Why become a notary?
Various documents require a notary to certify the authenticity of the documents and the people signing those papers. Those include business documents, deeds, mortgages, powers of attorney and other official papers. Businesses from law firms to factories need one or more notaries on staff.
What are the requirements to apply?
- Each state has its own regulations. Here are the requirements for applying in Illinois:
- 18 years of age
- U.S. citizen or lawfully admitted for permanent residence
- Photocopy of driver’s license or state ID card
- Must read, write and understand English
- No felony conviction
- State resident for minimum 30 days or resident of qualifying border state while employed in Illinois for minimum 30 days
- $10 filing fee
- $5000 notary public bond
- Applicant's signature notarized by a notary public in Illinois
- Applicant has not had a notary commission revoked or suspended in past 10 years
What are qualifying bordering states?
You can live in a bordering state and hold a notary position in Illinois if you have worked in Illinois for at least the last 30 days. But you can only receive a notary if your state's laws qualify it. Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, and Wisconsin meet the criteria. If you live in Indiana, you should contact the Illinois officials to see if you qualify.
Where can you get a public bond?
- Any bonding business qualified to issue surety bonds in the state of Illinois can write a bond. Beware of companies that do not have a good standing with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Not all bonding companies are authorized by the state of Illinois.
- Using an organization to get your license
- Some organizations or associations help people obtain their notary public. You are not required to use associations or agencies. They are not associated with the government. Often, these organizations offer a package deal including a notary bond, notary seal and assist people with the application.
- Check each one's BBB status because some are unreliable. Choose one with an A or A+ rating and compare costs and services rendered.
Illinois Secretary of State
213 State Capitol
Springfield, IL 62756
Phone: (217) 782-7017
The Illinois Notary Public Handbook