Illinois notaries public are officials of proven integrity appointed by the Illinois Secretary of State for a four-year term. Notaries, mobile notaries, and notary signing agents perform a critical role in Illinois by verifying the identities of signers and serving the public as impartial witnesses to valuable transactions. By doing so, notaries help to deter fraud. At some point almost every individual will require the services of a notary. Sooner or later, you will find yourself asking, “How do I find a notary near me?”
Times You Might Need an Illinois Notary Public
You may find you need to locate a notary near you in any of the following circumstances:
- You have been asked to complete a notarized affidavit. This might happen, for instance, if you fall victim to identity theft.
- You need loan documents notarized because you are buying a home.
- A document you have to sign requires that you have an acknowledgement taken by a notary. When taking an acknowledgement, you declare that you have willingly signed a document for the purposes stated therein.
- You’re starting your own business and need to have commercial leases or employment documents notarized.
- A document requires you to make an oath or affirmation. Both oaths and affirmations involve vowing to the truthfulness of a document. In the case of an oath, you use the word “swear” and invoke a deity. When taking an affirmation, however, you make a similar vow but without invoking a deity or employing the word “swear.”
- You are hospitalized and need a notary to assist you by notarizing Advanced Health Directive Forms and a Medical Power of Attorney (POA).
Types of Notaries You Might Need
Before choosing a notary from an Illinois notary locator, first ask yourself what type of notary you need. If you want a notary to come to your home or place of business to notarize documents, you will need a mobile notary public. However, if you have the means to travel to a notary, you can often find one at financial institution such as your bank or by searching for a nearby notary in a notary locator.
If you are having complex loan documents notarized, you will want to seek out a notary signing agent. Illinois notary signing agents are explicitly trained to handle loan documents, and lenders and title companies often hire them as independent contractors to help with the final steps in the loan process.
If you need to notarize a will or a power of attorney, you might need to find a notary licensed to practice law.
Discuss Notarial Fees
Be aware that a mobile notary is permitted to charge a fee for travel in addition to the cost of the notarization. Be sure to discuss and agree upon this fee before the notary travels to your location.
Notarial fees depend on the number of signers, witnesses, and documents to be notarized. Notaries are required to separate their notarial fees from travel fees and must provide customers with a detailed invoice separating those fees. Click here to learn the maximum allowable fees a notary in Illinois can charge.
Finding the Right Notary
The American Association of Notaries advises customers to screen notaries before hiring them by asking them the following questions:
- How long has the notary been commissioned in Illinois?
- Is the notary’s commission active? A potential customer can look up the notary record on the Secretary of State website to find out if the notary commission is active.
- Does the notary have a notary errors and omissions insurance policy? Try to have a copy emailed to you before you hire the notary. This policy protects you from unintentional errors made by the notary while performing the notarial act.
- What is the amount of the notary’s errors and omissions insurance policy?
- Does the notary belong to a notary association similar to the American Association of Notaries?
- Does the notary have verified credentials listed on the notary locator?
- How long has the notary been listed on the locator?
Prudent notaries usually screen signers before traveling. For example, they might ask these questions:
- What type of documents need to be notarized?
- What type of notarial act needs to be performed?
- Does the document include a notarial certificate?
- How many signers are involved?
- Are any witnesses needed and, if so, will they be present?
- Will all the signers be present ?
- Do all signers have valid identification documents?
- Who will be paying for the notarization?
You want to hire the type of notary who seeks more details about the notarization before traveling to your location.
When You Can’t Use an Illinois Notary
Be aware that there are some notarial acts Illinois notaries are not authorized to perform. For example, an Illinois notary cannot:
1- Solemnize marriages unless he or she is otherwise ordained to do so.
2- Certify copies of any document.
3- Offer you legal advice or advise you on immigrations matters unless also licensed as an attorney.
How to Find an Illinois Notary Near You
Now we return to that initial question: “How can I find a notary near me?” When you find yourself in need of a notarization—whether that be an acknowledgement, oath, or affirmation—the best way to find an Illinois notary public, notary signing agent, or mobile notary is to take advantage of a notary locator. A notary locator makes it quick and easy to find a notary near you. Fortunately, the American Association of Notaries (AAN) offers a free Illinois Notary Locator for just this purpose.
If you already know the name of the notary you wish to employ, but simply need contact information, you can search AAN’s Illinois Notary Locator by name. If you’re just looking for a notary near you, you can enter your zip code or city and state. Broaden the search by entering your county.
AAN allows the notaries in its locator to have their credentials verified, so you can search for an Illinois notary public near you with a verified notary commission, verified signing agent credentials, a verified background check, or verified errors and omissions insurance.
Once you’ve decided to begin your search for a notary, simply visit AAN’s free Illinois notary locator at https://www.illinoisnotary.com/find-an-illinois-notary. Within seconds, you’ll have a list of notaries at your fingertips.
The American Association of Notaries notary locator is the simplest way to find an Illinois notary or a notary signing agent near you. With a straightforward search, you’ll discover an affordable notary in your area who can provide you with professional notary services.
The American Association of Notaries has been helping individuals become notaries since 1994. Becoming a notary in Illinois is a straightforward process and costs less than $60 for a four-year notary term. Click here to learn how to become a notary in Illinois.