The purpose of notarization is to prevent fraud and forgery. The notary public acts as an official and unbiased witness to the verification and identity of a person who comes before them. Any individual must show a proper State photo ID or a valid Driver’s License. You have the right to deny the notarization of any signature if proof of proper identification is not provided.
If the document requires an oath, the person must personally appear before the notary, be administered the appropriate oath, and sign in the presence of the notary.
The Law does not require that a Notary Public can charge a fee, but the maximum fee allowed is $1.
Become a Notary Public
To Become a Notary Public:
You must be an Illinois Resident and be appointed by the Secretary of State for a term of four years. Out-of-state residents are appointed for a one-year term. An applicant for an appointment must:
- Be a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence
- Be a resident of the State of Illinois or employed in the State of Illinois for at least 30 days. If a person is an out-of-state resident, they apply in the county they are employed
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be able to read and write the English language
- Not be convicted of a felony
- Not had a Notary Commission revoked during the last 10 years
An application must be completed, the form is provided by the Secretary of State, which includes the Oath of Office. A Notary Bond must be obtained from a bonding or surety company in the amount of $5,000. The application, bond, copy of photo ID, and the appropriate fee of $10 are to be forwarded to the Illinois Secretary of State.
If the Notary Public Commission is approved by the Secretary of State, the commission is then sent to the County Clerk in which the applicant resides. The applicant will be notified by mail to record their signature with the County Clerk. They may mail in their signature or come in person with a $16 fee.
Each Notary Public must use a rubber stamp seal as described and shown in the Illinois Notary Public Handbook which also contains guidelines, requirements, and responsibilities.
It is the applicant's responsibility to review the Illinois Notary Public Handbook, which is also available in the office of the County Clerk.
Change of Name or Residence
The law requires a Notary Public to resign their appointment if there is a change of name, a change of residence to another County, or if a non-resident notary changes employment to another county (Sec. 4-101). If the person would like to continue being a notary, they may apply for a new appointment under their new name or in the new county of residence or employment.