obtained from the Secretary of State’s Office.
Illinois Notary Bond:
Required. A bond in the amount of $5,000 is required for new and renewing state and county notaries public. Please visit the American Association of Notaries’ website at to purchase and receive a bond via email in one business day, or call 800.721.2663.
Notary Errors & Omissions Insurance:
Optional. A notary public is liable to any person for damages that result from his or her official misconduct. The American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that Illinois notaries public insure themselves against claims of negligence through the purchase of Notary Errors and Omissions insurance. To purchase this insurance, please visit our website at or call 800.721.2663.
Filing Fee:
A $10 filing fee is required for new and renewal notary applications.
Illinois Notary Term:
Illinois residents are appointed notaries for a term of four years; non-residents are appointed for a one year term.
Secretary of State
Index Department, Notary Division
111 East Monroe Street
Springfield, IL 62756
(217) 782-7017
Notary Commission Renewal:
A notary may apply 60 days before the expiration of the current commission by completing a renewal application form.
None Required.
Illinois Notary Stamp/Notary Seal:

Type – rubber stamp

Ink color – ink capable of being photographically reproduced

Shape – rectangular

Dimensions – not more than one 1 inch in height by 2 ˝ inches in length

Required elements - notary’s official name, the words “Official Seal,” “Notary Public,” “State of Illinois,” and “My Commission expires (date).” The seal must have a serrated or milled edge border. If a notary seal is stolen, the notary public must report the theft to the police. If a notary public loses his or her notary seal, the Secretary of State recommends that the notary resigns his or her notary commission.

Record Book:
None Required. The Illinois Secretary of State and the American Association of Notaries highly recommend that Illinois notaries public record every notarial act performed in a notary journal. For Illinois notary supplies, please contact the American Association of Notaries by calling 800.721.2663 or by visiting our website at

Note Notaries who perform a notarial act involving a document of conveyance that transfers or purports to transfer title to residential real property located in Cook County, Illinois, must create a notarial record with very specific details regarding the notarial act.

Notary Fees:
Notary fees are set by state law. A notary public is allowed to charge for each notarial act, but not more than:

  • Acknowledgments - $1.00
  • Oaths or affirmations - $1.00
  • Protests - $1.00
Note: It is mandatory that Illinois notaries keep a record of the fees they charge for each notarial act they perform.
An Illinois notary has the authority to:

  • Take acknowledgments
  • Administer oaths or affirmations
  • Witness or attest a signature
  • Perform any other act authorized by law

Note: A notary may not issue certified copies of any document.

Electronic Notarization:
The State of Illinois has not enacted/adopted statutes, rules, and/or procedures for electronic notarizations. However, Illinois enacted the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act (765 ILCS 33) authorizing a notary’s electronic signature.
Address Change:
Required. If a notary public moves or changes employers, and the new residence or place of employment is within the boundaries of the county from which the notary was appointed, the notary reports the change of address to the Secretary of State. However, if the notary moves out of the county, or if the non-resident notary changes employment to another county, the notary must resign his or her commission and return it to the Secretary of State. The notary public can then apply for a new appointment.
Name Change:
Required. When any notary legally changes his or her name, the commission ceases to be in effect and should be returned to the Secretary of State. To become a notary again, the individual must file a new application, bond, and oath with the Secretary of State.
Although not required by state notary laws, the notary or a representative of the notary should submit a letter of notice to the Secretary of State, along with the notary commission, if death, resignation, or removal occurs during the term of a current notary commission. Notaries (or their representatives) should destroy their seals immediately and contact the Secretary of State for instructions regarding notary journals. Resignations should be submitted to the Secretary of State, Index Department, 111 E. Monroe St., Springfield, IL 62756.
Prohibited Acts:
A notary public may not:

  • Use any name or initial in signing certificates other than the one by which he or she was commissioned
  • In any document, stationery, letterhead, business card, or other written material translate from English into another language terms or titles including, but not limited to, notary public, notary, licensed, attorney, lawyer, or any other term that implies the person is an attorney (including the word “notario publico”)
  • Acknowledge any instrument in which the notary’s name appears as a party to the transaction
  • Affix his signature to a blank form, affidavit, or certificate of acknowledgment and deliver that form to another person with the intent that it be used as an affidavit or acknowledgment
  • Take the acknowledgment of or administer an oath to any person whom the notary actually knows to have been adjudged to be mentally ill by a court of competent jurisdiction and who has not been restored to mental health as a matter of record
  • Take the acknowledgment of any person who is blind until the notary has read the instrument to the person
  • Take the acknowledgment of any person who does not speak or understand the English language, unless the nature and effect of the instrument to be notarized is translated into a language that the person does understand
  • Change anything in a written instrument after it has been signed by anyone
  • Prepare any legal instrument or fill in the blanks of any instrument other than a notary certificate; however, this prohibition shall not prohibit an attorney, who is also a notary public, from performing notarial acts for any documents he or she prepares
  • Use facsimile signature stamps in signing his or her official certificates
Criminal Violations:
A notary public who knowingly and willfully commits any official misconduct is guilty of a class A misdemeanor. A notary public who recklessly or negligently commits any official misconduct is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.
Notarial Certificates:
Click here to view your state's notarial certificates.

Revised: July 2015

Notary bonds and errors and omissions insurance policies provided by this insurance agency, the American Association of Notaries, Inc., are underwritten by Western Surety Company, Universal Surety of America, or Surety Bonding Company of America, which are subsidiaries of CNA Surety.